Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Mother/Madame Edwarda/The Dead Man” as Want to Read:
My Mother/Madame Edwarda/The Dead Man
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

My Mother/Madame Edwarda/The Dead Man

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  636 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
My Mother is a unique bildungsroman of a young man's sexual initiation and corruption by his mother.?Publishers Weekly

My Mother, Madame Edwarda and The Dead Man comprises three short pieces of erotic prose that fuse elements of sex and spirituality in a highly personal vision of the flesh. They present a world of sensation in which only the vaulting demands of disruptive e
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd (first published January 1st 1977)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about My Mother/Madame Edwarda/The Dead Man, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about My Mother/Madame Edwarda/The Dead Man

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,382)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 31, 2015 Mariel rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: I'm a lovely sight
Recommended to Mariel by: A sinister, a nasty sight
In this lifeless world what else was there for me to do but forget the searing light whose glare had blinded me when I had felt my mother in my arms? But I already knew that it was not going to be forgotten, ever.
- 'My Mother'

Degradation gave birth to him and can take it back. Grunting copulation, squealing pigs meat house. Everybody cries when baby is born. His mother gets further away as the father is further away. Death is over or the sweaty affairs. Don't walk away when I am oozing pain lik
May 23, 2008 Tosh rated it it was amazing
I am a big fan of Georges Bataille's fiction. He borders on the creepy of course, but its his intelligence that is seductive. I wish he was alive now. He's someone I would like to meet and have a cup of coffee with. Would he drink coffee? Yukio Mishima wrote the introduction to this book which is worth the price of the volume.
Re-reading this in its entirety, perhaps for the first time since I got it in August of 2004? I've re-read Madame Edwarda and The Dead Man--and at some point last year I re-read the Ken Hollings essay, but I don't think I'd read My Mother or Mishima's essay since then.


For all its acclaim, this might be the singular example of Bataille's fiction that, in a way, feels bloated to me. Surely an odd thing to say as it only barely breaks 100 pages in the Marion Boyars typesetting, but
Mar 05, 2013 Emm rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: erotica
Bataille is great. The Dead Man was my favorite in this collection (and it's format on the page is fantastic!) but I think I prefer reading Batailles theoretical works to his fiction--their just so much more sumptuously beautiful.
Chris Hearn
Feb 25, 2011 Chris Hearn rated it really liked it
Despite what Mishima might have you believe in the preface, 'My Mother' is the key work here. Highly recommended for a good read to fans of Genet, H Miller, Nin, Breton, Proust, Cendrars (actually pretty much everyone born or relocated to France in the first half of the 20th century), and (obviously) quite interesting to folks with an interest in phil/psych/gender studies etc through the lens of Sade, Freud, Foucault, etc. I enjoyed this more deeply than Story of the Eye, it has greater characte ...more
Jul 22, 2007 Jason rated it really liked it
"Ma Mere" is the gem here. One of the great French novellas.
Dec 18, 2015 Sean rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015

