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Encyclopaedia Acephalica
Comprising the Critical Dictionary & Related Texts (Edited by Georges Bataille)

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Introduction

Introduction:
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The Head of Georges Bataille Preamble Documents and the Critical Dictionary Not Art But Evidence The Related Texts Bataille and the Surrealists Acephal The Figure of The Acephal The Secret Society of Acephale

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Bataille, Georges Baron, Jacques Dandieu, Arnauld Desnos, Robert Einstein, Carl Griaulle, Marcel Leiris, Michel Reich, Zdenko Anonymous/Quoted

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Entries by Georges Bataille

George Bataille:
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Aesthete Architecture Black Birds Camel Dust Eye 2 Factory Chimney Formless Kali Materialism Metamorphosis 3 Misfortune Mouth Museum Slaughterhouse Space 1
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Entries by Georges Bataille

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net/~d.lineone.List Of Entries List Of Entries: Absolute Aesthete Angel 1 Angel 2 Architecture Benga Black Birds Bonjour Brothers Camel Crustaceans Cults Debacle Dust Eye 1 Eye 2 Eye 3 Eye 4 http://website.perkins/ientries.a.html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 8:57:00 μμ .

a.net/~d.List Of Entries Factory Chimney Formless Hygiene Ju-Ju Kali Keaton (Buster) Man 1 Man 2 Materialism Metamorphosis 1 Metamorphosis 2 Metamorphosis 3 Metaphor Misfortune Mouth Museum Nightingale Pensum Pottery http://website.lineone.html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 8:57:00 μμ .perkins/ientries.

net/~d.html (3 of 3)12/12/2004 8:57:00 μμ .perkins/ientries.List Of Entries Reptiles Skyscraper Slaughterhouse Space 1 Space 2 Spittle 1 Spittle 2 Sun Talkie Threshold Work http://website.lineone.a.

html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 8:57:02 μμ . like the absolute. in effect. The absolute is the greatest expenditure of energy made by man. Yet it is precisely this impossibility of proving the absolute which makes it irrefutable. Nothing can be demonstrated by the absolute: the absolute is precisely that supreme truth which remains indemonstrable. that is why the qualities ascribed to the gods delineate by contradiction the failings and servilities of their creators.net/~d. he then seeks to recoup the energy expended by means of prayer: from which it is evident that man is unable to http://website. having no object.Absolute Absolute: next author list entries list home It is undeniable that man invented God so that his wretchedness might be forbidden by somebody greater than himself: God is the dialectical opposite of human imperfections. because that excludes the object. the interludes can be demonstrated. which is readily and at first glance observed. The absolute is powerful because perfectly empty: it is thanks to this characteristic that it represents the perfection of truth.lineone. but never the artifice of a construction. Ideal entities serve as compensations for wretchedness. To create so perfect a notion. Only the details. cannot be related to anything: the lie. It is in this way that works of art are indemonstrable. does not seem consistent. It is impossible to shatter a lie which. on account of their being separate.perkins/OCEABSOL. from the object. man has been obliged to renounce his peculiarity and miserable content. The absolute is the sum of the compensations for human wretchedness.a. in instances without importance. The lie limited by an object can be proven. which amounts to saying. can be proven only if an object.

imaginary entities he has separated from himself. That absolute is identical with the void and with that which has no object. because he does not know the world. each may be changed into anything http://website. faced with the Universe. the absolute is so enfeebled that it needs to be demonstrated.net/~d. because he fears his wandering soul. who deified themselves to enhance servitude and fear. It is thus that he has done everything to forget his dreams. killed by his fetishes. It should be added that man. But it was at the same time his greatest defeat. being obliged to separate himself from them in order to find equilibrium. Things – whose frailty is such that. I believe that man has less to fear. after having accepted them without due consideration. Like money.perkins/OCEABSOL. The absolute gods were. in the epoch of philosophy. whose existence is more or less situated in the absolute.Absolute endure his own energies. is afraid of himself and of his own creations. than faced with himself. the ancestors of governing classes.a. Man has created his own servitude. It is thus that man dies by the absolute which is at the same time his means of freedom. one must still demonstrate them – are called facts of science or of knowledge. above all. the neutral absolute is a means of power. to begin with. The absolute has been man's greatest exploit: it is thanks to that exploit that he outgrown the mythological state.html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 8:57:02 μμ . It would appear that philosophy is the degeneration of the mythological state: in fact.lineone. but only a little corner of it. Man dies. because he invented something greater than himself.

