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Le bestiaire de Lautréamont : classement commenté des animaux

Jean-Pierre LASSALLE

fr Anthropozoologica 42 (1) - Pages 7-18

Published on 29 June 2007

The bestiary of Lautréamont. Classification of animals with commentary

Isidore Ducasse, born in Montevideo in 1846, died in Paris in 1870, is well-known by an epic poem in prose, Les Chants de Maldoror (Paris, 1869) under the pseudonym of Count of Lautréamont, and by two pamphlets in prose, Poésies I and Poésies II (Paris, 1870). The bestiary of Lautréamont is rich, with nearly a hundred and eighty different animals, from large mammals — particularly the elephant and the rhinoceros — as well as sea mammals, down to tiny animals such as rotifers. Among the fish, the shark is the major figure, and among the insects, the louse and the spider are evoked with epic amplification. It is a bestiary of predators, ferocious and malevolent animals, in the image of the hero Maldoror. Little local colour is provided, but an evident moral and symbolic significance is attributed to the animals evoked.

Keywords :

Horror, horrible, ferocity, ferocious, predators, spider, louse, octopus, shark, rhinoceros.