Story of the eye

Georges Bataille (1928)

  • Part One: The Tale
    • Chapter One: The Cat's Eye
      • cunt (this name, which I always used with Simone, is, I think, by far the loveliest of the names for the vagina)
      • Now in the corner of a hallway there was a saucer of milk for the cat. "Milk is for the pussy, isn't it?" said Simone. "Do you dare me to sit in the saucer?" "I dare you," I answered, almost breathless.
    • Chapter Two: The Antique Wardrobe
      • That was the period when Simone developed a mania for breaking eggs with her ass.
    • Chapter Three: Marcelle's Smell
      • At any rate, the swampy regions of the cunt (nothing resembles them more than the days of flood and storm or even the suffocating gaseous eruptions of volcanoes, and they never turn active except, like storms or volcanoes, with something of catastrophe or disaster)-those hearbreaking regions, like Simone, in an abandon presaging only violence, allowed me to stare hypnotically, were nothing for me now but the profound, subterranean empire of a Marcelle who was tormented in prison and at the mercy of nightmares. There was only one thing I understood: how utterly the orgasms ravaged the girl's face with sobs interrupted by horrible shrieks.
    • Chapter Four: A Sunspot
    • Chapter Five: A Trickle of Blood
      • A leather seat clung to Simone's bare cunt, which was inevitably jerked by the legs pumping up and down on the spinning pedals. Furthermore, the rear wheel vanished indefinitely to my eyes, not only in the bicycle fork but virtually in the crevice of the cyclist's naked ass: the rapid whirling of the dusty tire was also directly comparable to both the thirst in my throat and my erection, which ultimately had to plunge into the depths of the cunt sticking to the bicycle seat. The wind had died down somewhat, and part of the starry sky was visible. And it struck me that death was the sole outcome of my erection, and if Simone and I were killed, then the universe of our unbearable personal vision was certain to be replaced by the pure stars, fully unreleated to any gazes and realizing in a cold state, and without human delays or detours, my sexual licentiousness: a geometric incandescence (among other things, the life and death, being and nothingness), perfectly fulgurating.
      • Yet I felt I could see her eyes, aglow in the darkness, peer back constantly, no matter how fatigued, at this breaking point of my body, and I realized she was jerking off more and more vehemently on the seat, which was pincered between her buttocks. Like myself, she had not yet drained the tempest evoked by the shamelessness of her cunt, and at times she let out husky moans; she was literally torn away by joy, and her nude body was hurled upon an embankment with an awful scraping of steel on the pebbles and a piercing shriek.
      • The sweat was pissing from my face and all over my body, my eyes were bloody and swollen, my ears screeching, my teeth chattering, my temples and my heart drumming away. But since I had just rescued the person I loved most in the world, and since I thought we would soon be seeing Marcelle, I lay down next to Simone's body just as I was, soaked and full of coagulated dust, and soon I drifted off into vague nightmares.
    • Chapter Six: Simone
    • Chapter Seven: Marcelle
      • "But who is the Cardinal?" Simone asked her. "The man who locked me in the wardrobe", said Marcelle. "But why is he a cardinal?" I cried. She replied: "Because he is the priest of the guillotine." I now recalled Marcelle's dreadful fear when she left the wardrobe, and particularly two details: I had been wearing a blinding red carnival novelty, a Jacobine liberty cap; furthermore, because of the deep cuts in a girl I had raped, my face, clothes, hands-all parts of me were stained with blood. Thus, in her terror, Marcelle confused a cardinal, a priest of the guillotine, with the blood smeared executioner wearing a liberty cap: a bizarre overlapping of piety and abomination for priests explained the confusion, which, for me, has remained attached to both my hard reality and the horror continually aroused by the compulsiveness of my actions.
    • Chapter Eight: The Open Eyes of the Deadwoman
      • I stretched out in the grass, my skull on a large, flat rock and my eyes staring straight up at the milky way, that strange beach of astral sperm and heavenly urine across the cranial vault formed by the ring of constellations: that open crack at the summit of the sky, apparently made of ammonical vapors shining in the immensity (in empty space, where they burst forth absurdly like a rooster's crow in total silence), a broken egg, a broken eye, or my own dazzled skull weighing down the rock, bouncing symmetrical images back to infinity. The nauseating crow of a rooster in particular coincided with my own life, that is to say, now, the Cardinal, because of the crack, the red color, the discordant shrieks he provoked in the wardrobe, and also because one cuts the throats of roosters.
      • 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. I associate the moon with the vaginal blood of mothers, sisters, that is, the menstrua with their sickening stench . . . .
    • Chapter Nine: Lewd Animals
    • Chapter Ten: Granero's Eye
    • Chapter Eleven: Under the Sun of Seville
    • Chapter Twelve: Simone's Confession and Sir Edmond's Mass
    • Chapter Thirteen: The Legs of the Fly
      • Now I stood up and, while Simone lay on her side, I drew her thighs apart, and found myself facing something I imagine I had been waiting for in the same way that a guillotine waits for a neck to slice. I even felt as if my eyes were bulging from my head, erectile with horror; in Simone's hairy vagina, I saw the wan blue eye of Marcelle, gazing at me through tears of urine. Streaks of come in the steaming hair helped give that dreamy vision a disastrous sadness. I held the thighs open while Simone was convulsed by the urinary spasm, and the burning urine streamed out from under the eye down to the thighs below . . . .
    • Part Two: Coincidences

Page last revised on: 2024-05-05