By Thomas S. Andrea
Because the 1874 e-book in Belgium of the 1st posthumous version of Les Chants de Maldoror, the enigmatic paintings has served as an concept for the poetic and inventive liberation of numerous twentieth-century writers and artists. Little is understood, although, in regards to the book’s elusive French writer Isidore Ducasse, often called le comte de Lautréamont, and his abbreviated existence (1846-1870).
In the absence of an unique manuscript, Lautréamont’s readers have through the years altered his poetry for private, political, and aesthetic purposes. Symbolist literary journals, first versions of his paintings, surrealist illustrated variants, and the celebrated Pléiade version (1970 and 2009), exhibit how various versions of Lautréamont’s paintings have in flip contributed to his legend. In Lautréamont, topic to Interpretation, Andrea S. Thomas rigorously explores those variants of this so-called poète maudit to teach how impassioned readers can form not just the reception of works, however the works themselves.
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Extra resources for Lautréamont, Subject to Interpretation (Faux Titre, Volume 403)
Nous sommes plus au nord que Paris. La pluie et les brouillards déforment les paysages des Flandres, comme ceux du pays mosan. Ils leur donnent souvent un aspect irréel et fantastique. Ceux qui y habitent ont pris le goût du mystère. [Our poets’ real contribution to the symbolist movement can be explained above all by the particular nature of our climate. We are further north than Paris. The rain and fog distort the Flemish and Mosan countryside, giving them an unreal and fantastical appearance.
He does not try to fall asleep again. He lifts his limbs off the bed, one after the other. He goes and warms his icy skin at the rekindled brands in the [gothic] fireplace. Only his night-shirt covers his body. His eyes seek the crystal carafe, that he may moisten his parched palate. He opens the outside shutters. He leans on the window-sill. He contemplates the moon which pours upon his breast a cone of ecstatic beams, in which silvery atoms of ineffable softness flutter like moths. ]41 Out of the spider’s stomach appear two adolescents, Réginald and Elsseneur, posing as angels and dressed with swords, who are sent by an archangel to haunt Maldoror’s sleep every night for ten years, or until they are instructed to stop this wicked punishment.
With one exception, the passage went unnoticed until 1890. In Émile Verhaeren’s review of Le Désespéré in the Belgian journal, L’Art moderne, Verhaeren refers to this passage, suggesting a spiritual connection between Marchenoir and Maldoror, as well as between Bloy and Lautréamont: “Les deux écrits, le sien et celui de Lautréamont, ont tel air de parenté. Ils sont tous les deux énergumènes et grands, éclatants et désorbités. Oh! ” [Both his piece and Lautréamont’s are so similar. They are both magnificent, blaring, disturbed fanatics.