net/~d.Absolute whatever. after one has forgotten death.html (3 of 3)12/12/2004 8:57:02 μμ . Words. entirely separate from objects and that very fact from their poverty.perkins/OCEABSOL. since they do not possess precise qualities.a. become his nightmares.lineone. The absolute belongs to the tectonic-ecstatics. The absolute belongs to leaders. The absolute has been identified with the essence and with being itself. madmen. to animals and to plants. created by man. and it is by means of the absolute that one is immortalised. The power of the absolute shows itself in its identity with the unconditional. and notions are the padded cells of the logicians. and it is thus that they become immortal spirits like the latter. it is by means of notions that duration is conned. has ceased to be limited by "taboos" and is no longer anything other than abject and ugly. What a fear of death! People must begin by seeing words through death. on the other to those without any power. priests. the contemporary "contortionist" believes only in his own banal and obsequious "I": in this way he has discovered the most obnoxious form of the absolute and a freedom which. On the one hand to the mighty and to kings. http://website.

in the category of the emotions. There is a cynical pleasure in thinking about words which drag something of us along with them into the dustbin. In fact. one is obliged to regard with the same uneasy (or cynical) curiosity as some sort or other of Chinese torture. on the other hand." and above all." has already made a declaration which really must be considered like the dead woman's slipper. though it may be a fairly disgusting spectacle." or again "I respect Poets.") In the last analysis.Aesthete Aesthete: next previous author list entries list home It being perfectly obvious that nobody now adopts such a denomination. one distances oneself from the "dangers of action. the automatic protest against a debased mental form is itself already pretty well threadbare. On the other hand. that way.net/~d..a. you take it to the dustbin. words have every right to overturn things and to inspire disgust: after fifteen years you find a dead woman's slipper in the back of a cupboard. The wretch who asserts that art no longer functions..lineone.html12/12/2004 8:57:04 μμ . it must nevertheless be recognised that this word has seen a development to the same degree and in the same way as artist and poet. responds to an admissible need is fated to suffer an improvement which. the ageing process is the same for a cliché as for a system of carburization. because. Everything that. ("That man is an Artist. "the delightful rigour Aesthetes bring to their intentions.perkins/OGBAESTH. http://website.

flower beds. but because angels change in station. http://website.net/~d. livingrooms. they have lodgings and houses. The Angels: next previous author list entries list home "The garments of angels are real garments. gardens. I have done so in their quarters and I have found these similar to the habitations of men on earth: but nevertheless far more beautiful. and were reputed as such in the Church and the world were as ignorant as they are concerning this matter. visible and palpable. they told me they were greatly surprised that those who gave themselves out as being learned. halls.a. for every time I have spoken with them. after having heard from Jesus Christ himself that in his Father's house there are many mansions.Angel 1.. "The angels live among themselves as men live on earth. In them are seen porticoes.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 8:57:07 μμ . more or less magnificent according to the rank of each. The Angels Angel 1. "I know from my own experience what I have called angels' dwellings. courtyards. antechambers.perkins/OAQANGEL. I have myself a thousand times seen them in garments different from those in which I had seen them previously. they even change them. bedrooms. not on account of their wearing out. I have sometimes conversed with angels concerning this. vestibules..lineone. and the Lord dresses them according to their present manner of being.

a.) http://website." (William Blake. The Angels orchards and fields.net/~d." (Emmanuel Swedenborg.Angel 1.lineone.perkins/OAQANGEL. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. and at liberty when of Devils and Hell. – The reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels & God. is because he was a true Poet and of the Devil's Party without knowing it. The Marvels of Heaven and Hell) "Note.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 8:57:07 μμ .

. it was he who seduced Eve and taught the sons of men deadly wounds." According to the Sepher Henoch. Gabriel is the angel who presides over Monday. the buckler. and all things that can kill or avoid death. we read: "Gabriel. ch. The Angel Gabriel Angel 2. . The Angel Gabriel: next previous author list entries list home "GABRIEL (from a Hebrew word which strictly means the man of God)..net/~d.lineone.) Scripture cites the archangels Gabriel.html12/12/2004 8:57:08 μμ . 1. the sword. Genius of the Moon. Michael and Raphaël as chiefs of the heavenly hosts that vanquished Lucifer and the rebel angels. 26ff. http://website. "It is he who revealed to the sons of men how to kill. XX. archangel who came to the Virgin to announce that she was going to be the mother of Jesus Christ (Luke.Angel 2.). who presides over Ikisat. over Paradise and the Cherubim. the breastplate. His residence is in the Little Bear. He formed the inhabitants of the arid element down to the consummation of the centuries.perkins/OMLANGEL.Occult sciences and astrology. one of the holy angels. one of the guilty angels was likewise called Gabriel. presiding over the ninth circle of light in the hermetic hierarchy." (Nouvelle Larousse Illustré." With Michaël and Samaël. ch. In the Sepher Henoch. LXIX.a.

