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L'Abbé C

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  475 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Told in a series of first-person accounts, L'Abbé C is a startling narrative about the intense and terrifying relationship between twin brothers. Charles is a modern libertine, dedicated to vice and depravity, while Robert is a priest so devout that he is nicknamed L'Abbé'. When the sexually wild Eponine intrudes upon their suffocating relationship, anguish, delirium, and ...more
Paperback, 158 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd (first published 1950)
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(showing 1-30)
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Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french
I couldn't spoil this plot if I tried. I would have to find the plot first. Although I found part of it which I will render as a multiple choice test.

Who left the load under the window while Charles and Eponine were having unspecified sex?

a) The priest.

b) The butcher.

c) Both of the above.

d) None of the above.

Sorry, but, well, I prefer my allegories to be not quite so shitty.

Everybody except an unnamed 'Editor' dies, but not in any cool, shocking or even interesting manner. Like the sex, it is u
Sep 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
For those who fully commit themselves to the depths of L'abbe C,
a vexing paradox arises: the necessity of verbalizing a profound
experience and the impossibility of ever giving such profundity
a justifiable expression. Undoubtedly, L'abbe C was Bataille's compromise.
Unlike The Story of the Eye, this novel examines the links between religious and spiritual ecstasy more comparatively than subversively. As Robert's pious solitude erupts into a desire to satisfy his flesh, Charles' debauchery slowly
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed by this novel. I might as well get that out in the open immediately. However, I do realise that it’s an important work and that Bataille’s ideas, themes and concerns are of the highest quality. *L'Abbé C* is fundamentally about the fatal aspects of utter sincerity. The story is a parody of fin de siècle ‘decadent’ novels: two brothers, twins, one of whom is a paragon of virtue, the other a depraved hedonist, are both corrupted by a woman in different ways. Bataille’s intensity ...more
Deniz Balcı
Bataille her zaman okunmak için yüksek krediye sahip yazarlardan. Yapıtları bir bulmacayı andırıyor çoğu zaman. Chiviyazıları'ndan çıkan 'Göz'ün Hikayesi' her açıdan büyük bir filozofun görüşlerini barındırır içinde. Ayrıntı Yayınları'ndan çıkan 'Annem' toplamasında ki; kısa öykülerden, mini romanlara kadar her eseri de aynı derinliğe sahipken; bir yandan da kendine has muğlak bir çizgide yazılmıştır. Rahip C.'de onların yanına yakışır cinsten. Tartışmalı ve düşündürücü bir kurgusu var. Okumaya ...more
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Poets
Shelves: fiction
Generous 4 stars. It is better read by poets and should not be ignored because the language and descriptions are very wonderful and why I'm giving the 4 instead of the 3.
Over my head, I probably understood half of the book, maybe a quarter of the book.

The characters are philosophically obsessed drama queens. Over and over again: always ill at ease, uncomfortable, questioning their morality , thinking about death, being sick, or dying. The descriptions of their angst ridden conditions is poetic,
Jan 11, 2009 rated it liked it
L'abbe C is Bataille's first novel and you can somewhat tell. Underlying philosophical themes of the novel tend to steer the story too much and Bataille seems stuck between surrealist tendencies and developing realistic characters whom he can utilize to make commentary on the human condition. That being said, this book is infectiously dark and eerie. A story about a brother attempting to make his twin brother who is a priest sleep with his favorite whore is enough to make me like it enough. A fr ...more
Dec 15, 2011 rated it liked it
I found this tale of twin brothers very dark. Charles, seeking his pleasure and Robert the sombre priest seemed to me to be hell-bent on destroying each other in a version of the eternal triangle. Charles met with Eponine, the young prostitute the men had known since childhood, at every chance he could find but she was determined to bed Robert, who in turn was obsessed by her but tormented by illness and his religion. An un-named narrator who is the friend of Charles is given the task of publish ...more
A most strange work. Not quite sure what he was trying to say. The language is rich and sonorous, the themes - the corruption of man and woman. Sartre says that Bataille has survived the death of God, I am not so sure.
About two-thirds of the way through, I finally started to understand what was happening, and the postscript made it seem a worthwhile read. One day I should probably re-read it knowing the outcome, but it'll be a long time before I undertake that goal. It's definitely a bit over my head.
Zachary Mclean
Mar 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
I thought this story was very hard to follow as the author seemed to bounce back and forth from his own thoughts to one characters thoughts to anothers. It was, however, philosophically shocking and thus recommended since what doesn't kill us, only makes us stronger.
Inez Parra
Jan 07, 2008 rated it liked it
the only reason this book gets three instead of four stars is because it left me more frustrated than i was prepared to be. we wandered in circles until i was dizzy and uncertain of who felt love and who was just plain out of their heads...but i suppose this is life.
Scott Gillespie
Nov 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: toliet-paper
At page 117 I closed this dreary book.
Jun 20, 2008 rated it did not like it
With angstful, adjective-heavy, sophmoric descriptions like "bilious nuns and slovenly maids" on every page, this book is no "Story of the Eye." Don't waste your time.
Mika Busch
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you are not familiar with Georges Bataille's version of Erotic Fiction, this is a wonderful place to start and quite possibly the best place to end. Bataille expresses a philosophy of spiritual decadence in both his works of fiction and non fiction and the depths he is willing to lower his characters are at times shocking beyond mere erotica, beyond pornography and certainly beyond decency.

