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Os Cantos de Maldoror e Poesias I & II

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  637 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Uma edição completa, que inclui uma novíssima tradução de Os Cantos de Maldoror, pela mão sensível do poeta Manuel de Freitas, e também as Poesias I e II. Compreende igualmente um pertinente prefácio de Silvina Rodrigues Lopes. Terminados em 1869, Os Cantos de Maldoror, do Conde de Lautréamont, pseudónimo de Isidore Ducasse (1846-1870), não seriam colocados à disposição do ...more
Paperback, 334 pages
Published September 2009 by Antígona (first published 1869)
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Our author, whether writing as Comte de Lautréamont or Isidore Ducasse, is a master of negation, contradiction, and contrast.

Maldoror (and Poems) is a great work. It's audacious, original, startling, heartfelt, insincere, sincere, brutal, funny, outrageous, paradoxical, inspirational. It is the opposite of itself. It's one (or two) of a kind.

Some will be attracted to the book because it is sensational. Some will be repelled for the exact same reason. I've commented earlier and elsewhere that--th
Had I had an inkling early on of how much "Brain Pain" this would cause I very much doubt that I would have started this. However the challenge to the reader was thrown down within the first few pages. What reader can resist such a challenge? I won't comment on the overall literary aspect of it because I don't feel as if I have those "credentials".

The imagery is strong, powerful, visceral, it's also repugnant, blasphemous, shocking, confusing, elusive but at the same time strangely compelling an
Crazy book, crazy Maldoror, he wanders around encountering bizarre characters, committing crimes and spouting nonsense. I.. like the wordplay? Maldoror... 'mal dolor'?

"As one of the poètes maudits (accursed poets), he was elevated to the Surrealist Panthéon beside Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud, and acknowledged as a direct precursor to Surrealism. André Gide regarded him — even more than Rimbaud — as the most significant figure, as the "gate-master of tomorrow's literature", meriting Bre
I don't know what the F*** I just read.

The most cohesive part of the book was the last Cantos, but that's not saying much.

Think of the most obscene, nonsensical and/or violent scenario in your mind and it's probably in this book. Make your crazy ass scenario includes a shark to have sex with, or a beetle pushing a giant ball of shit up a hill, or a gigantic crab ready to fight you in the name of God. Throw in some murder, lots of shit talking about the Creator, vivid descriptions of vaginas, eve
Valérie KC
“Moi, je fais servir mon génie à peindre les délices de la cruauté.”

Les chants de Maldoror is an enigmatic pearl of dark poetry. Cruel, sadistic and grotesque are among the most relevant words to describe it. I have read this book three or four times over the last decade and I am still amazed at the elegance and richness of the prose. Lautréamont was largely inspired by the gothic literature imagery which I adore. The story is of a sublime incoherence. It is nevertheless hypnotic and bewitching
Aug 31, 2014 Kristopher rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ingredients: Victorian obsession with cataloging flora and fowl using proper names that nobody knows or cares about, overuse of the exclamation point on a level that rivals the text messages of a 12-year-old girl, the forced use of strong verbs that are barely strong enough to support bloated sentences festooned with superfluous adjectives and illogical metaphors stretched so beyond any real relationship they seem foolish, a complete lack of narratorial voice that makes the text a disengaging me ...more
Jan 02, 2017 Andy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW! Where in the hell has THIS book been all my life? This is incredible. I've read nothing like it.

The book essentially follows the exploits of an evil supernatural creature (?) called Maldoror. Most chapters are self-contained vignettes. There are wild scenes of violence, confusing philosophical rants, followed up with symbolic, dream-like chapters.

It's cruel, poetic, bitter, melodramatic, sadistic, misanthropic in the extreme, and at times utterly baffling. It's full of tangents, often in mi
Feb 13, 2017 Monse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what the fuck I just read but I enjoyed the shit out of it.
Jan 10, 2008 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book contains some of the longest sentences I have ever read and make it worthwhile to wander through their intricate pathways to discover what oddments Isidore Ducasse has hidden at the end -- or maybe the time spent lost in tangents, those wonderful and maligned (yet always compelling, like a distant scent of maple on the air that shouldn't be there, but impossible, strangely *is*, and admits of no rational explanation ready at hand) glimpses into the hidden rooms of creativity that are o ...more
Tim Pendry

This is a very peculiar book for review because one can approach it from two perspectives - its 'importance' in literature and whether it is actually worth reading. It is like the Bible in that respect - the sort of blasphemous implication that Isidore Ducasse (the actual author) might have appeared to revel in.

Let us start with a first proposition - that it is 'important'. Yes, Maldoror is important if you are a specialist or interested in French literature and at two levels. It is both a stepp
Aug 20, 2011 Howard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a surreal, gothic, poetic, brutal, imaginative, unreadable non-story of a book written in 1868 by 22 year old Isidore Ducasse who died 2 years later.

