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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Louse That Does Not Allow Itself To Be Caressed

Like Raymond Roussel or Maurice Blanchot (who wrote a book about him), Lautréamont is one of those rare authors lucky enough to have no real biography. First he lived in Uruguay, then he came to France, then he died. How disappointing, on some level, even to have a photograph of him. How pleasing too that, even in his twenty-four short years, after the literary apocalypse that is Les chants de Maldoror he had time to take the Pascalian turn of those strangely penitent Poésies. Did he mean it/them? Three quotations from Maldoror to chew on while you decide:

Je suis fils de l'homme et de la femme, d'après ce qu'on m'a dit. Ça m'étonne... Je croyais être davantage.

J'ai reçu la vie comme une blessure et j'ai défendu au suicide de guérir la cicatrice.

L'éléphant se laisse caresser. Le pou, non.

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