Soeine's Reviews > Prehistoric Painting

Prehistoric Painting by Georges Bataille
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's review
Feb 18, 2012

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bookshelves: shamanism-prehistory, art
Read in February, 2012


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message 1: by Soeine (last edited Feb 20, 2012 03:16AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Soeine George Bataille applies his usual sharp insight to the subject. The book is not primarily about the anthropological discoveries, but focusses on Bataille's personal examinations of the paintings in Lascaux, supported by comments by anthropologists, especially Henri Breuil. While he does his best to be faithful to the anthropological facts, his writing tends to be clouded with his personal admiration of the paintings and his underlying motivation to link them to his theories of informe and transgression. Even then, his illustrations of the paintings are not well integrated into his theories. The first half of the book is dedicated to the descriptions of the paintings, and his theoretical insights are concentrated in pages that come much later. This may have been his rhetorical gesture, but I would have appreciated a progressive unfolding of his visual description alongside his building of the corresponding theories.

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