The Songs of Maldoror


The Songs of Maldoror

by Le Comte de Lautréamont

Translated by R J Dent

Illustrated by Salvador Dalí

Foreword by Paul Éluard

Lautréamont’s Biography by Jeremy Reed

Introduction by Candice Black


264 pages, 22 half-tones, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Series: Solar Books – Solar Nocturnal

Paper $16.95

ISBN: 9780982046487

‘A new, definitive edition of Lautréamont’s influential masterpiece. Vividly translated by R J Dent.’

 

‘Lautréamont’s Songs of Maldoror [is] the black bible… almost the basic dream text of surrealism.’ J G Ballard

 

The Songs of Maldoror is an enigma of redoubtable power.’ Jacques Derrida

 

The Songs of Maldoror is ‘the expression of a revelation so complete it seems to exceed human potential.’ André Breton

 

Le Comte de Lautréamont was the nom de plume of Isidore Ducasse (1846–70), a Uruguayan-born French writer and poet whose only surviving major work of fiction, The Songs of Maldoror (Les Chants de Maldoror), was discovered by the Surrealists, who hailed the work as a dark progenitor of their movement. It was in The Songs of Maldoror that André Breton discovered the phrase that would come to represent the Surrealist doctrine of objective chance: “as beautiful as the random encounter between an umbrella and a sewing-machine upon a dissecting-table.”

Artists inspired by Lautréamont include Man Ray, René Magritte, Max Ernst, André Masson, Joan Miró, Yves Tanguy and, in particular, Salvador Dalí, who in 1933 produced an entire series of illustrations for The Songs of Maldoror. Twenty of those illustrations are included, for the first time, in this new, definitive edition of Lautréamont’s influential masterpiece. Vividly translated by R J Dent – the first new translation for over thirty years – this edition also includes a foreword by French Surrealist poet Paul Éluard and a concise biography of the author by poet Jeremy Reed. In addition, an introduction by series editor Candice Black details the links between Maldoror and the Surrealist movement.

The Songs of Maldoror is a poetic novel (or a long prose poem) consisting of six cantos. It was written between 1868 and 1869 by Le Comte de Lautréamont, the pseudonym of Isidore Ducasse. During the early 1900s, many of the surrealists (Salvador Dalí, André Breton, Antonin Artaud, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Max Ernst) cited the novel as a major inspiration to their own works. The Songs of Maldoror – and the book’s protagonist Maldoror – have continued to fascinate readers since its publication.


Here’s The Independent‘s review of The Songs of Maldoror:

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/book-of-a-lifetime-les-chants-de-maldoror-by-the-comte-de-lautr-amont-1632973.html

 

The Songs of Maldoror can be ordered from Amazon.co.uk at:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Songs-Maldoror-Solar-Books-Nocturnal/dp/0982046480/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1289177923&sr=1-1


or from Amazon.com at:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Songs-Maldoror-Solar-Books/dp/0982046480

 

 

Details of The Songs of Maldoror and R J Dent’s other books can be found at:

www.rjdent.com



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3 Responses to “The Songs of Maldoror”

  1. Theresa Duncan Says:

    It’s about time there was another translation of this pre-surrealist poetic novel. The Lykiard version and the Knight version are full of stupid mistakes and both suck big time. I hope this one really is the definitive English Maldoror. And it’s got the Dali pictures – fantastic.

  2. Emily Watts Says:

    I’m sorry if I am going to sound naive, but I think Maldoror in its original language is far superior to any of the English versions that exist. So, is this just another pale imitation, or is it really the definitive version the publisher claims?

  3. alex Says:

    Why have we had to wait 40 years for a proper version of this classic? Good job it’s here though…

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