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Les Chants de Maldoror


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The Songs of Maldoror as translated by Guy Wernham. 

 

This is a long narrative prose poem which celebrates the principle of Evil in an elaborate style and with a passion akin to religious fanaticism (from Amazon). It's broken into 6 Stanzas, long enough to be considered chapters and is absolutely fascinating. Said to have achieved a considerable reputation as one of the earliest and most extraordinary examples of Surrealist writing (Amazon). I can't say because I'm not sufficiently well schooled but I can say that it is stream of consciousness by a narrator called Maldoror and I had absolutely no idea what was going on from beginning to end. Why did I continue to read it?  I was enjoying it.

 

Recommended.

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The name seems to be spelled Maldoror. The book sounds extraordinary. Where did you find the Guy Wernham translation? It dates from 1950, and the cheapest version from Abe Books costs £74. There is a Penguin Classic edition translated by Paul Knight which is much cheaper. I wonder how they compare?

 

Wikipedia says it was written in 1868/9, long before Surrealism, but was rediscovered and taken up by the Surrealists because it fitted in so well with what they were doing.

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30 minutes ago, Heather said:

The name seems to be spelled Maldoror. The book sounds extraordinary. Where did you find the Guy Wernham translation? It dates from 1950, and the cheapest version from Abe Books costs £74. There is a Penguin Classic edition translated by Paul Knight which is much cheaper. I wonder how they compare?

 

Wikipedia says it was written in 1868/9, long before Surrealism, but was rediscovered and taken up by the Surrealists because it fitted in so well with what they were doing.


 

Indeed, well spotted and thank you. The book is extraordinary and I found it not only challenging to read but also to describe. I got it on Amazon, here Les Chants de Maldoror. It would be good to find out how they compare.

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