For that matter. this comparison is applicable. whether it be in physiognomy.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 8:57:10 μμ . explains the strong reaction elicited. music or painting. dress. hitherto http://website. by the progressive transformation of painting. magistrates. The large-scale compositions of certain painters express the will to constrain the spirit within an official ideal. only society's ideal nature – that of authoritative command and prohibition – expresses itself in actual architectural constructions. above all. as physiognomy is the expression of the nature of individuals.lineone.net/~d. This mass movement is difficult to explain otherwise than by popular hostility towards monuments which are their veritable masters. we can infer a prevailing taste for human or divine authority. for over half a century. whenever we find architectural construction elsewhere than in monuments.Architecture Architecture: next previous author list entries list home Architecture is the expression of the true nature of societies. it is in the form of cathedrals and palaces that Church and State speak to and impose silence upon the crowds. The disappearance of academic pictorial composition. In fact.a. opposing a logic of majesty and authority to all unquiet elements. in large part. admirals). This. on the other hand. The fall of the Bastille is symbolic of this state of things. monuments obviously inspire good social behaviour and often even genuine fear. However.perkins/OGBARCHI. Indeed. to the physiognomy of officials (prelates. opens the path to the expression (and thereby exaltation) of psychological processes distinctly at odds with social stability. Thus great monuments rise up like dams.

html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 8:57:10 μμ . imposing admiration and wonder. From the very outset. tends.Architecture characterised by a sort of concealed architectural skeleton. a path traced by painters – opens up toward bestial monstrosity. in any case. the human and architectural orders make common cause. order and constraint. through the denunciation of human dominance. Hence. is necessarily.a. the latter already displaying all the elements of architecture. and undoubtedly the most intellectually outstanding.lineone. grouping the servile multitudes under their shadow. Man would seem to represent merely an intermediary stage within the morphological development between monkey and building. an attack on man. the latter being only the development of the former. whose direction is indicated within the biological order by the passage from the simian to the human form. however strange this may seem when a creature as elegant as the human being is involved. in this direction. as if there were no other way of escaping the architectural straitjacket. whose monumental productions now truly dominate the whole earth.perkins/OGBARCHI. that mathematical order imposed upon stone is really the culmination of the evolution of earthly forms. Currently. an entire earthly activity. Therefore an attack on architecture. in any case. as it were. http://website. It is clear.net/~d. Forms have become increasingly static. increasingly dominant.

it is to Féral Benga that the responsibility falls to represent his admirable race before the Parisian public. Before Louisiana. the American Negro operetta which will probably soon be staged at the Porte Saint-Martin (with Louis Douglas as manger and Strappy Jones in the leading role). He made his debut in 1925 among the extras at the FoliesBergère. it is interesting to note that. After Habib Benglia. Rivière. which.net/~d. whose presence last summer. http://website. as much for his remarkable beauty as for his talent as a dancer. He is more than worthy of this.Benga (Feral) Benga (Féral): next previous author list entries list home The young Senegalese dancer Féral Benga. With all due deference to paleface chauvinism.a. then drew attention to himself in 1926 in a parody of Josephine Baker whom he interpreted with Dorville. who is at present starring in the revue at the Folies-Bergère.html12/12/2004 8:57:12 μμ . was born in Dakar in 1906.H. disturbed our torpor. and the film Hallelujah. it is to be hoped will soon be screened in public.perkins/OMLBEN. the Black Birds. here is Féral Benga who has recently been revivifying our all but dead music-hall after the departure of the great black troupe.lineone. at least in the domain of show-business. the deficiency of the white race stands confirmed. of whom nobody today contests that he is one of our best actors. sadly too brief. to music by G.

a.lineone. while the blacks who (in America or elsewhere) are civilised along with us and who. we are witnessing an intoxicating dementia of dubious and charming willo'-the-wisps.html12/12/2004 8:57:13 μμ . http://website.Black Birds Black Birds. an absurd stutterers' silence: we are rotting away with neurasthenia under our roofs. with an incongruous extravagance. writhing and yelling like bursts of laughter. [1] The article concerns the Negro revue "Lew leslie's Black Birds. [1]: next previous author list entries list home Pointless to seek any longer an explanation for coloured people suddenly breaking. June-September 1929. are marshy emanations of the decomposition who are set aflame above this immense cemetery: so. a cemetery and common grave of so much pathetic rubbish. This definition will spare us any discussion. dance and cry out.perkins/OGBBLACK. in a vaguely lunar Negro night.net/~d." at the Moulin Rouge. today.

