Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Lautréamont, Comte de

Pseudonym – borrowed from a sensational novel by Eugène Sue – of French writer Isidore Ducasse (1846-1870). Born in Montevideo, he was sent to Paris to be educated but died there after three years, having spent his time writing Les chants de Maldoror (1874; trans John Rodker as The Lays of Maldoror 1924 UK), which is perhaps better regarded as an avant-garde novel than a string of prose-poems, and Poésies (1870 as ID), a series of aphorisms adopting a viewpoint sternly contrary to that expressed by the calculatedly scabrous rantings of the Antihero Maldoror. The two works are juxtaposed in Oeuvres complètes (coll 1927; trans Paul Knight as Maldoror and Poems coll 1978 UK). Maldoror's sadism and wild indulgence in nightmarish fantasies established a paradigm for the writers of Decadence. L is the central character of Jeremy Reed's novel Isidore (1991). [BS]

Isidore Ducasse


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.