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Blue of Noon (Modern Classics)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  1,069 ratings  ·  62 reviews

Set against the backdrop of Europe's slide into Fascism, this twentieth-century erotic classic takes the reader on a dark journey through the psyche of the pre-war French intelligentsia, torn between identification with the victims of history and the glamour of its victors. One of Bataille's overtly political works, it explores the ambiguity of sex as a subversive force, b

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Published (first published 1957)
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Dhanaraj Rajan
May be three and half stars.

The rating here is very subjective. If, for instance, a person with the sufficient knowledge of the pre-war Europe along with its political turmoils and its popular philosophical ideologies, might end up liking it much better. And he/she might rate it highly.

Of course, I too did some extra reading. Searched for some of the definitions and features of Fascism, Spanish Civil War, the assassination of Dollfuss, etc. The reason for the extra reading: The novel is situated
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Lily
I've read this book three weeks ago in scarce hours, but its female characters still haunt my mind - Lazare, Dirty. The book strongly reminded me of all the fiction I have read by Henry Miller, but it is far more elegant. The text is definetely kindred, my-poetry-like with this natural and bright promiscuity. Book includes several descriptions of somebody's or author's dreams. Intimate and not at all political, there's nothing radical in this book but its historical context barely dimly seen. Ac ...more
Vit Babenco
Unlike Story of the Eye there isn’t abundance of sexual symbols in Blue of Noon but there is a profusion of existential symbols instead. All that nausea and sickness and squalor of living so cherished by Jean-Paul Sartre are already in this novelette. And the main hero’s obsession with necrophilia symbolizes an abhorrence of the pending stream of death.
“In front of them, their leader – a degenerately skinny kid with the sulky face of a fish – kept time with a long drum major's stick. He held th
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Matthieu
Histoire de l'oeil was quite a bit better; this one dragged on a bit. The last 35 pages or so, however, were sublime. Poor Xenie.
Tim Pendry
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jesse
Went searching for a Bataille novel at my local library and this was the only one currently available; in retrospect, it probably wasn't a great place to start. The style and structure is fascinating--poetic, elliptical, potent, sometimes (often?) disturbing--but I could never muster up much interest in the subject matter, which is less about sexual politics (as Bataille is famous for) and more about the perils of fascism (though this often extends to sex in Bataille's vision). I've not given up ...more
Pierre E. Loignon
Bataille, c'est l'obsession de l'érotisme et de la transgression dans un horizon de médiocrité, de petitesse et d'aigreur.
Comme il l'écrivait dans l'avant-propos à L'expérience intérieure:

«N'importe qui, sournoisement, voulant éviter de souffrir se confond avec le tout de l'univers, juge de chaque chose comme s'il l'était, de la même façon qu'il imagine au fond, ne jamais mourir. Ces illusions nuageuses, nous les recevons avec la vie comme un narcotique nécessaire à la supporter. Mais qu'en es
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Tait
Compared to his "The Story of the Eye," Bataille's later work is a much more maturely fleshed out story, if not as directly shocking. There is only one actual sex scene, and that near the end of the book, but much more physical sicknesses and subtle perversions relating to control. As this story hinges around the advent of the First World War Bataille's relentless metaphors all describe war-like imagery and relationships of violence and power. I am particularly fond of Sartre's description of th ...more
Danae
Mi respeto intelectual a Georges Bataille no tiene límites después de haber leído El Erotismo, probablemente la obra que me impulsó a interesarme por la teoría crítica y la filosofía.
Pero este libro me pareció muy malo, insoportable en la repetidísima y heteropatriarcal idea del hombre borracho pero profundo, misógino pero con mujeres que están dispuestas a enredarse en humillantes relaciones con él ¿Vinculación con el trabajo teórico de Bataille? Escasa. Los mismos usuarios que comentan El Azu
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Tosh
The nature of hot sex and fascism via the eyes of the one and only Georges Bataille. Now here's a man who knew how to have a good time. One cannot seperate the politics from the sex. Is lust an individual desire or part of the whole picture?
Ian
Brief, but scarringly debauched reminiscences of a man and his self-destructive relationships with three women (ugly Lazare, submissive Xenia and perverted Dirty) set against the rise of Nazism and the Catalan riots in 1935. Abusive, drunken, dilettante Communism, self-harm and perverse (with even a touch of necrophilia thrown in), this is not for the faint hearted, but it is powerful, nihilistic fare and despite the gruesomeness of it all, I wanted to go straight back to read parts of it again, ...more
Amerynth
While I didn't actually hate Georges Bataille's "Blue of Noon," I really didn't get it either. This supposed to be a novel that used eroticism to show how sex, violence and power is intertwined and that message really never came together for me.