" and founded the flagellant sect of the Fareinists. "there was talk in the region thereabouts of miracles: a little knife with a red handle of a peculiar construction. in the presence of the two curés. and they avidly sought every occasion for these.lineone. one Friday at three in the afternoon. but he had cured her of a pain in that place. of Father Caffe. which disappeared in the Revolution." Individually. After their installation at Fareins. without any light.a. without rhyme or reason. There he would wield the discipline to right and left. indeed. supplicating him to deal them blows with a stick. expressed their satisfaction in cries of joy.Bonjour Brothers Bonjour Brothers: next previous author list entries list home These two 18th-century ecclesiastics made themselves "commendable by the severity of their morals. their charity. They were happy only when their little father had given them a good thrashing. the vicaire Furlay.net/~d.. of the sort of those described in La Magie blanche dévoilée acquired a singular celebrity. These miracles produced the desired effect: they drew to the Bonjour brothers a great number of proselytes. and the priest would gain access by a window. above all girls and women. Dominican. "This execution took place in the chapel of the Virgin attached to the church at Farreins. and ten or twelve persons of both sexes who numbered among the adepts. far from uttering cries of pain. The curé had thrust it up to the hilt into the leg of a young girl.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 8:57:15 μμ . by their piety. http://website. calling their fustigator "my little father. and above all their talent for the pulpit. and the penitents.perkins/OAQBONJO. not only without causing her any harm. these fanatics would pursue him into the fields. Some time afterwards a young girl requested the good curé to crucify her.. they would assemble in a barn during the night. just as Jesus Christ had been.

The two priests and the vicaire Furlay were locked up or sent into exile.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 8:57:15 μμ . barefoot.net/~d. pp. the crucified girl and another prophetess came there to rejoin him. she had spent an entire Lent eating only a round of toast spread with human dung each morning.lineone. 14-15. from the Biographie Universelle of Michaud and Poujoulat. he took refuge in Paris." (After F.) http://website. vol.perkins/OAQBONJO.Bonjour Brothers These disorders were interrupted following upon the sudden death of a man who protested against these practices and was found stabbed with a needle. Ozanam. He sent the former away in the month of January. with five nails driven into each heel. The younger one having meanwhile succeeded in escaping. V.a.

The aspect of the camel reveals. its bearing. probably the most monumental. that of the camel. Paris. at the same time as the profound absurdity of animal nature. which seems grotesque to an inhabitant of Paris. Launched across oceans of sand. the cataclysmic and fallen nature of that absurdity and stupidity. What would our lovely women say of those oriental poems in which the harmonious movements of the betrothed are compared to the measured pace of a shecamel?" Contrary to the opinion of Eugène Delacroix (Etudes esthétiques.a. 1923.40). believe that the camel is something that is at the most critical point of all life. so much so that it pines away if transported anywhere. indeed.Camel Camel: next previous author list entries list home "The camel. it belongs there by virtue of its form. among the forms symptomatic of stupidity. where futility is at its most distressing.net/~d.perkins/OGBCAMEL. One might. The Orientals call it the ship of the desert. p.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 8:57:39 μμ .lineone. http://website. seems also the most disastrous. is in its place in the desert: it is the denizen of those singular localities. its colour. it traverses them at regular and silent pace as a ship ploughs through the waves of the sea.

html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 8:57:39 μμ .a.lineone.Camel http://website.perkins/OGBCAMEL.net/~d.

and he is at least familiar with the wonders of the deeps!" A painter friend of mine said one day that if a grasshopper were the size of a lion it would be the most beautiful animal in the world. flabbergasted and roaring with laughter at the strange retinue. Everybody has seen that elderly gentlemen. How true that would be of the giant crayfish.lineone.Crustaceans Crustaceans: next previous author list entries list home One day. My lobster is a gentle animal. Nerval replied: "But what are you laughing at? You people go about readily enough with dogs. Of all the ridiculous actions men take upon themselves.html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 8:58:15 μμ . One of his friends having asked him why he was making such a fool of himself.net/~d. affable and clean. Heavy and light. ironic and grotesque. submarine vampires nourished on corpses and refuse. cats and other noisy and dirty domestic animals. and a shrimp as tall as a tree! Crustaceans. bearded and red- http://website. none is more so than shrimping. The idlers crowded round him. Gérard de Nerval went for a stroll in the gardens of the Palais-Royal with a living lobster on a leash.a. a crab enormous as a house.perkins/OJBCRUSTA. fabulous creatures that amaze children plying on beaches. animals made of silence and of weight.

