Friday, December 15, 2006

She throws dice on the table of my mind

While in art school, many years ago, I immersed myself in the study of the various and sundry art movements occuring in the early twentieth century, particular among those were dada and the surrealist movement. In was during this course of study that I happened to stumble upon a book, actually more properly called a novella, I would conclude, of rather meager physical proportions called The Story of the Eye which floored me with its relatively straightforward depiction of urges, transgressions, and taboos in a highly dramatized, in fact, quite dreamlike tableau.

Within this story, Bataille captures a delightfully sensual, and erotically disturbing dream. I found a good, brief summary of this good, brief influential novella over at Amazon. I quote:
Only Georges Bataille could write, of an eyeball removed from a corpse, that "the caress of the eye over the skin is so utterly, so extraordinarily gentle, and the sensation is so bizarre that it has something of a rooster's horrible crowing." Bataille has been called a "metaphysician of evil," specializing in blasphemy, profanation, and horror. Story of the Eye, written in 1928, is his best-known work; it is unashamedly surrealistic, both disgusting and fascinating, and packed with seemingly endless violations. It's something of an underground classic, rediscovered by each new generation. Most recently, the Icelandic pop singer Björk Guðdmundsdóttir cites Story of the Eye as a major inspiration: she made a music video that alludes to Bataille's erotic uses of eggs, and she plans to read an excerpt for an album. Warning: Story of the Eye is graphically sexual, and is only for adults who are not easily offended.

I am currently in the process of sorting through what remains of my book collection and began flipping through this book:

Vision of Excess Selected Writings 1927-1939 by George Bataille

What follows, below, is a brief excerpt that caught my attention for no defineable reason. It is from his essay "The Pineal Eye" page 86

see the following sources for more info:
this outline
this brief biography or
this summary of his work

Vision of Excess Selected Writings 1927-1939

" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Like a storm that erupts and, after several minutes of intolerable delay, ravishes in semi-darkness an entire countryside with insane cataracts of water and
blasts of thunder, in the same disturbed and profoundly overwhelming way
(albeit with signs of infinitely more difficult to perceive), existence itself shudders and attains a level where there is nothing more than a hallucinatory void, an odor of death that sticks in the throat.
In reality, when this puerile little vomiting took place, it was not on a mere
carcass that the mouth of the Englishwoman crushed her most burning, her
sweetest kisses, but on the nauseating JESUVE: the bizarre noise of kisses, prolonged on flesh, clattered across the disgusting noise of bowels. But these unheard-of events had set off orgasms, each more suffocating and spasmodic than its predecessor, in the circle of unfortunate observers, all throats were choked by raucous sighs, by impossible cries, and, from all sides, eyes were moist with the brilliant tears of vertigo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The sun vomited like a sick drunk above the mouths full of comic screams,
in the void of an absurd sky . . . And thus an unparalleled heat and stupor
formed an alliance--as excessive as torture: like a severed nose, like a torn-out tongue--and celebrated a wedding (celebrated it with the blade of a razor on pretty, insolent rear ends), the little copulation of the stinking hole with the sun . . ."

Here are some more links to information on George Bataille:

The Sovereign Value of Transgression: A Reading of George Bataille's The Story of the Eye

George Bataille -- Wikipedia entry

My Mother

George Bataille -- short biography and bibliography

And finally, a completely over-the-top, postmodern spew-for-all that I turned up in a search on Bataille, although I am not sure quite in what manner since my eyes rapidly began to glaze over when I attempted to wade through the article at such a late hour of the night.

Nervous Views from Within : Towards an Immersive Intelligence

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