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Isidore is a novel about Lautréamont by Jeremy Reed. Isidore is a brilliant fictional re-creation of the life of Isidore Ducasse, the self-styled Comte de Lautréamont. It was Lautréamont’s infamous book Les Chants de Maldoror (The Songs of Maldoror) which detonated nineteenth-century consciousness and, together with Rimbaud's Les Illuminations and Une saison en enfer, prepared the way for the stream-of-consciousness novel which came into its own in the present century.
Isidore Ducasse was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. He went to Paris in 1867. There he wrote his most famous work, Les Chants de Maldoror (The Songs of Maldoror), a long prose poem characterized by despair, violence and savagery. It is hardly surprising perhaps that this enigmatic, desperate writer died in mysterious circumstances at the age of twenty-three, at the time of the Siege of Paris. He had destroyed all his personal papers, all clues to his life. Since then he has remained the subject of speculative but almost non-existent biography.
With Isidore, Jeremy Reed has written a novel with a poetic imagination that takes the reader on a journey through the extraordinary. Isidore will appeal to all who value the unconscious as a source of the marvellous.
'Superb — Jeremy Reed convincingly becomes Isidore Ducasse in this brilliant and exotic re-creation of the world of The Songs of Maldoror... this extraordinary and poetic text. Enthralling and entertaining from first to last' — J.G. Ballard
About Jeremy Reed:
Jeremy Reed is a Jersey-born writer, poet and prose stylist. Reed has published over sixty major works in twenty-five years. He has written more than three dozen books of poetry, fourteen novels, two autobiographies, and several volumes of literary and music criticism. He has also published translations of Montale, Genet, Cocteau, Nasrallah, Adonis, Bogary and Hölderlin. His work has been translated abroad in numerous editions and into more than a dozen languages.
He has received awards from the National Poetry, Somerset Maugham, Eric Gregory, Ingram Merrill, and Royal Literary Funds. He has also won the Poetry Society's European Translation Prize.
Reed began publishing poems in magazines and small publications in the 1970s.
His influences include Arthur Rimbaud, Antonin Artaud, Jean Genet, J.G. Ballard, Stephen Barber, David Bowie and Iain Sinclair. Reed has a long history of publication with both Creation Books and Peter Owen.
He has collaborated with the musician Itchy Ear. They perform live under the name The Ginger Light.
Jeremy Reed’s website is www.jeremyreed.com
Praise for Jeremy Reed:
'Enthusiastic... entertaining and often illuminating' — Peter Ackroyd
'Reed proclaims his poet's calling through fine writing and lush imagery' — Independent on Sunday
'Reed's poetry... is full of rich and careful writing, dense with pleasure in words that pleasure the world and waken us to its lovely surprises' — Seamus Heaney
‘Jeremy Reed is a legend. What more can you fucking ask?’ – Pete Doherty
‘Jeremy Reed’s talent is almost extraterrestrial in its brilliance. He is Rimbaud reconfigured as the Man who fell to Earth, a visitor from deep space whose time machine was designed by Lautréamont and de Sade, and powered by the most exotic fuels the imagination has ever devised’ – J.G. Ballard
‘Its detail and ambition alone confirms Reed’s place as a great lyric poet’ – Michael Bracewell
‘The most beautiful, outrageously brilliant poetry in the world’ – Bjork
‘When Patti Smith meets Rimbaud at Graceland, the result is Jeremy Reed’s Heartbreak Hotel’ – Edmund White
‘Jeremy Reed is the real definition of British poetry now and deserves to be worshipped himself’ – Richard Hell
‘One of the most original virtuoso voices to be heard in the poetry of our time’ – Lawrence Ferlinghetti
‘The man is light worlds apart from his contemporaries in poetry’ – Andrew Loog Oldham