It combines every fault. graceful and lively as mercury. The crayfish and the lobster are nobles.lineone. wearing an alpaca jacket. is the most mysterious.net/~d. They are cultivated like oysters and tulips. she flutters in the triumphant fingers. the crab known as the "sleeper. a white piqué hat on his head. harden. she slides. grow old. Woe betide the poor shrimp that lets itself be caught! In desperation she wriggles.html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 8:58:15 μμ . his trousers rolled up to his thighs. Who has not heard of La Môme Crevette ? Among crustaceans. There are men who resemble it.Crustaceans faced. We do not know whether they suffer or if http://website. the most deceitful. It walks sideways. his shrimping net at the ready. hunting shrimps in a rockpool for his dinner. wedding breakfasts and wakes. She is also a woman. It hides under rocks and its mobile eyes watch for passing prey with a cruel malice. petal separated from the great bouquet of the waves. They are present at all human ceremonies: political banquets. make love and die. Elastic animal flower. a wicker basket on his belly. the shiftiest.perkins/OJBCRUSTA.a." the image of eternal sleep. All these beasts change their carapaces.

26 of Exploits and Opinions of Doctor Faustroll.lineone.a.. [1] Crustaceans are boiled alive to conserve the succulence of their flesh.perkins/OJBCRUSTA. ŒPataphysician.Crustaceans they have ideas concerning ethics and the organisation of societies..net/~d. According to Jarry it would appear that a lobster fell in love with a can of corned beef. http://website.html (3 of 3)12/12/2004 8:58:15 μμ . [1] In ch.

The presence of the small dogs was supposed to facilitate that resurrection. The body had been preserved in ice for more than one year.a.Cults Cults: next previous author list entries list home Los Angeles. in the hope of a resurrection. would appear to have acknowledged that the woman whose body was discovered died while following a course of medical treatment prescribed by the cult. alongside the bodies of seven small dogs. Mrs Willa Rhoades. – Police carrying out a search of the cellar of a house in which was practised one of the mysterious cults so widespread in the city discovered the body in a hermetically sealed chest.html12/12/2004 8:58:17 μμ . both accused of fraud." and of her daughter.lineone. "princess" of the cult and adoptive mother of the victim. 6th October.perkins/OAQCULTS.) http://website. The headquarters of the cult was discovered as a result of the arrest of Mrs Blackborn. Mrs Angling Wieland. "queen of the order. (Report in The New York Herald.net/~d.

perkins/OMLDEBAC. since.net/~d. indeed. the cold is setting in. Employed regarding the war of 1870 by Zola. which the most frightful of old men love to http://website.html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 8:58:54 μμ . there is none the less one which remains moving. given present circumstances. the air is freezing and. the "brainstorm.Debacle Debacle: next previous author list entries list home The phenomena of nature are a vast alphabet of symbols upon which we draw to forge many of our expressions. the déjeuner de soleil [flash in the pan]. just as in that winter of 1870-71. this expression is still today very powerful. The rivers of truly human relations are immobile and dead. it could pass as prophetic. al the more powerful.a. a word quite precisely "thrown together" [bâclé]. in a work which bears it as its title.lineone. because of its brutal and implacable concision. Who is not aware of the coup de foudre [love at first sight]. and popularised above all to designate collapses in monetary value and financial crashes. In effect life today finds itself caught fast and frozen into the thick industrial ice that could turn us all into corpses. with that very haste that characterises disasters – I mean the word débâcle." and the "avalanche of compliments"? Worn-out as most of these images may be.

we remain inert. pedestrians and wagons. like lumps of wood. Prisoners of this cold. more difficult to support on our spinal columns than whole wagon-loads of market-garden produce or omnibuses chock-full of men of necessarily ignoble countenance. social relations are mean and filthy as lice. and yet we hope for nothing so much as for the debacle. the rivers of our sentiments are being transformed into arteries filled with a frozen congealing blood.a.lineone. when the solidified Seine offered its back. boulevards for the tenacious animalculae of a state of affairs in which nothing has any raison d'être other than an economic one. it spine of frozen water. this grotesque circulation of petty self-interest that bends us to the yoke and reduces us to worse than domestics. so to speak. we make no move.. in the grimacing poses of shameful paralytics.Debacle recall. as mummies are of their rigid bandages. To escape from this dust-filled lumber-room in which we are mouldering. that would be the end of this traffic that confines us.perkins/OMLDEBAC.. If the river thawed. we and our tarnished cast-offs – rusty as the old sabre of a Reichsoffen cuirassier – it is necessary that http://website. we feel ourselves more.html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 8:58:54 μμ .net/~d. to the passage of carriages.

