Maldoror & the Complete Works of the Comte de Lautréamont Paperback – Apr 30 2010
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"Alexis Lykiards translation is both subtle and earthy
this is the best translation now available." -- Washington Post Book World
"Lautréamonts style is hallucinatory, visionary this new fluent translation makes clear its poetic texture and what may be termed its subversive attraction." -- New York Times
Top Customer Reviews
That being said, once you get used to Lautreamont's writing, there's much of interest. The creature (or metaphor?) Maldoror upturns moral decency and socially "acceptable" behaviour to glory in thinking the unthinkable and doing the undoable, never fearing to go beyond what would be termed "common decency". The result is rather like asking what would things be like if humanity divested itself of all moral values, allowing individuals a totally hedonistic and self-indulgent life, in effect acting like animals (which is what Maldoror states they really are).
Lautreamont does not fail to debunk the notion of a benevolent all-wise God - if all moral values are inverted, then the puported source of such ideas is open to attack too.
"Maldoror" is a strange, yet challenging work. I can well understand why it's widely admired in some quarters, its fascination flowing from its shameless disposal of social norms and mores. Perhaps in the end it reinforces the need for them - seeing the dark side might be a sobering experience.
Maldoror is the narrator, and sometime character when the narrative shifts unexpectedly into third person, and the alter ego of the mysterious young Comte de Lautreamont--which was the pen name of Isidore Ducasse. Dead by 24, he left behind this time-bomb. Maldoror is a sadist, a murderer, a philosopher, an outcast from the normal order of life. He encourages readers to kidnap a child and torture it, to taste its tears and its blood--all within the first 30 pages. Right on! You are not dealing with a rational, predictable mind here.
One of the book's most fascinating aspects is its continuous imagery of animals, both everyday and exotic, majestic and absurd: sharks, turkeys, crabs, eagles, octopi, tigers, wovles, insects, serpents. These creatures are presented with the sharp eye of the biologist. By likening humanity to animals, Lautreamont achieves a double effect: man comes off as debased and at the same time, elevated: to be like an animal man must be rid of all his pretensions and vanities. It is this pretense to culture and civilized behavior that sicken Lautreamont/Maldoror.
Many passsages still shock and disgust--and yes, entertain with their feverish intensity, particularly the one in which Maldoror copulates with a man-eating shark.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This book is a must-read for all misanthropes! With a nightmarish pre-surrealist quality the author paints various macabre poems in prose around the central figure, Maldoror, a... Read morePublished on June 26 2000 by Christian Richard
yo U MUST read MALDOROR while concentrating on MALDOROR with a SPooN bendING concentration YOU must "ladle out" your hours with a spoon bending concentration. Read morePublished on April 29 2000 by C. Cronk
How to review a work that seeks to tear out the idiocies that produce a situation where I am reviewing Maldoror for a multinational! Read morePublished on March 10 2000 by pmeursault
i like to read isador's books because they're good.one time when me and isadore wre hvin tea he said and he say'd i like words because they like aire. Read morePublished on Jan. 28 2000 by gareth mc'mortemer
As savage as it is beautiful, as challenging as it is rewarding, Les Chants de Maldoror is an inspired and disquieting exploration of the evil humans are capable of. Read morePublished on Jan. 5 1999