It is based around the narrator's real life and imagined alter ego Maldoror. He describes what he sees and produces a darkly, sinister, interaction from them whilst at the same time the narrator tells us what Maldoror sees and does. Maldoror loathes himself, God, life, everyone else's life and his situation. The book is actually six mini-bo
I read this book awhile ago for bibliogoth as recommended by sahra_patroness, I had to read it in English because even if I can read easy novels based in Imperial China there’s no way I’d be able to cope with one of the heroes of the Surrealist movement! I have to say I found it rather perplexing. I did want to enjoy it as it’s also one of beluosus’s favourite books but found it rather strange. There were some startlingly beautiful and horrible moments and passages within it; there were some gre ...more
Jul 13, 2007 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is incredible but the translation is really piss poor. A lot of the conjugation got mixed up so first, second and third person points of view can all end up in one paragraph. This makes the novel much harder to read especially considering the halcuinatory nature of the text. It is worth it to track down the Exact Change version translated by Alexis Lykiard.
Todd Myers
Nov 24, 2016 Todd Myers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I could give a 1/2 star I would, really giving it a 4 star only due to Poems. Maldoror was the true part of the book to read, very good story and disturbing at times. One of the books on the David Bowie reading list, and I can see why Mr Bowie enjoyed this one, worth the time to read it.
Oct 02, 2016 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-owned
3.5 stars. Maldoror is a collection of long prose poems (and one novella) surrounding the character Maldoror, who sometimes narrates and sometimes takes part in the action. We see his macabre visions and get inside his head as he contemplates evil and the darker side of humanity. But in the true tradition of the grotesque, he is never entirely repulsive. The reader becomes hypnotized by the beauty of his dark descriptions. He praises the fury of the ocean as the one overpowering aspect of nature ...more
Sara Bôto
Admito que a minha entrada neste livro não foi totalmente virgem. Eu já o conhecia e já tinha lido excertos (e sabia alguns de cor graças aos fantásticos Mão Morta!). Porém, nada se compara à constante exposição, ao longo de uma semana, a este livro e às consequências que dela resultam. É perigoso pela sua beleza e pelo facto de ser, a par dela, de uma negritude e maldade inimagináveis. E aquilo que parece destinado ao fracasso pela demasiada complexidade da escrita transforma-se num livro de ca ...more
Wow! This is a great book, though not flawless. The author starts by warning the reader to turn back if he hasn't the stomach for what follows...of course that just draws you in, as intended.

As soon as you start reading it you can see why the surrealists loved it. There's a constant stream of imagery that is by turns gothic, sacrilegious, violent, repulsive, funny, blasphemous etc. Some of the imagery just stick in your brain like the the toads that live in Maldoror's (left) armpit and the crab
Jul 23, 2011 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, fiction
The revolutionary insanity stalking the perimeters of the Victorian townhouse. Maldoror is what the novels of these domestic spaces don't admit: the pussy, glandular body; the beauty of the predatory and asymmetrical natural world; and all kinds of gross sexual and violent impulses.

This seems to be situated as a root text for surrealism. If it is, I think its important to note just how transgressive Lautreamont's surrealism is. Its more than weird, quirky stuff, its purposeful inversion of the
May 21, 2011 RJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Les Chants du Maldoror is one of the most intensely negative reading experiences you will ever have. This is a work which is intentionally crafted as a brutal assault on every aspect of reality as it is. I think it comes very close the the absolute ideal of what a real piece of literature should do for a reader.

I'm not just talking about the character Maldoror's self-proclaimed war against God and Man, or figures like the hermaphrodite who wreck established categories - every aspect of this book
Apr 14, 2013 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Maldoror and Poems" by Lautréamont (real name Isidore Lucien Ducasse). First published in 1868-1869. I first heard of this book in 2002, when I began getting into the music of Current 93 (on the first Current 93 album "Nature Unveiled" there is a song called "Ach Golgotha: Maldoror is Dead"), but it wasn't until 2004, when I started working at Barnes & Noble, that I got my hands on a copy of it. Something about the description on the back cover captivated me: "One of the earliest and most a ...more
Jan 26, 2015 Natalia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Тяжелая, не очень приятная книга с элементами необоснованной жестокости, которую просто сложно читать. Да, некоторые эпизоды написаны потрясающе, но другие просто омерзительны образами, которые рождают в твоей голове. Скорее всего для своего времени это было передовое произведение, но, как мне кажется, оно написано не для всех. Слишком мрачное, атмосферное, и слишком зациклено на человеческих пороках и грехах.

Образность и идея потрясающие, а вот выполнение просто неудобоваримое для меня. Читалос
The idea of this book was much more interesting than the work itself. Some of the segments are fierce and wild expressions of the darker nature of humanity and self-will which I loved for the gross fierceness of it(which in its sincere tone is a poetic feat)... but later on things get into weird post-modern gibberish where the narrator basically runs on and on in a Thomas Pyncheon/Absalom, Absalom fashion about nothing while mocking you for reading such sentences and passages about (admittedly) ...more
Jul 16, 2014 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having died in 1870, Lautréamont very much predates the surrealists who later embraced him as spiritual forefather. His contemporaries and/or influences were roughly the Symbolists (Verlaine, Baudelaire), though he died too young and obscure for anyone to have taken much notice at the time.
I read this with a bit more of a sense of obligation than pleasure - it takes some getting used to the lack of conventional narration, elaborately confusing sentence structure and other devices, which as Paul
Brian Fagan
Mar 12, 2013 Brian Fagan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never read anything quite like this. I actually have never even heard of this book. Lautreamont's name popped up in an article regarding William S. Burroughs. I did a little research into it and bought it the next day.