Debacle our hearts. our muscles. towns. and in the end evaporate so that this resurrection transforms itself forthwith into defeat and.lineone. our skin resume their natural state. fields.a. that of the times of deluges. hamlets. centuries-old dams. of ice-age cataclysms and tidal waves.perkins/OMLDEBAC. has as its final result – after first smashed what was hostile and alien to it. drowning in their passage everything that is lacking in humanity.html (3 of 3)12/12/2004 8:58:54 μμ .net/~d. http://website. in short. to smash and break the banks. and then itself being changed into a chimerical vapour – that of annihilating absolutely everything. and expand over every land. at the same time find more their original violence. be they uncultivated wastes.

will probably begin to gain the upper hand over domestics. dust. invading the immense ruins of abandoned buildings.perkins/OGBDUST. When plump young girls.a.net/~d. One day or another. supposing it persists. Œmaids of all work.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 8:59:17 μμ . they are perhaps not completely aware that they are contributing every bit as much as the most positivist of scientists to dispelling the injurious phantoms that cleanliness and logic abhor. spectres that the decayed odour of old dust nourishes and intoxicates. and.' arm themselves each morning with a large feather-duster or even a vacuum cleaner.lineone. it is true. Meanwhile dismal sheets of dust constantly invade earthly habitations and uniformly defile them: as if it were a matter of making ready attics and old rooms for the immanent occupation of the obsessions. at that http://website. nor have they envisaged the sinister spider's webs that would have been torn apart at the first movement of her red tresses. deserted dockyards.Dust Dust: next previous author list entries list home The storytellers have not realised that the Sleeping Beauty would have awoken in a thick layer of dust. phantoms.

for lack of which we have become such great book­ keepers.perkins/OGBDUST.net/~d.lineone.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 8:59:17 μμ .Dust distant epoch... http://website.a. nothing will remain to ward off nightterrors.

the amorous glance or ogle. as it emerges http://website. Argot. which has passed from slang into polite usage. alludes less to the organ of sight than to one of its functions. I treasure it/ him/her like the apple of my eye. by extension to the technique of the arts. you're looking good. thus the look. One cannot. rich in poetic imagery.Eye 1. with a certain old-fashioned military whiff about it. comme le gendarme [to sleep with one eye open.html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 8:59:30 μμ . has naturally made much use of the organ of sight: le quart d'oeil (commissariat of police) derives – and in the process outdoes it – from the classical proverb ne dormir que d'un oeil. even summarily.perkins/ORDEYE1. Image of the Eye Eye 1. l'oeillade. and accursed. as a sensitive spot not to be touched without good reason.lineone.net/~d. Image of the Eye: next previous author list entries list home Because of its poetic virtues. for centuries the eye has served for lyrical comparisons and for allegories. that poetic language. The eye's fragility quickly led to its being made a term of comparison with something precious: j'y tiens comme à la prunelle de mon oeil. by extension. Then. then again. eyelet (of a shoe). a hole: the eye of a crankshaft. of a work] in the sense of appearance. like a policeman]. In metallurgy it tends to be regarded as a cavity. compile a list of the writers who have found an analogy between it and the stars. people have spoken of l'oeil d'une oeuvre [the eye.a. Coco bel oeil. Hence the expression tu en as un oeil.

to make a blunder) admirable ideo-material property of the senses.lineone. Image of the Eye from the very formula of lynch law.net/~d. to die for beautiful eyes. One could hold forth as lengthily on the numerous obscene senses of the word. brought about by its analogy with the private parts: mon oeil. was originally a knightly expression. by way of cash. free. It is the debasement of the ethics of love in connection with the evolution of customs which makes it possible today – when "dispassionate" people (in both the exact and the figurate sense) consider love to be a trifle – to confuse cause with effect. It was rightly estimated that the quality of beautiful eyes was enough to pursue dangerous adventures. is the paraphrase of a medieval story in which a poor wretch who having eaten the smell of a roast. gratis. for your beautiful eyes. Pour vos beaux yeux.Eye 1. hearing. to be of the opinion the mourir pour beaux yeux. which. The expression à l'oeil. and the famous mettre le doigt dans l'oeil [to poke one's finger in one's eye].html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 8:59:30 μμ . pays with the sound of his money.a. having been replaced by sight. an eye for an eye. crever l'oeil. taken initially in a figurative sense to express a concrete action. is not http://website. has been taken up again in the proper sense to express an abstract state (to be mistaken. oeil pour oeil.perkins/ORDEYE1.

