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Blue of Noon Paperback – 15 Oct 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 129 pages
  • Publisher: Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd; New edition edition (15 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714530735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714530734
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 0.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,444,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Blue of Noon", an unpublished novel that Bataille himself had forgotten, has received some recognition by being published in a Penguin edition. It is a work that, yet again, defies any satisfactory definition. My own idea for an appropriate classification would be 'a Gothic novel'.
The story is interesting enough, though one can't really speak of a plot. We follow one Mr. Troppman, never sober and always sick, through European countries that slowly begin to fall under the insane shadow of German and Italian fascism. This advent of insanity is clearly reflected in his own life - his morbid fascination for corpses (one of the novel's peaks is a sexual encounter above a graveyard), a young woman named Dirty, the Marxist Jew Lazare, the young Xenie, and his wife Edith.
Repulsion seems to be the keyword of the book. Troppman seems to drift through a decadent world worthy of a powerful cleansing, a horrifying apparatus preparing to do just that, and the innocent victims of both. Through his haze of alcohol he tries to find a cause to devote himself to, loathing and lethargy irresistibly following his peaks of devotion. What is quite remarkable is Bataille's ability to inspire physical revolt in the reader in following Troppman's adventures.
"Blue of Noon" is one of the few books that actually made me feel physically unwell reading it. One is constantly swept with Troppman's enthusiasm and disillusion. The successive rapidity of his drinking, crying, vomiting, and lechery; his violent mood swings leaves one feeling as if experiencing a turbulent plain flight.
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Format: Paperback
This is the second book by Bataille which I have read, following on from Story of the Eye. In relation to that book, this one seems to pursue a more rounded approach. Whereas 'Story of the Eye' on it's first printing was initially read solely as eroticism, I would find it impossible that anyone could do so with Blue of Noon, which is a much deeper and more profoundly effecting psychological masterpiece (not that 'Story of the Eye' is not; it is after reflection).

The book is well balanced, although in the style of Bataille, it does occasionally jump around a bit, but is thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless. In truth, one could probably list this as a positive aspect of the book, leading to a slightly chaotic or disassociated effect which is encapsulating, as i'm sure was Bataille's intention.

I think that the highlight of the book, for me, was the Second Chapter ('Motherly Feet'), which contains the truly most stunningly beautiful depiction of sorrow, melancholy, and utter desparitude, which I have yet read; it was captivating entirely, and seemed to last for much more than the 36 pages which it did, wonderfully.

Philosophically and Psychologically, the book's crescendo scene in the cemetery in an overwhelming confrontation of the age-old relationship between Eros and Thanatos; love and war, life and death. In relation to Bataille's theories on the relationship between literature and evil, and the equal abilities of both to potentially overwhelm our humanity (put very briefly), this is a tour de force of his theory; a most poignant confrontation of the extremes of human experience by the very man who spent his life outlining them. Hence, his delivery in this context is as good as anyone's ever could be.
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Format: Paperback
It is easy to pontificate about the horrors of Nazism well after 1945, à la McEwan. But it's much more difficult to find people who understood what Nazism was all about before W.W.II, in the mid-Thirties, like Bataille did in this extraordinary novel published in 1935. It's one of the modern masterpieces of fiction, and the final scene in the German village is something that brands itself on the readers mind and leaves it--nevermore. A haunting ending like that is the sure hallmark of the great writer, and the supreme seer.
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Format: Paperback
This was the first of Bataille's books that I have read/am reading. I stopped at the store today and got another, L'Abbe C. I read Story of the Eye last week (that one was my favorite). As I read (devoured?) Blue of Noon it was like a dawning, an uncovering of a type of writing that I've been trying to find an example of, since it is the style of most of the things I write. Bataille combines his emotions and feelings and anguish and disgust and frustration with the story of this guy and his relationships with various women. It's hard for me to describe what this book did for me because I understand the comparisons and allusions, but taken exactly as it is without trying to find any hidden meaning will still provide for excellent reading. I'd say dismiss any and all negative reviews and get this book, then get Story of the Eye, then The Accursed Share, then everything else this brilliant man has written..
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