Graham's Reviews > Story of the Eye

Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

really liked it

What a thoroughly fucked book. I completely hated the book for the first chapter or two. There was some decent writing that was marred with the clumsy insertion of sexual elements that might charitably be described as stunted. But these components began to crystalize as the book continued, coming to seem almost innocent at first, the sort of thing dreamt up by somebody with little knowledge of the carnal. With each successive chapter the sexual acts become less a matter of lewdness or prurience, instead fashioning a world apart for the narrator and his two lovers, one that puts them at odds with, and ultimately shields them from the machinations of the conventional.

Sexual elements are introduced which appear consistently in conjunction with the eye, the egg, and milk (references to perception, reproduction, and sustenance perhaps?), but eventually take on baser forms, with scatology, violence, and ultimately death entwining themselves with the sexual.

There are issues with the plot - the world outside the primary characters sometimes seems indifferent and other times seems kept at bay by various elements of deus ex machina (the English count comes to mind), but the intent seems to be the dissolution of the linear and coherent within a linear and coherent plot line.

The second section is also fascinating, as it shifts to a non-fiction confessional mode, laying bare the autobiographical elements in the former portion but also (as the most effective confessional work is wont to do), offering an unflinching and wholly uncomfortable look into the early life that shaped Bataille's work. It's at once a contrast and an underscore for the fictional chapters, and left me unsettled in a way that few books have.
2 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Story of the Eye.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

June 14, 2012 – Started Reading
June 14, 2012 – Shelved
June 14, 2012 – Finished Reading

No comments have been added yet.