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Comte de Lautréamont

Comte de Lautréamont

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Published by: Abraxaz on Jul 16, 2012
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Comte de Lautréamont
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Comte de Lautréamont
French writer Lautréamont (only known photo)
Born
Isidore Lucien Ducasse4 April 1846
 
Died
24 November 1870 (aged 24)Paris
Occupation
PoetInfluences
 
Influenced
 
French literature
By category
 
Medieval 16th century 
·
 17th century 
 
 19th century 
 
 Contemporary 
 
Writers by category 
 
 Novelists 
·
 
Poets 
·
 Essayists 
 
Short story writers 
 
Portals
France 
·
 Literature 
o
 
v 
o
 
t 
o
 
e 
Comte de Lautréamont
(
French pronunciation:
@
) was the pseudonym of 
Isidore-Lucien Ducasse
(4 April 1846 – 24 November 1870), anUruguayan- born French poet.His only works,
and
 Poésies
, had a major influence on modernliterature, particularly on theSurrealists and theSituationists.He died at the age of 24.
Contents
 
 
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Biography
Youth
Ducasse was born inMontevideo,Uruguay, to François Ducasse, a Frenchconsular   officer, and his wife Jacquette-Célestine Davezac. Very little is known about Isidore'schildhood, except that he was baptized on 16 November 1847 in the cathedral of Montevideo and that his mother died soon afterwards, probably due to an epidemic. In1851, as a five-year-old, he experienced the end of the eight-year siege of Montevideo in theArgentine-Uruguayan war. He was brought up to speak three languages: French, Spanish and English.In October 1859, at the age of thirteen, he was sent to high school in France by hisfather. He was trained in French education and technology at the ImperialLycéeinTarbes.In 1863 he enrolled in the Lycée Louis Barthou inPau, where he attended classes in rhetoric and philosophy (under and uppergreat). He excelled at arithmetic anddrawing and showed extravagance in his thinking and style. Isidore was a reader of Edgar Allan Poeand particularly favoredPercy Bysshe ShelleyandByron,as well as Adam Mickiewicz,Milton,Robert Southey, Alfred de Musset, andBaudelaire.During school he was fascinated byRacineandCorneille, and by the scene of the blinding in Sophocles' 
. According to his schoolmate Paul Lespès, he displayedobvious folly "by self-indulgent use of adjectives and an accumulation of terrible deathimages" in an essay. After graduation he lived in Tarbes, where he started a friendshipwith Georges Dazet, the son of his guardian, and decided to become a writer.
Years in Paris
After a brief stay with his father in Montevideo, Ducasse settled in Paris at the end of 1867. He began studies at theÉcole Polytechnique, only to abandon them one year later.Continuous allowances from his father made it possible for Ducasse to dedicate himself completely to his writing. He lived in the "Intellectual Quarter", in a hotel in the
 Rue Notre-Dame-des-Victoires
, where he worked intensely on the firstcanto of 
 Les Chantsde Maldoror 
. It is possible that he started this work before his passage to Montevideo,and also continued the work during his ocean journey.Ducasse was a frequent visitor to nearby libraries, where he readRomantic literature, as well as scientific works and encyclopaedias. The publisher Léon Genonceaux describedhim as a "large, dark, young man, beardless, mercurial, neat and industrious" andreported that Ducasse wrote "only at night, sitting at his piano, declaiming wildly whilestriking the keys, and hammering out ever new verses to the sounds".In late 1868 Ducasse published—anonymously and at his own expense—the first cantoof 
 Les Chants de Maldoror 
(Chant premier, par ***), a booklet of thirty-two pageswhich is considered by many to be a bold, taboo-defying poem concerning pain andcruelty.

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