He does say in the introduction '...even reading these words might make you angry...'. This was true for the following 200 page...moreOh this is a bad book.
He does say in the introduction '...even reading these words might make you angry...'. This was true for the following 200 pages. I don't normally finish things I don't like. But as it was short I guess I wanted to get to the end to see if my anger was justified.
I could go on about what's wrong with it, but I'll just describe the formula for each chapter.
1. Make a general statement about a big idea. 2. Expound on it in 'ordinary' language. Miss the point completely. 3. Digress onto something irrelevant. 4. Repeat. 5. Slip in some reference to neo-conservative values like they're fact. (Careful - he's trying to spread his meme's!) 6. Repeat again. This time with the text in a box.
He thinks your stupid.
I think he's an idiot.
This book says nothing of value about the world.
It says 2 things of interest about the author.
1. He made a lot of money with Mico$oft. He thinks they're wonderful. Sure, their successful at spreading the 'Get people to spend a lot of money on something they don't even know they're buying' meme. Not something designed to make you popular. 2. On page 187 he casually refers to the influence of Scientology.... Start backing slowly away.
OK - I know the statement in point 1 is not a meme. But that's the sort of sloppiness this book is full of.
If your interested in Memetics have a poke around the internet. Read The Raw Shark Texts even. Avoid this book.
I don’ t hang on to novels these days. I tend to give them away when I’ve finished. To friends, colleges, over the internet. But not this one, I think...moreI don’ t hang on to novels these days. I tend to give them away when I’ve finished. To friends, colleges, over the internet. But not this one, I think this is going to a charity shop, mixed in with a bag of old shirts. Really, reading this on the bus, I felt I should hide it in a copy of ‘Hustler’ for discretion.
But for all that I did like. I didn’t enjoy it, but I did like it. They're different things. Sure, it’s full of sexual language, but not much sex. Lots of debauchery though. The odd thing for me is, considering his ‘Metaphysician of Evil’ epithet, it’s actually a very innocent, almost naive book.
Thing is - it’s just a story. No one really gets killed. Bataille is aware of this, and seems to blithely assumes everyone else sees it the same way. He even goes some way to explain it’s origins in the appendices. As a young man he looked after his father, who was blind and incontinent. At such a formative age this seems to have resulted in a fetishisation of the white ovoid (eye) and micturation. Oh yeah, and general degradation as well.
What he does is hold these things up for examination, creates fictional characters to bestow them upon, and imagines what would happen to them in an unreal, fictional world, freed from the constraints of consequence. Thoughtful stuff, and done with quite good writing. I also found it’s one of those books that wheedles it’s way into your subconscious, and every so often crops up an makes you feel a bit queasy. I will be a while before I can look an egg sandwich in the, er, eye again.
So anyway, go on, give it a go. Just don’t say it was me that recommended it.(less)