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5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult, disgusting, unfinished and haunting works, 7 Jan 2014
This review is from: My Mother, Madame Edwarda, The Dead Man (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Let's talk about sex... no, just kidding, let's talk about incest, prostitution, and the lowest forms of human debasement and depravity. And then, the unnerving, beautiful, illuminating brilliance of it all.

In a market now oversaturated with works like 'Fifty Shades...' and its ilk, some may stumble upon Bataille and mistake him for an older practitioner of the mummy porn genre. He isn't. He is edgy, intelligent, talented and really messed up with some hefty philosophical chops to boot.

This book contains three of his stories, two unfinished;
'My Mother' chronicles one son's growing sexual awakening and later obsession with his mother and a mistress. Not explicit in its treatment of the act of sex, it is more the inference, the talk, the internal thought of the whole ordeal that really pushes home how disturbing the story is. Bataille leaves us without a finished product, but this does not detract for the majority of the story, which is complete.
'Madame Edwarda' tells the story of a man who searches through dark and dingy brothels to find his whore that he worships as a god. This one is a bit more explicit, but written in the third person and in absolutely beautiful prose. The religious overtones link to some of the themes Bataille explored with 'L'abbe C' and in 'Eroticism' and can come across quite bizarre, but overall, my favourite in this collection, still has the power to shock and astound.
'The Dead Man'... You just have to read it really. Painfully short, painfully graphic depiction of a woman coping with her grief by lowering herself to the lowest ebb. Does she learn from it? does she reach enlightenment? I don't know, but some of the images are still engraved in my mind. less beautiful I its prose style, more straight to it's blunt, horrible point.

A fantastic work, and Bataille needs some serious re-evaluation, especially in the current sexual climate. But not for those with weak hearts or stomachs. Or grandmothers, they definitely wouldn't like this one.
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My Mother, Madame Edwarda, The Dead Man (Penguin Modern Classics)
My Mother, Madame Edwarda, The Dead Man (Penguin Modern Classics) by Georges Bataille (Paperback - 7 Jun 2012)
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