Quotes from Story of the Eye

Georges Bataille ·  103 pages

Rating: (11.8K votes)


“To others, the universe seems decent because decent people have gelded eyes. That is why they fear lewdness. They are never frightened by the crowing of a rooster or when strolling under a starry heaven. In general, people savor the "pleasures of the flesh" only on condition that they be insipid.
But as of then, no doubt existed for me: I did not care for what is known as "pleasures of the flesh" because they really are insipid; I cared only for what is classified as "dirty." On the other hand, I was not even satisfied with the usual debauchery, because the only thing it dirties is debauchery itself, while, in some way or other, anything sublime and perfectly pure is left intact by it. My kind of debauchery soils not only my body and my thoughts, but also anything I may conceive in its course, that is to say, the vast starry universe, which merely serves as a backdrop.”
― Georges Bataille, quote from Story of the Eye


“Extreme seductiveness is at the boundary of horror”
― Georges Bataille, quote from Story of the Eye


“We did not lack modesty—on the contrary—but something urgently drove us to defy modesty together as immodestly as possible.”
― Georges Bataille, quote from Story of the Eye


“I remember that one day, when we were in a car tooling along at top speed,we crashed into a cyclist, an apparently very young and very pretty girl. Her head was almost totally ripped off by the wheels. For a long time, we were parked a few yards beyond without getting out, fully absorbed in the sight of the corpse. The horror and despair at so much bloody flesh, nauseating in part, and in part very beautiful, was fairly equivalent to our usual impression upon seeing one another.”
― Georges Bataille, quote from Story of the Eye


“That discourse one might call the poetry of transgression is also knowledge. He who transgresses not only breaks a rule. He goes somewhere that the others are not; and he knows something the others don’t know.”
― Georges Bataille, quote from Story of the Eye



“The fact that the site of narrative is an ideal topos disqualifies neither pornography nor science fiction from being literature. Such”
― Georges Bataille, quote from Story of the Eye


“To others, the universe seems decent because decent people have gelded eyes. That is why they fear lewdness. They are never frightened by the crowing of a rooster or when strolling under a starry heaven. In general, people savour the “pleasures of the flesh” only on condition that they be insipid.”
― Georges Bataille, quote from Story of the Eye


“We pedaled rapidly, without laughing or speaking, peculiarly satisfied with our mutual presence, akin to one another in the common isolation of lewdness, weariness, and absurdity.”
― Georges Bataille, quote from Story of the Eye


About the author

Georges Bataille
Born place: in Billon, Puy-de-Dôme, France
Born date September 10, 1897
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