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By Georges Bataille

Set opposed to the backdrop of Europe's slide into Fascism, "Blue of Noon" is a blackly compelling account of depravity and violence. As its narrator lurches despairingly from urban to urban in a surreal sexual and psychological nightmare of squalor, sadism and drunken encounters, his inner cave in mirrors the battling and marching at the streets open air. Exploring the darkish forces underneath the outside of civilization, it is a novel torn among choosing with history's sufferers and being seduced via the big glamour of its negative victors, and is likely one of the 20th century's nice nihilist works.

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Why, of course! And I've actually come here . . I was beside myself; I was outraged with shame. "Why 'must'? What's the point of it? " "One can always save one's own soul," Lazare whispered. She uttered the sentence without moving, without even looking up. She gave me the feeling of unshakable conviction. I felt myself grow pale. Once again I was feeling very sick to my stomach. I persisted nevertheless, " What about you, Monsieur? " "Oh," Monsieur Melou muttered, his gaze lost in the contemplation of his scrawny fingers, "I understand your perplexity only too well.

She was weeping, in her wild nakedness , as she approached my bed, which to me was a death bed. She fell on her knees, she fell down in front of me and hid her tears in the sheets. MOTHERL Y FEET 83 I said to her, " Stretch out next to me, and don't cry any more . . She replied: " I'm drunk. " The bottle on the table was empty. She got into bed . She still had her shoes on . She lay down, fanny upwards, and buried her head in the bolster. It was so strange speaking into her ear with the ardent tenderness that usually manifests itself only at night.

She seemed happy, in fact, out of her mind with joy; out of her mind with anxiety, too . In her agitation, she knelt down by my bed and kissed me on the fore­ head . I put my hand underneath her skirt, between her legs. I felt no less exhausted, but my discomfort had passed. There was a knock on the door, and without waiting for an answer the elderly maid came in. Xenie got up as quickly as she could. She pretended to be look­ ing at a painting; she was acting like a madwoman, or perhaps a simpleton.

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Blue of Noon by Georges Bataille


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