Regarding the Demise Of the Entire Race Of Men

The antinatalism of Les Chants de Maldoror

GONGENHUM

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Picture taken by the author from his copy of The Dirges of Maldoror — An illustrated English translation by Gavin L. O’Keefe of Les Chants de Maldoror by Isidore Ducasse [Le Comte de Lautréamont]

Comte de Lautréamont, the nom de plume of Isidore Lucien Ducasse, the author of Maldoror, died in 1870 at 24. But the vile and violent beast he created left a distinctive mark in the realm of un- and anti-human literature, which inspired generations of writers of the occult, the macabre, and the Gothic. The souls trembled by reading Milton’s Satan are going to need higher patience for the ungodly to be able to digest the horror that takes place in one of the 19th century’s short but exquisitely-written transgressive and absurdist sets of stanzas.

But reading Les Chants de Maldoror is nowhere near straightforward as you are deliberately trapped inside the mind of an unreliable narrator that changes from I to He, from writer to the reader, and shifts from poetry to prose to serve the purpose he sees fit: your negation.

It is not easy to bring about the death of the entire race of men, and the law is there; but one may, with patience, exterminate the human ants one by one.

To help us with the ultimate dark and twisted riddle, I found a blog post by The Lectern (titled ‘Les Chants de Maldoror’

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GONGENHUM

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