Werid and non-linear, it's reads like a series of episodes in the life of a man who believes he is evil. So, he does nothing but evil things. It's the most nihilistic book I've ever read. the poetry of it is beautfiul, while the content is vulgar and vile.

The section where
Ginger Price
Feb 17, 2016 Ginger Price rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the worst thing I have ever read. Ever. I hate it more than I hate Ulysses. Mmk, so this guy was a prominent figure in the development of Surrealism. Awesome. Real talk: he was a psychopath who would be put into intense psychotherapy for the rest of his life if he had written this today. He is needlessly vulgar and sensationalist in his descriptions. He wants a reaction. I hate works that are primarily written for shock value. This isn't a beautiful project to articulate inner consciousn ...more
Feb 21, 2012 Neil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a minor miracle that this book is known at all. Published by a 23 year old Uruguayan, resident in Paris, it hardly sold and the following year he died during the siege of Paris. More than half a century later the work was rediscovered by the surrealists and came to exert an influence over much of their work.

It's easy to see the appeal to Breton and his disciples. It's a potent mix of gothic tropes, Baudelairean symbolism, dark humour, wilfully bizarre juxtapositions and proto-Freudian night
Darran Mclaughlin
Superb. Puts me in mind of Baudelaire, Nietzsche, William Burroughs, the Sandman comic series and the Jerry Cornelius books by Michael Moorcock. Having been disappointed by some perverse literature recently (Naked Lunch, Thief's Journal) I thought I perhaps couldn't enjoy this kind of thing any more, but Maldoror proved me wrong. Really striking imagery and some really fresh prose thoroughly impressed me. It's like the Naked Lunch that's actually good. It should really have a much wider readersh ...more
Lara Calleja
Dec 01, 2014 Lara Calleja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Luckily for me, I read this book in the most suitable phase of my life – young but starting to mature and lose faith in idealism, but yet still dreamy and fascinated with self-destructive notions

This book is definitely one of the most magical, poetical and enchanting books I ve read in my current life. It ‘s one of those books where it puts you in a faraway enchanted dark forest or in a stormy night on a cliff with rough seas beneath you – and even though the scene looks cold, mean and too dark
Respect to Lautreamont (ne Isidore Ducasse) for crafting one of the strangest, creepiest, most blasphemous, disgusting, shocking and anti-rational novels ever conceived in the late 1860s -- your literary courage is an inspiration to us all -- but there are portions of Maldoror that are just downright boring and unreadable. The prose is often too hyperbolic for me to take seriously, even if the author and protagonist are directly attacking the Creator and can only speak in the grandest of terms.
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  • Selected Writings
  • Collected Poems and Other Verse
  • Château d'Argol
  • Adventures in 'Pataphysics
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  • Rigadoon
  • Paris Peasant
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  • A Season in Hell & Illuminations
  • Harmonium
  • Là-Bas (Down There)
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  • The Flight of Icarus
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  • Poems of the Late T'ang
Comte de Lautréamont (French pronunciation: [lotʁeaˈmɔ]) was the pseudonym of Isidore Lucien Ducasse, an Uruguayan-born French poet.

His only works, Les Chants de Maldoror and Poésies, had a major influence on modern literature, particularly on the Surrealists and the Situationists. Les Chants de Maldoror is often described as the first surrealist book. He died at the young age of 24 years old.
More about Comte de Lautréamont...

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“I am filthy. I am riddled with lice. Hogs, when they look at me, vomit. My skin is encrusted with the scabs and scales of leprosy, and covered with yellow pus.[...] A family of toads has taken up residence in my left armpit and, when one of them moves, it tickles. Mind one of them does not escape and come and scratch the inside of your ear with its mouth; for it would then be able to enter your brain. In my right armpit there is a chameleon which is perpetually chasing them, to avoid starving to death: everyone must live.[...] My anus has been penetrated by a crab; encouraged by my sluggishness, he guards the entrance with his pincers, and causes me a lot of pain.” 24 likes
“One should let one's nails grow for a fortnight. O, how sweet it is to drag brutally from his bed a child with no hair on his upper lip and with wide open eyes, make as if to touch his forehead gently with one's hand and run one's fingers through his beautiful hair. Then suddenly, when he is least expecting it, to dig one's long nails into his soft breast, making sure, though, that one does not kill him; for if he died, one would not later be able to contemplate his agonies. Then one drinks his blood as one licks his wounds; and during this time, which ought to last for eternity, the child weeps.” 11 likes
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