The poet Isidore-Lucien Ducasse, better known under his pseudonym of the “Comte de Lautréamont,” was born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1846, and died in Paris in 1870, during the siege of the city in the Franco-Prussian war. Heavily influenced by Poe, Baudelaire, and Romantic poets like Shelly and Byron, Ducasse/Lautréamont produced only two collections of poetry, Les chants de Maldoror and Poesies. Maldoror in particular would fascinate the Surrealists, who rediscovered his work during the First World War.
To the Surrealists, the prose poetry of Lautréamont, Baudelaire, and Rimbaud stood as a pioneering effort in the struggle to juxtapose unrelated imagery and scenes, which was a central project for both Surrealism and collage. In particular, one line by Lautréamont inspired Surrealist painters and poets:
“…beautiful as the chance meeting on a dissecting-table of a sewing-machine and an umbrella.”
This verbal image-collage and its reference to chance are typical of the dislocated imagery in Maldoror; the visual work of Magritte, Max Ernst, and other Surrealists seems to reflect this aesthetic of image juxtaposition and dislocation.
(For more information about the Comte de Lautréamont, please click on his photograph, above, or visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comte_de_Lautréamont )
All artwork, descriptions, & other text (except for quotations) created & copyright © by Eric Edelman. All rights reserved.