orbites.html (3 of 3)12/12/2004 8:59:30 μμ . paupières. pupils. Ouvrir L'oeil et le bon. to gaze into someone's eyes. takes us back to the vocabulary of the gendarme. eyelids. lashes. It nonetheless has a scientific justification.net/~d. etc. to knit the brows. cils. to keep a weather eye open. Image of the Eye an enviable fate.a. meaning to be on the look-out. sockets. Finally we shift the whole to the part.perkins/ORDEYE1.. to have a peep. to frown.Eye 1. have entered ordinary language and enriched the figurative vocabulary: froncer les sourcils. since it is rare for a man to have the same acuity of vision in each eye. jeter un cil [flick an eyelash]. literally to open one's best eye. se mirer dans des prunelles. However there is no doubt an allusion here to the need for a marksman who wishes to aim straight to shut one of his eyes. and the words prunelles. before themselves falling into popular usage. http://website. So it would surely be better to say fermer l'oeil et le mauvais [close your worst eye].lineone.

Victor Hugo's poem is sufficiently well known. In this respect. For although the eye. The fear of insects is doubtless one of the most singular and fully developed of these horrors. That a razor might slice open the dazzling eye of a young and charming woman.a. to describe the eye without employing the word seductive. since among other things it is the eye of conscience. Cannibal Delicacy: next previous author list entries list home It is obvious that civilised man is characterised by a frequently inexplicable acuity of horrors. nothing it seems. among which one of the most surprising is the fear of the eye. Cannibal Delicacy Eye.Eye. and pigs that he eats have always been hidden.net/~d. it is also for us the object of such anxiety that we will never bite into it. to employ Stevenson's exquisite phrase. this is precisely what he would admired to the point of madness. It seems impossible. the http://website. who is by chance holding in his hand a coffee spoon (should he suddenly hanker to place an eye in it).html (1 of 4)12/12/2004 8:59:47 μμ . But this extreme seductiveness is probably at the very edge of horror.lineone. one might relate the eye to the edge of a blade whose appearance provokes both intense and contradictory reactions: this is what the makers of Un Chien Andalou [1] must have hideously and obscurely experienced when they decided to make the bloody love affair between these two beings among the earliest images of the film. sheep. 2. from whom the eyes of the cows. this young man observed by a small cat. The eye has the same high rank in horror. is a cannibal delicacy. This is obviously a strange desire on the part of whiteman. being more attractive in the bodies of animals and men. 2.perkins/OGBCANNI. in fact.

. following an expression that presents a ferocious image to the mind's eye. he made an oak sweat.net/~d. condemned to death and approached by the chaplain an instant before the blade's descent: he dismissed the clergyman by enucleating himself and presenting him with the merry gift of his tornout eye. 2. to something so repugnant? Equally. it is not a man. The hands of the victim are raised in supplication. who seeks to defend himself. perhaps in the end just the expression of a blind thirst for blood? Similar also to the eye of Crampon. but a tree trunk. does an eye regularly appear against a red background. why on the masthead of a perfectly sadistic illustrated weekly. where it devours him after assuming the form of a fish. under the murderous weapon.. pursuing the criminal through space and to the bottom of the sea. Grandville writes: "Are these the thousand eyes of the crowd attracted by the rumour of an immanent spectacle of torture?" But why would these absurd eyes be attracted.. above various bloody spectacles? Why does not the Eye of the Police resemble the eye of human justice in Grandville's nightmare." An then an enormous eye appears in the black sky.lineone.. but in vain. like a cloud of flies. because this eye was made of glass.. Blood continues to flow. Concerning these.html (2 of 4)12/12/2004 8:59:47 μμ . the living eye. the eye of the hideous nightmare experienced just before his death [2]: the criminal "dreams that he has just struck down a man in a dark wood.a.. Innumerable eyes nevertheless multiply beneath the waves.perkins/OGBCANNI. Cannibal Delicacy obsessive and lugubrious eye.[3] In fact.Eye. bleeding. Human blood has been spilled and.. [1] This extraordinary film is the work of two http://website. published in Paris between 1907 and 1924..

