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Story of the Eye

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message 1: by Steva (new)

Steva | 16 comments Mod
Good gravy, what a book! So the author was deeply disturbed when he was a child/young adult from the experience of watching his father succumb physically and mentally to a degenerative disease of some sort... So all sorts of really disturbing and violent imagery is mixed in with this guy's musings on death and his vivid sexual fantasies. From what I understand, sexual fetish is really very normal, so I don't really find this guy perverted. He's just REALLY honest about the things that excite, arouse, and preoccupy him. He's no murderer in real life, just a dude fascinated by death and suffering (not hard to understand). I think the scene at the end, with the priest, is maybe his pre-emptive musings about his contempt towards the conservative establishment of the church and any puritanical judgement they would pass on him. I feel like this book is a rare glimpse into something that's totally common, but utterly repressed- one person's "odd" sexual fetish - odd to you or I, but not to the person him/herself. By all means, to each their own! I think if it were less "scandalous and shocking" by society's standards, there would be thousands of published narratives like Story of the Eye, each more "odd" than the last.

So that's how I feel about it. I don't think Bataille in real life was nuts, or some kind of sex maniac, or a perv. I think this is more of a "everybody is thinking it, he had the guts to say it" situation. By "it" I mean the full account of a sexual fantasy with all it's frightening, confusing, unflattering truths. I don't mean "it" as the exact details of Story of the Eye, those details are obviously as unique to Battaille as the details of your own deepest musings and experiences will be to you.

message 2: by Mindi (new)

Mindi | 8 comments Hmm....I wasn't quite sure what to make of this book. I can say that I did not find it disturbing. The content was not 'perverted' or 'sick' or any other adjective to used to describe various fetish-related behaviors as seen by typical society. It was, however, an interesting read. It kept me enthralled throughout the narrative; which I think can be attributed to a type of voyeurism on my part, as well as, a general clinician curiousity. I can't really say what I took away from the read, but it was interesting at least.

After reading, I did some research on surrealism in literature, as I had read somewhere that this novel was considered a work with that category. It did put the narrative style in a little more perspective, which was helpful. I was also fascinated by the connection of Freudian thought, surrealism, and the interpretations made by the author at the end of the text. But I will not go into details here....

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