Book: Paperback | 129 x 198mm | 128 pages | ISBN 9780141185385 | 26 Apr 2001 | Penguin Classics
Bataille’s first novel, published under the pseudonym ‘Lord Auch’, is still his most notorious work. In this explicit pornographic fantasy, the young male narrator and his lovers Simone and Marcelle embark on a sexual quest involving sadism, torture, orgies, madness and defilement, culminating in a final act of transgression. Shocking and sacreligious, Story of the Eye is the fullest expression of Bataille’s obsession with the closeness of sex, violence and death. Yet it is also hallucinogenic in its power, and is one of the erotic classics of the twentieth century.
It appears here with Susan Sontag’s superb study of pornography as art, ‘The Pornographic Imagination’, and Roland Barthes’ essay ‘The Metaphor of the Eye’.