Disfigured by syphilis and addicted to opium in an effort to make his life bearable, Rabbe is today remembered for his Album d’un pessimiste in which he writes of the pointlessness of existence. It was published posthumously in 1835. He is also thought to have penned a novel, La Sœur grise, but the manuscript has not survived. Despite his almost complete detachment from society, he was friends with some of the most important literary figures of his day including Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, père, and Benjamin Constant. He died in 1829 from an overdose of laudanum. Though little known today, he inspired like-minded writers such as Baudelaire and Cioran.