Evan's Reviews > Story of the Eye

Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille
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's review
May 20, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: deliciously-nasty, 2009-reads, fucked-up-women, sexuality, french-euro-erotica, transgressive
Read in May, 2009

Page 2, and already this is what we get, funniness and dirtiness:

"Now in the corner of the hallway there was a saucer of milk for the cat. 'Milk is for the pussy, isn't it?' said Simone. 'Do you dare me to sit in the saucer?'"


Well, after some diversion, I'm back into this one and have barely started and Bataille, in the first dozen pages, wastes no time giving us two teens masturbating then hooking up with another girl on the beach and doing this and that to one another. This thing was published in 1928, and it seems that Bataille just can't wait to throw off 2,000 years of Christian repression in one swoop at the get-go, and it feels liberating. Reading on...

Wow. Page after page it's whacked pornography. Seems highly influenced by de Sade.


Man, how much cum does this guy have? Seems a bit superhuman. Anyway, there's lovely imagery in this, but so far it hardly meets with my understanding of surrealism, as so many reviewers seem to suggest. The story seems straightforward; wet dream-like, yes, but not really avant-garde; only insofar as all actions seem to lead to sexual situations, rather unbelievably. What we have here is the merging of soulmates; soulmates in guiltless pleasure, and I like this.

Bataille must have had a major egg fetish, otherwise how can one explain the persistent occurrence of eggs in the protagonists' sexual fantasies and games? I find them bizarre, rather than a turn-on. Also, urination and ejaculation are almost seen as comparable pleasures. Anyway...


OK, there are lots of connections here between the open eyes of the dead Marcelle, the raw peeled balls of the bull, the Milky Way, the boiled eggs, bare buttocks like peeled eggs, semen, the dead matador's lost eye. Slimy and disturbing imagery that seem to merge into one in the minds of Simone. Violence, sex, death; all of a piece.

There's something that happens in a confessional here that is as transgressive as anything you've ever read. It's a hoot, and sure to offend a good many boring people.

OK. Well. Wow. Uh. You'd be hard-pressed, really, to find a more twisted, sick, perverse, dirty bit of erotica than this short book.

The last part of the book is in Bataille's voice; he's explaining some of the associations in the book that I've mentioned heretofore, and also autobiographical aspects of how he came up with this story. It seems a bit anticlimactic, and breaks the illusion, but those interested in a writer's mindset and how one devises a story will find it of value.
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Reading Progress

05/24/2009 page 15
07/15/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Interestingly, Achy Obeja in Days of Awe has a scene in which the narrator sees a girl sitting in milk, after which her lover... you can imagine the rest. Strange that such a bizarre image should occur in two recent books.

Evan Story of the Eye is not recent. It was published in 1928. Someone is paying "homage," perhaps?

message 3: by Tia (new)

Tia Wow, I just started reading this and can't stop laughing. It's like a parody. In fact, I had to check and make sure it wasn't, because it's on my kindle next to a 50 shades parody. This is the kind of thing that I'd read aloud with friends.

message 4: by Evan (last edited Jul 14, 2016 11:14PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Evan It's a good thing that I write reviews of what I read because I honestly remember almost nothing about this book. Apparently I enjoyed it on some level.

Tiayra wrote: "Wow, I just started reading this and can't stop laughing. It's like a parody. In fact, I had to check and make sure it wasn't, because it's on my kindle next to a 50 shades parody. This is the kind..."

message 5: by Tia (new)

Tia It's pure porn. I'm impressed that it was published in 1928. Those roaring twenties must've been more wild than I thought.

message 6: by Evan (last edited Jul 15, 2016 12:29PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Evan I remember checking it out from the library, I remember the cover, and it seems to me I remember some scene with a priest (this book, or a different dirty French book?). Without re-reading my review all the rest of it just faded away. I remember liking it more than some of the other vintage French porn I'd read at the time.

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