Comte de Lautréamont

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Lautréamont, Comte de

 

(pseudonym of Isidore Ducasse). Born Apr. 4, 1846, in Montevideo; died Nov. 24, 1870, in Paris. French poet.

Lautréamont left a paradoxical poetic legacy. He initially expounded a violent rejection of the moral and social principles of modern society in the poem Les Chants de Maldoror (1868-69; published in full, 1890); with the same force and conviction he denounced what he considered the unwholesome excesses of European romanticism in the collection Poems: Preface to a Future Book (1870). The first book contained finished prose poems united by a single hero and the intricate plotting of horror fiction; the second was a series of lively aphorisms, in which Lautreamont sang of goodness and of boundless faith in man’s strength and his future.

Lautréamont’s works, rediscovered in the 20th century by the surrealists, foreshadowed the tragic floundering of Western European poetry in its course from symbolism to futurism. Both the modernist and the realistic traditions of modern French poetry (P. Eluard, L. Aragon) proceed from Lautréamont’s work.

REFERENCES

Gourmont, R. de. Kniga masok. St. Petersburg, 1913. (Translated from French.)
Balashov, N. “Neotrazimosf Eluara.” In Poeziia sotsializma. Moscow, 1969. Pages 77-80, 101, 102.
Lautréamont: Une etude par Ph. Soupault. Extrait, documents, bibliographie. [Paris, 1946.]
Bachelard, G. Lautreamont, new ed. Paris, 1956.
Pleynet, M. Lautreamont par lui-meme. Paris, 1967.
Lautréamont. Published under the direction of M. Chaleil. [Toulouse, 1971.]
Philip, M. Lectures de Lautréamont. Paris [1971].

N. N. POLIANSKII