Philip Lane's Reviews > Story of the Eye

Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille
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's review
Apr 04, 2012

it was ok
Read from April 04 to 06, 2012 — I own a copy

This is an obscene pornographic story. I hated Fanny Hill and the Marquis de Sade but this was just about readable. Yes it is lurid and disgusting but somehow understandable. There is a certain innocence about it as the main characters are teenagers and what they do is in some ways a form of experimentation. They are exploring their sexuality and become intoxicated by it. This leads to extremely unpleasant outcomes but this is not the intention. I felt the 'eye' in the title to refer to the way the eye becomes the source of arousal as it views certain objects in certain contexts. It is the boy watching the girl sit on a bowl of milk that causes the first arousal. Also a saving grace is that it is short - merely 60 pages in my edition. It therefore avoids the deliberate cruelty and relentless repetitiveness of the older pornographic novels and made me feel that it perhaps does deserve a place as a work with literary merit. Not for the faint hearted.
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