(les Chants de Maldoror) (New Directions Paperbook)
New Directions Publishing Corporation, 9780811200820, 342pp.
Publication Date: January 17, 1965
List Price: 17.95*
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Maldoror is a long narrative prose poem which celebrates the principle of Evil in an elaborate style and with a passion akin to religions fanaticism. The French poet-critic Georges Hugnet has written of Lautreamont: "He terrifies, stupefies, strikes dumb. He could look squarely at that which others had merely given a passing glance." When first published in 1868-69, Maldoror went almost unnoticed. But in the 1890s the book was rediscovered and hailed as a work of genius by such eminent writers as Huysmans, Leon Block, Maeterlinck, and Remy de Gourmont. Later still, Lautreamont was to be canonized as one of their principal "ancestors" by the Paris surrealists. This edition, translated by Guy Wernham, includes also a long introduction to a never-written, or now lost, volume of poetry. Thus, except for a few letters, it gives all the surviving literary work of Lautreamont.