By Pierre Lou˙s. Introduction and translation by Geoffrey Longnecker. Illustrations by Toyen.
By turns amusing and offensive, Pierre Lou˙s’ Pybrac is possibly the filthiest collection of poetry ever published, and offers a taste of what the Marquis de Sade might have produced if he had ever turned his hand to verse. First published posthumously in 1927, Pybrac was, with The Young Girl’s Handbook of Good Manners, one of the first of Lou˙s’ secret erotic manuscripts to see clandestine publication. Composed of 313 rhymed alexandrine quatrains, the majority of them starting with the phrase "I do not like to see…," Pybrac is in form a mockery of sixteenth-century chancellor poet Guy Du Faur, Seigneur de Pibrac, whose moralizing quatrains were common literary fare for young French readers until the nineteenth century. Lou˙s spent his life coming up with his own ever-growing collection of rhymed moral precepts (suitable only for adult readers): a dizzying litany describing everything he "disliked" witnessing, from lesbianism, sodomy, incest and prostitution to perversions extreme enough to give even a modern reader pause. With the rest of his erotic manuscripts, the original collection of over 2,000 quatrains was auctioned off and scattered throughout private collections; but like everything erotic, what remains, collected here, conveys an impression of unending absurdity and near-hypnotic obsession.