Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Story of the Eye (excerpts) - Georges Bataille

1.
"We soon found our bicycles and could offer one another the irritating and theoretically unclean sight of a naked though shod body on a machine. We pedaled rapidly, without laughing or speaking, peculiarly satisfied with our mutual presence, akon to one another in the common isolation of lewdness, weariness, and absurdity.

Yet we were both literally perishing of fatigue. In the middle of a slope, Simone halted, saying she had the shivers. Our faces, backs, and legs were bathed in sweat, and we vainly ran our hands over one another, over the various parts of our soaked and burning bodies; despite a more and more vigorous massage, she was all trembling flesh and chattering teeth. I stripped off one of her stockings to wipe her body, which gave out a hot odor recalling the beds of sickness or of debauchery. Little by little, however, dhe came around to a more bearable state, and finally she offered me her lips as a token of gratitude."

2.
"I will merely report here that Marcelle hanged herself after a dreadful incident. She recognized the huge bridal wardrobe, and her teeth started chattering: she instantly realized upon looking at me that I was the man she called the Cardinal, and when she began shrieking, there was no other way for me to stop that desperate howling than to leave the room. By the time Simone and I returned she was hanging inside the wardrobe…"

3.
"She was on tenterhooks from start to finish at the bullfight, in terror (which of course mainly expressed a violent desire) at the thought of seeing the toreador hurled up by one of the monstrous lunges of the horns when the bull made its endless, blindly raging dashes at the void of colored cloths. And there is something else I ought to say: when the bull makes its quick, brutal, thrusts over and over again into the matador's cape, barely grazing the erect line of the body, any spectator has that feeling of total and repeated lunging typical of the game of coitus. The utter nearness of death is also felt in the same way. But these series of prodigious passes are rare. Thus, each time they occur, they unleash a veritable delirium in the arena, and it is well known that at such thrilling instants the women come by merely rubbing their thighs together."

4.
"Sir Edmund was always poker-faced except when he turned purple. Nor did he bat an eyelash now; but the blood did shoot to his face. He removed a pair of fine scissors from his wallet, knelt down, then nimbly inserted the fingers of his left hand into the socket and drew out the eye, while his right hand snipped the obstinate ligaments. Next, he presented the small whitish eyeball in a hand reddened with blood. Simone gazed at the absurdity and finally took it in her hand, completely distraught; yet she had no qualms, and instantly amused herself by fondling the depth of her thighs and inserting this apparently fluid object. 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."

5.
"For an instant, the eye was trapped between our navels."

6.
"I never linger over such memories, for they have long since lost any emotional significance for me. There was no way I could restore them to life except by transforming them and making them unrecognizable, at first glance, to my eyes, solely because during that deformation they acquired the lewdest of meanings."

7.
"To be God, naked, solar, in the rainy night, on a field: red, divinely, manuring with the majesty of a tempest, the face grimacing, torn apart, being IMPOSSIBLE in tears: who knew, before me, what majesty is?"

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