The narrator is Henri Troppmann, who lives life to excess when it comes to alcohol and the debauched women who flit in and out of this life. Each woman is also on the decline for her own reasons. Henri is terrified of death and the novel is set against a
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Kasia
Death, sex and despair - that's what Bataille deals in, and Blue of Noon is no exception. The narrative follows Troppman, a deviant drunk who struggles to decide whether or not he should lead a productive, respectable life, or embrace decadence in all its depraved ugliness. Not that he suppresses much of his twisted desires to start with; right from the beginning there are the consciousness altering substances, the prostitutes, the violence. Troppman enjoys his savage lack of inhibitions and enj ...more
Vittorio Ducoli
L'azzurro del cielo si scorge solo nelle ultime pagine (ma è molto simile al nero della notte)

L'azzurro del cielo è una cupa storia d'amore che si svolge nel 1934 tra Vienna, Parigi, Barcellona e la Germania. In quell'Europa scossa dai presagi della catastrofe Henry e Dirty si amano e vivono in prima persona l'atmosfera che segue l'assassinio di Dollfuss, i prodromi della guerra civile spagnola, l'ascesa al potere assoluto del nazismo. Tuttavia il libro, almeno nella prima parte, non decolla, e
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Jonathan Norton
"Personally, I could no longer tell whether I was supposed to feel anxious or start laughing." That pretty much sums up my feelings about what I read of Bataille over the years, though boredom occurs more often than anxiety. A writer more interesting as a reference point for other interesting artists (Francis Bacon, for example) than as a thing in himself. In this short work, Henri Tropmann and his crew of equally joyless alcoholic burn-outs crash around mid-30s Europe, blearily perceiving the g ...more
Lisa
My friend told me about all the attention she got from older men while reading Bataille on the Paris Subway. I wonder if it will provoke the same kind of reaction in NY?

No one seemed to notice the book, despite it's erotic cover (not the same you see on the picture here). I am probably lucky they didn't.

I picked up Blue of Noon because I was interested in the way Bataille supposedly wrote about sex as a subversive force. I say supposedly because I don't think he did. Sex to Bataille is certainly
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M.
Third reading, I believe. Boyfriend bought it and read it and was underwhelmed so I, of course, stepped up to the plate to re-read it so I could argue with him. I still think it's fantastic, and a great example of meting the problems of theory within a fictional narrative construct. The ending is sublime, and the weird intersect that insists upon inserting Simone Weil into the narrative fascinating.
-----------------------------------

I like this more fitting with the context of Dirty and Inner E
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Cally
What a train-wreck of a protagonist. There is either something very wrong with me or there is something very insidiously clever in Bataille's writing that I found myself identifying with this horrible, cruel, self-destructive man at a few points. Of course that generated no small amount of self-loathing. Mostly though I was just a horrified spectator to the extremely (self-)destructive choices that he couldn't help making.

I read this in French, and the language was quite quotidian, if I could us
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Nathaniel
Bataille: Blue of Noon

(This review includes a cautionary spoiler that does not divulge the ending or ruin the narrative tension.)

