Category Archives: Maldoror

MALDOROR 6:8 AND 6:9

Balladeer’s Blog resumes its examination of the macabre 1868 French language work The Songs of Maldoror. This is the NEXT TO LAST installment.

CANTO SIX: STANZA EIGHT

"Maldoror and His Smile" by Lord Orlando

“Maldoror and His Smile” by Lord Orlando

God has sent down an Archangel from Heaven to try to protect sixteen year old Mervyn from Maldoror’s sinister designs on him. The Archangel has assumed the form of a hermit crab in order to sneak into France unobserved by Maldoror. However, our supernatural main character has sensed the Archangel’s arrival anyway and stands along the shore where the being is trying to pass itself off as a mere hermit crab.

With a club in hand instead of one of his usual knives Maldoror watches the disguised Archangel pause on a reef before heading to shore. The figure sent from Heaven is fearful regarding its impending confrontation with Maldoror, whom the Angelic Armies concede to be a greater threat than Satan himself. For his part our vile protagonist observes that the Archangel is not very comfortable in the terrestrial sphere and plans to make quick work of him, planning to thus provoke God into engaging him in personal combat once again.   

The Archangel realizes it has been spotted and transforms from a crab into its full angelic form: Mario, the one-time Angel of the Sea who was in love with Maldoror. Way back in The Mysterious Riders this relationship was dealt with but Maldoror never revealed what happened to Mario, he simply vanished from the narrative. Now we learn why – Mario repented and returned to God, which must have been a particularly potent blow to Maldoror, which is why his ego would not permit him to recount that part of the tale. Now elevated to Archangel status Mario announces that God has given him a portion of his own power to make up for his inexperience in his new incarnation and to help him subdue our narrator.  Continue reading

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MALDOROR 6:6 AND 6:7

Balladeer’s Blog resumes its examination of the macabre 1868 French language work The Songs of Maldoror.

CANTO SIX: STANZA SIX

Maldoror 6 6Maldoror is in his lair in Paris, observing himself in a mirror. He recalls how he used to have a third eye in the center of his forehead but ages ago a female cat pounced on him and chewed it out. This was done as revenge on Maldoror for the way he boiled the cat’s litter of kittens to death in a pot full of alcohol. (What kind of wine goes with cat meat?)

Maldoror then ponders the rest of his heavily scarred face and body, reflecting on the damage he and God have inflicted on each other in their long war against each other. In his usual insane way the supernatural being considers himself as “beautiful” as congenital birth defects are beautiful; as “beautiful” as genitals ravaged by venereal disease. Continue reading

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MALDOROR 6:4 AND 6:5

Balladeer’s Blog resumes its examination of the macabre 1868 French language work The Songs of Maldoror.

CANTO SIX: STANZA FOUR

Maldoror and Mervyn, drawn by Monsieur Le Six.

Maldoror and Mervyn, drawn by Monsieur Le Six.

I’ve decided the Stanzas of this final Canto don’t merit individual titles. Too little happens in each as the story of Maldoror preying on the 16 year old youth named Mervyn proceeds incrementally.

The previous episode ended with Maldoror tracking Mervyn to his home on the Rue Lafayette. The young man now flees inside, fearful of the unknown presence he felt following him through the gaslit streets of Paris (left deserted after dark by Maldoror’s ongoing reign of terror). Continue reading

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MALDOROR 6:2 AND 6:3

Balladeer’s Blog resumes its examination of the macabre 1868 French language work The Songs of Maldoror.

CANTO SIX: STANZA TWO

Did I mention that I think Death-Stalker would make a good Maldoror?

Did I mention that I think Death-Stalker would make a good Maldoror?

This 6th and final Canto of The Songs of Maldoror is entirely different from all the previous Cantos. Instead of being self-contained episodes that jump around to different periods in the long life of the supernatural main character these closing Stanzas form an extended narrative set entirely in late 1860s Paris.

The story details Maldoror’s efforts to seduce a 16 year old youth named Mervyn into abandoning his family and becoming his latest lover and traveling companion as well as the attempts by Mervyn’s family and the forces of God to save the young man. This sudden change of approach as well as the author Isidore Ducasse’s obsession with precise movements through the streets of Paris in this section has spawned a conspiracy theory of sorts among some circles of Maldoror readers.

For those readers Ducasse is using Maldoror as a fictional stand-in for himself as he relates a real-life seduction and murder of a young man at his own hands. In the eyes of those readers these final Stanzas even include coded directions to the location in Paris where Ducasse supposedly hid the body.  Continue reading

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MALDOROR 6:1 – THE FUTURE STRINGS OF FICTION

Balladeer’s Blog resumes its examination of the macabre 1868 French language work The Songs of Maldoror.  

THE FUTURE STRINGS OF FICTION

Isidore Ducasse

Isidore Ducasse

We are beginning the 6th and final Canto of The Songs of Maldoror. This 1st Stanza is an address  to the reader from the author Isidore Ducasse. The self-titled Count de Lautreamont grandly warns the reader not to think that his attacks on humanity, God and even himself were the height of his plans. He boasts that the worst is yet to come in this final Canto. Continue reading

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MALDOROR 5:7 – BLACK TARANTULA

Balladeer’s Blog resumes its examination of the macabre 1868 French language work The Songs of Maldoror

BLACK TARANTULA

Maldoror 5 7 tarantulaWe are now on the 5th Canto, 7th Stanza of The Songs of Maldoror. The supernatural villain Maldoror gets more of what he deserves this time around. If you enjoyed his suffering in Four Centuries on a Shapeless Throne then you’ll like this Stanza, too. 

Maldoror tells us that every night for the past 10 years a macabre torment has been inflicted on him. In the small hours of the morning he lies in bed and feels himself paralyzed while an enormous black tarantula emerges from a hole in the wall of whatever room he happens to find himself in. 

He helplessly watches as the monstrous figure crawls over to his bed, then up on it until he is pinned beneath its massive, man-sized body. The huge black tarantula then proceeds to suck the purplish blood from his throat. Continue reading

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MALDOROR 5:6 – FUNERAL FOR THE LIVING

Balladeer’s Blog resumes its examination of the macabre 1868 French language work The Songs of Maldoror.

FUNERAL FOR THE LIVING

Maldoror 5 6 graveyardMaldoror is enjoying another visit through a random graveyard and, being the malevolent creature that he is, finds himself amused by the funeral procession for a 10 year old child. The priest performing the service enters first, holding a white flag in one hand and in the other a flag that bears a golden cross.

Maldoror sardonically describes the cross as “a symbol of the interaction of male and female sex organs.” Behind the priest comes the horse-drawn hearse followed by the chief mourner and behind him come the family and friends of the deceased. Our narrator pretends that the crickets and frogs that cling to the fringes of the funeral procession are also mourning the delicate little child in the coffin.     Continue reading

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