Balladeer’s Blog resumes its examination of the macabre 1868 French language work The Songs of Maldoror.
THE LASH OF LIGHTNING ACROSS MY BROW
We now move on to the 2nd Canto of The Songs of Maldoror. For the benefit of newcomers I’ll point out that prose translations of this work are plentiful for those who don’t like poetry. I’m continuing my practice of assigning unofficial titles to each part simply to make cross-referencing easier since otherwise we have just the numbers to go by.
The first part of the 2nd Canto (or Maldoror 2:1) is simply an address to the reader from the author Isidore Ducasse, the self-designated Count de Lautreamont. I’ll pick up with the second part of the 2nd Canto, or Maldoror 2:2.
The supernatural being Maldoror opens this part by recounting how God tried to prevent him from continuing with his bizarre, blasphemous writings. At first the deity attempted to paralyze our vile protagonist’s hands whenever he would try to put pen to paper. Maldoror overcame those efforts so God tries a more direct approach and unleashes a thunderstorm on our main character’s home.
A bolt of lightning blasts through one of Maldoror’s windows and knocks him to the floor, gouging a deep scar into his brow and adding to the many scars that already disfigure him. Typical of Maldoror’s lies upon lies he now gives us yet ANOTHER explanation for how he supposedly got his original scars. Previously he told readers that he inflicted them on himself with a knife. Then he claimed God inflicted them on him in battle. Now he tells us that he was born with all of his disfigurements except for this most recent one from the lash of lightning.
This scar is so deep that our narrator tells us it has cut all the way to the back of his head. While his body swiftly heals itself to the degree that it can (though we’re told this new scar is as permanent as the others) Maldoror orders his dog Sultan to lap up the massive amounts of blood that have poured on to the floor from his wound. He also screams his defiance to God, chastising him for persecuting him and reminding God how much he hates him.
Eventually he stops Sultan from lapping up any more of the spilled blood and orders a servant to mop up what is left. Maldoror resumes writing, pointing out that God has accomplished nothing with this childish attempt to stop him.
I WILL RESUME THIS LOOK AT THE SONGS OF MALDOROR SOON. CHECK BACK ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK FOR NEW INSTALLMENTS.
FOR PART ONE CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2015/02/28/maldoror-a-neglected-masterpiece-of-surreal-horror/
FOR OTHER PARTS OF MALDOROR CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/category/maldoror/
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