Saturday, May 30, 2015

142. Maldoror

Maldoror
Comte de Lautreamont
1868
Around 300 pages












"It would not be well that all men should read the pages that are to follow; a few only may savor their bitter fruit without danger.  So, timid soul, before penetrating further into such uncharted lands, set your feet the other way."  If a novel sucks, but it tells you ahead of time that it is going to suck, can you even blame the author?  Probably not.  But let's go ahead and do it anyway.

There really isn't a plot to outline here.  The book is divided into six cantos and describes disgusting/horrifying scenes that sometimes involve the evil Maldoror.  Highlights include a man being skinned alive, an eagle ripping out the heart of a dragon, and a graphic rape/murder scene.  Much of the novel felt like it was written by a little boy, determined to do whatever it took to gross out the little girl next to him.  This simply elicited many eye rolls from me, but it horrified my parents when I read a passage out loud to them.  Granted, the paragraph I read had the term "vagina of darkness" in it.

But despite being disgusting and rather mundane in its own way, I found myself rereading a couple of sentences that were just pure poetry.  Still, not worth the read.

Lautreamont says, "Do not be hard on one who has but tried out his lyre.  It gives forth so strange a sound."  Love the line, hate the author.  Is that too harsh?

RATING: *----

Interesting Facts:

Salvador Dali illustrated one edition of the book.

UP NEXT: Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope.  Why does The List keep forcing me to read random books in a series??  Obviously if I am obsessive enough to follow this list in the first place I am going to have a problem going out of order.


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