Nothing is flattered in “Blue of Noon.” The backdrop of Europe’s march towards jingoism and war seems to be offered as cover fire for the unrepentant mess of Bataille’s frivolous, cruel and debauched characters. The various women on whom the parasitic narrator feeds are at different stages of their own personal decomposition, up to and including his own dead mother. Ye
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Steve
It starts off in a world of deliberately crude debauchery and even cruder frequent weeping by its protagonist. As it goes on the backdrop of political events comes to the fore, as the protagonist travels from London to Vienna to Paris to Barcelona to Nazi Germany, all in 1935. The relationship between the personal wretchedness and the general European slide into Fascism is not at all obvious, yet demands further thought. I don't know yet what to think of the book, but it has me thinking.
Maryann
Thank goodness that was short. It was all alcohol and nausea and sickness and insanity and war. And women, women that were not the main character's wife. I think this is a book that I don't understand its significance and I'm not sure I'm curious enough to find out. I think it's partly a cultural difference.

Food: milk that you don't realize has turned until you've taken a full mouthful. You can spit it out, but the taste lingers until you drink or eat something else to replace it.
Danya
Just re -read this with a friend .. but we made it fun by reading it to each other in bed ( best way to read ) . It made me remember why I loved this loathsome man . One of Bataille's favorite words used to describe himself is wretched . This book is filled with wretched people and outlandish acts , but that is what makes it so wonderful . A truly subversive mix of people with vulgar habits, yet you still want to keep turning every page to read more . That is Batailee's "wretched" gift .
Christopherseelie
One day an astute anthologist will extract the best parts of this novella for readers. Until that time, you are permitted to skip over "Blue of Noon" in favor of "Story of the Eye" (his most essential work) and The Accursed Share, which proves the quality of his mind to be as excellent as it is dirty.

To be brief: too many demoralizing scenes of people talking about themselves or others, no ironic distancing on the fragile egos, the historical setting is only roughly sketched, nothing-special dre
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Kristel
A nihilist novel by Georges Bataille, Blue of Noon, is set during the Spanish Civil War and the early years of Nazi movement. The protagonist, Henri Timmermann is a sick man (physically and emotionally). This book is thankfully short, it is so horrible and not enjoyable in any sense of the word. The author has tried and achieved to include every human excretion and depravity in this novella. There are three women, Lazare--a political activist, Dirty--an alcoholic and Xenia--a young woman who nur ...more
Brett Green
"But how could war mirror anything inside your head? A war would have made you happy?"
"Why not?"
"So you think war could lead to revolution?"
"I'm talking about war, not about what it could lead to."
Philip Lane
Well written but the subject matter is not entirely to my liking. It reminds me of a Melina Mercouri quote from Phaedre. When asked what a song is about she says 'love and death like all Greek songs'. This book is about sex and death and occasionally a combination of both. Bataille does incorporate sexual scenes quite tastefully but it is pretty high on the agenda. The action moves from Paris to Barcelona and ends up in Nazi Germany. The blue of noon is a sensual image of a clear summer sky but ...more
ΠανωςΚ
Είναι βέβαια πολύ πιθανό να μην κατάλαβα τίποτα :)

http://trollingstone.gr/?q=node/1685
Maxime
Une foule d'excès avant que le monde ne "plonge dans l'abîme"
leonel
My novela favorita de Georges Bataille. Esta novela de escritura fracturada y trémula constituye una erosión de los sistemas instaurados en nuestra sociedad y en nuestra idea de la vida y que a su vez condicionan nuestro comportamiento y percepcion. Pero aun mas, dibuja el desprendimiento desgarrador del deseo de acatar “el orden sin el cual en cambio no se podría vivir”. una embriagues de vida, de consumir la vida sin ninguna reserva y con el arrojo que solo poseen los que llegan a la vida adul ...more
Aveugle Vogel
"Things were all back in their proper place."
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  • Arcanum 17
  • Death Sentence
  • The Vice Consul (Pantheon Modern Writers Original)
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  • Là-Bas (Down There)
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  • Try
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20842
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...
Story of the Eye Erotism: Death and Sensuality The Accursed Share 1: Consumption Visions of Excess My Mother/Madame Edwarda/The Dead Man

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