My Mother was the highlight here for me, although the other two pieces were close behind. The critical essays were also helpful in providing context, as this was my first Bataille and I had only a vague impression of his preoccupations beforehand. I think I will read deeper into his catalog before forming a definite opinion on him, though. When it comes to eroticism in fiction I tend to prefer a 'less is more' approach, where the action remains an implicit blur for the reader to wonder about and
Oct 01, 2009 Dan rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Bataille is an analyst of the erotic, and in these narratives he explores and exploits the transformative and sometimes destructive power of sex. While his association of violence with eroticism may remind some of the Marquis de Sade, one significant difference between the two writers is that Bataille does not focus as much as de Sade does on representing the details of the sexual act itself; rather, Bataille emphasizes the moral and cultural context in which the sexual act occurs. Moreover, in ...more
Alex Sarll
Bataille was engaged in the sort of terribly *serious* project which seems to come so much more easily to the French, an attempt to sacralise sex - but not in any jolly sense, rather to turn it into the sort of dark, dangerous and unknowable god you find in the work of Lovecraft. Part of me wonders whether the one is the Catholic counterpart to the Puritan-descended other - just as Lovecraft describes squid-like creatures in a way that leaves one fairly confident he has issues with vaginas, so o ...more
Stephen Durrant
Sep 06, 2008 Stephen Durrant rated it liked it
Georges Bataille was a highly controversial French writer, and the first of these novelettes, "My Mother," reads fairly easily in the original French ("Ma Mere"). Like all of his work, this is slim book is deeply disturbing. A mother sets out to corrupt her young son. She wants to disabuse him of the notion that she is virtuous and that his now deceased father is the cause of the family's unhappiness. She demands that he love her not as a naive imagination but in all her drunken and sexually pro ...more
May 05, 2014 Nikki rated it liked it
2/5 Madame Edwarda, 3/5 The Dead Man
Joel Alexander
Aug 07, 2013 Joel Alexander rated it really liked it
My Mother was the gem. Not sure i was able to fully grasp the depth of the other stories. Regardless, Bataille is an inspiring genius that violently and passionately takes on the erotic and grotesque.
Jun 26, 2008 Valerie rated it really liked it
Fabulously perverted. Devastating, crawling skin-inducing, and soul crushing. Everything I look for in a good read.
Jonathan Lee B.
Dec 26, 2012 Jonathan Lee B. rated it really liked it
My Mother/Madame Edwarda/The Dead Man is a secret handshake you share with your 1-3 friend(s) who have also read it.
Jun 13, 2011 Ixxa rated it liked it
Recommended to Ixxa by: Joaquín Hurtado
Lo estoy leyendo para mi taller "Pensar en lo marginal" de Joaquín Hurtado.
Jason Anthony
Mar 02, 2015 Jason Anthony rated it it was amazing
I would give this 10 stars if I could. My Mother sticks out the most.
Jason Napoli
Mar 07, 2009 Jason Napoli rated it it was amazing
The Dead Man and Madame Edwarda are life-changing pieces of writing.
Aug 20, 2013 D-Man rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Mother

Madame Edwarda

The Dead Man
Sep 10, 2015 A rated it really liked it
It will never leave my head.
Tara Newton
May 07, 2013 Tara Newton rated it really liked it
hypnotic erotic frolic
Mar 03, 2015 Stine rated it liked it
Kelvin marked it as to-read
Feb 08, 2016
Karen marked it as to-read
Feb 07, 2016
Marcus marked it as to-read
Feb 06, 2016
Maria rated it liked it
Feb 04, 2016
Loren Spahiu
Loren Spahiu marked it as to-read
Feb 02, 2016
Elena marked it as to-read
Feb 02, 2016
Kathleen Suileabháin
Kathleen Suileabháin marked it as to-read
Feb 01, 2016
Alex Ander
Alex Ander marked it as to-read
Jan 31, 2016
Steve rated it really liked it
Jan 31, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 46 47 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The She-Devils
  • The Baphomet
  • The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism
  • Juliette
  • The Autobiography of a Flea
  • La Bâtarde
  • Miracle of the Rose
  • Try
  • Les Onze Milles Verges
  • Masochism: Coldness and Cruelty & Venus in Furs
  • Ultra-Gash Inferno
  • Là-Bas (Down There)
  • Eden, Eden, Eden
  • The Malady of Death
  • The Torture Garden
  • The Book of Monelle
  • Corydon
  • The Voyeur
French essayist, philosophical theorist and novelist, often called the "metaphysician of evil." Bataille was interested in sex, death, degradation, and the power and potential of the obscene. He rejected traditional literature and considered that the ultimate aim of all intellectual, artistic, or religious activity should be the annihilation of the rational individual in a violent, transcendental ...more
More about Georges Bataille...

Share This Book

“You perhaps now know that desire reduces us to pulp.” 17 likes
“I enjoyed the innocence of unhappiness and of helplessness; could I blame myself for a sin which attracted me, which flooded me with pleasure precisely to the extent it brought me to despair?” 17 likes
More quotes…