Not this book. It is beautifully written, subtle and I remember the moment I was when he tied everything
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
I'm sure if I devoted more time to the novel, I would find much more that was interesting and compelling in the narrative and what Batailles is trying to get at here. The book seems to lend itself to a psychoanalytic reading...Jungian with Charles and Robert representing animus and anima (or maybe Charles representing animus and Eponine representing anima) or a Freudian reading with the brothers representing id and superego. The two novels by Batailles that I have read seem to carry a great deal ...more
Yasemin Şahin
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Art arda Bataille okumak çok iyi bir fikirdi. İkiz kardeş olan ve biri rahip olan iki erkek ve bir kadın arasında geçiyor denilebilir. Zaman zaman Jules at Jim filmi tadında bir kurguya hapsolsam da, değil. Kadının Rahip C.yi elde edememişliği, onun kendisine ilgisizliği onu çıldırtır. Rahip C. üzerinde kardeşi vasıtasıyla baskı uygular. Bir rahip olmanın ve bu denli arzulanmanın kendi üzerindeki zorluklarını çok iyi aktarmıştır Bataille. Yine birinci tekil şahıs kullanılmış bu da okumayı çok ko ...more
Donald Travis
Nov 29, 2013 rated it liked it
I have never read a more erotic novel that no overt sex scenes. For this alone, this novel merits the three stars. This is not to say that the book is not maddening and manipulative...boy, is it. Many will simply feel jipped, others(as you can see) felt someone that you follow around all day because youve convinced yourself that at the end of the day there will be a payoff. Don't look for a payoff here, you'll just get angry. Instead, revel in the mastery of the bi ...more
Sean Homrig
Aug 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Whoa. Sex, death, disparity, and guilt, all wrapped up in less than 160 pages. The story is told poetically, although I admit my mind wandered a bit, as reading this was akin to trying an exotic cuisine for the first time; I'll need to try it again for my untrained palette to really appreciate it. There should, however, be some sort of warning label on the cover about reading this when one is depressed.
Nandini Pradeep J
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At once, it is compelling fiction and an analysis of the human mind. Till the very end, you're left wondering what it is that Charles is trying to not say about his brother..Does he really not? What it is that he decides to leave incomplete.. At what point do you give up.. so on and so forth... L'Abbe C makes me want to go back and read Story of the Eye once more.
Ashley Husemoller
Jan 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Have you ever watched a movie because it happened to be on TV but you started it, like, halfway through so sometimes they'll start talking about things that happened earlier in the movie and you have no clue what they're talking about? That's how I felt with this book. It's a fast read and pleasant enough, I just felt like I had missed something...
"I have in my mind an obscenity so great that I could vomit the most dreadful words and it wouldn't be enough"

Bataille spews less than what most might view as obscene saying more in spartan texts fluid gushing evocation. Scatters of truth slide languidly down the wall post bursts of anguish sidled with emotional gore.
Two brothers betray and ultimately destroy those that they love best.
Ignė Sutemos
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gyvenimo vertinimas turi prasmę tik tada, kai išklausoma nuomonė to, kuris kalbėjo paskutinis, ir protas nevaržomas tik tada, kai visi vienu metu šaukia ir vienas kito negirdi.
Jun 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book seller approached me on a train headed to Sevastopol with a knife and the words "This book is distilled poison."
Nov 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I have a thing for twins, and this novel by Bataille is the ultimate 'twins' story. Erotica that is almost revolutionary.
Feb 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
I registered a book at!
Nov 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Interesting. Not his best.
Mar 19, 2014 added it
The imagery Bataille conjures is dark and grotesque and you cannot pull away.
Alexander Van Morguen
rated it really liked it
Jun 12, 2017
rated it liked it
Oct 15, 2012
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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
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“…I felt as if I were living only in order to be more aware that I was dead.” 3 likes
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