The age has been far more reluctant to concede the genius of Isadore Ducasse (" Comte de Lautreamont ", 1850-1870), than is the case, perhaps, of any other of the extraordinary personalities of the past century. His writings, speciously damned as the maunderings of a madman, were regarded up to very recently as having little interest, save for the alienist. Spurned thus by the French, there would have been little enough opportunity for that considerable part of the world which reads English to judge of his case, were it not for the enterprise of Mr. Rodker in translating Les Chants de Maldoror.
Exordium to ducasse
The lay of Maldoror
May it please Heaven that the reader, emboldened and become temporarily ferocious like what he is reading, will find his sudden and savage way across the lonely marshes of these sombre and poisoned filled pages without losing himself ; for unless he bring to his reading a rigorous logic and tension of spirit equal at least to his suspicion, the mortal emanation of this book will soak his soul as water does sugar. It is not a good thing for all the world to read the pages which are about to follow ; a few only will, without danger, taste this bitter fruit.
Light, light, Airy and bulbous. Fringes... buttermilk... St. Gotthard tunnel. Ha ha: I have you now. Move and I shoot.
French letters and the war
The war had so profoundly disturbed our personal habits, that as long as it lasted we expected to see it produce similar revolutions in every branch of thought. We were particularly concerned as to the transformations that the war might effect in art and literature. In the spring on 1918, the Grande Revue instituted an inquiry into this question, to which a large number of writers, especially foreigners, responded frankly.
Of a day
I lower my pen to write. Some tall tree far off in clearest day might show My breath's precision. I stand silently For here there are no trees.
At 125 bld Saint Germain
Half-past eleven sounded from a nearby church clock. A few taxis passed by nonchalantly and not all of the dromedaries had gone to sleep. From a distance could be seen the President of the Republic dressed in a diving apparatus accompanied by the King of Greece, who seemed so young that you could scarcely restrain yourself from teaching him the alphabet. A young harlot pursued them, offering her favors. Gloves rained down upon them from all sides, borne by the shrewd November gusts.
It was but Sunday : sitting and walking and talking it is all the same. We were all waiting for a lady. The sun the wind the rain were sitting and walking and talking.
I should like to come upon some of the girls from " Tangerine " doing their stunt naked in their hair on Brighton Beach
Les noces de Clyte
While it was light, he was attended by a virgin crisp as green lettuce. Her kisses left rings of coolness on his cheeks.