Maldoror & the Complete Works
by Comte de Lautréamont
Translated and with an Introduction by Alexis Lykiard
352 pages, paperback
André Breton wrote that Maldoror is “the expression of a revelation so complete it seems to exceed human potential.” Little is known about its pseudonymous author aside from his real name (Isidore Ducasse), birth in Uruguay (1846), and early death in Paris (1870). Lautréamont’s writings bewildered his contemporaries but the Surrealists modeled their efforts after his lawless black humor and poetic leaps of logic, exemplified by the oft-quoted slogan, “As beautiful as the chance meeting on a dissecting-table of a sewing-machine and an umbrella!” Maldoror’s shocked first publisher refused to bind the sheets of the original edition… and perhaps no better invitation exists to this book which warns the reader, “Only the few may relish this bitter fruit without danger.” This is the only complete annotated collection of Lautréamont’s writings available in English, in a superior translation.
“Lautréamont’s style is hallucinatory, visionary… this new fluent translation makes clear its poetic texture and what may be termed its subversive attraction.” — New York Times
“Alexis Lykiard’s translation is both subtle and earthy… this is the best translation now available.” — Washington Post Book World