with which one might have been tempted to confuse it. probably the most beautiful of Grandville's extravagant compositions. was ill for a week (and he then had had to film the scene of the asses cadavers in a pestilential atmosphere).lineone. the story of the pursuit of a criminal by an obstinate eye: it is scarcely useful to observe. however. http://website. the oak fears being made into a coffin).net/~d. can explain this resemblance. a reader of Le Magazin pittoresque. This film can be distinguished from the banal productions of the avant-garde.Eye. in fact.a. both published in 1847 (pp. by Bifur (August 1929. More precisely. they are caught by the throat. [3] Faire suer un chêne has this literal meaning. how can one not appreciate the extent of horror's fascination. how far the authors of this film. and not a cold memory. 230). Several very explicit facts follow one upon the other.perkins/OGBCANNI.e. 209). and without artifice: do they know. but penetrating so deeply into horror that the spectators are caught up as directly as they are in an adventure film. 2. p. 211-14). Cannibal Delicacy young Catalans: the painter Salvador Dali. borrowed from both the admirable dream narrative Crime and Expiation and from the unprecedented drawing of Grandville.105) and by Variétés (July 1929. p. and the director Luis Buñuel. and that it alone is sufficient to hatter everything that stifles us? [2] Victor Hugo. but it is also argot for killing someone (i. without logical connection it is true. p. or people like them will go? If Buñuel himself. See the excellent stills published by Cahiers d'Art (July 1929. after filming the slitting open of the eye.html (3 of 4)12/12/2004 8:59:47 μμ . that only an obscure and sinister obsession. We owe to Pierre d'Espezel's erudition and generosity our awareness of this curious document. by the importance given to the screenplay.

html (4 of 4)12/12/2004 8:59:47 μμ .perkins/OGBCANNI.lineone.a.Eye.net/~d. Cannibal Delicacy http://website. 2.

These ancient beliefs have survived in our civilisations. has always been.lineone. Evil Eye: next previous author list entries list home The eye. above all those that are round and fixed. as if the gaze had deposited in the object a force ready to come into play aginst any stranger." It would be easy to compile a dictionary of expressions concerned with the magic of the eyes." of Œdevouring with one's eyes. such as the gaze of desire. among the civilised as among the primitives. to enjoy it.perkins/OMGEYE3. he is in still greater terror of the human eye. as if it were dangerous for him to keep it any longer. To look at an object with desire is to appropriate it.html (1 of 4)12/12/2004 9:00:00 μμ . or simply the vague gaze that settles on nothing. We speak of "piercing eyes. In all these degrees." or "eyes like pistols.a. be it strange. Evil Eye Eye 3. Hypnotism is the culminating point of a phenomenon which has leeser degrees. vague. the stereotyped phraseology of our run-of-the-mill novels and our best poems. To desire is to pollute. or simply beautiful. and we might say that for him every eye is evil. to desire is to take.Eye 3.net/~d. and still is. the primitive fears it. and the primitive who has noticed a gaze on a possesion of his immediately makes a gift of it. They have crept into our ordinary language. http://website. the curious gaze. He fears the eyes of all animals. the doorway for evil influences.

Magical formulae. is above all prophylatic: it banishes a cause of misfortune.html (2 of 4)12/12/2004 9:00:00 μμ . It is essential.Eye 3. for this. The power of the eye is so strong that it is dangerous even when mere curiosity animates it: as a result of being stared at by a number of soldiers. to defend oneself and. Antoine D'Abadie (Douze ans dans Haute Ethiopie.net/~d. representing one of two eyes. One is not surprised that it "eats the hearts of humans and the insides of cucmbers" (Mignes. one can gain an idea of the power it wields when it expresses an evil desire.a. had a woman who loved him rush to him and cover him with her robe. crying: "Your accursed eyes will pierce me before seeing him. The commonest consits of an amulet worn round the neck. Sciences occultes.205). written medicines – in magic. as it were a solvent containing the evil – a vaccine compounded with the dead bacillus – and wearing this remedy amounts to innoculating oneself with http://website. Evil Eye This gift. p.perkins/OMGEYE3. II. that it dries up cows udders and kills little children. 879)." Yet the soldiers' curiosity was benevolent. and it is to some extent thus that we must explain the majority of gifts made by indigenous peoples. By ascertaining the power of an eye without evil intent. the utterance or the putting into words of a formula is itself efficacious – surround the figure. they form. then.lineone. this abandonment. men have found many techniques.

perkins/OMGEYE3. A bucrane stuck on a post in a field. It consits of the skeleton of a fish. On the other hand. at Port Sudan. is the symbol of a powerful defence: it recalls the halting of the animal by a wild beast dropping on its head from a branch. which disregard them – or set above a threshold – the idea of making it a decorative motif came later – is the best fluid-conductor.Eye 3. This in effect. its vaguely phallic appearance has not. the phallus. been without influence in determining the choice. that stoneshattering lighting. Another means employed in the majority of African countries is the bucrane.html (3 of 4)12/12/2004 9:00:00 μμ .lineone. the first being the most dangerous – and here it seems right and proper to conjure up all the magic of the first time – it will suck in through the two holes of the empty sockets. Its whiteness. its head impaled on a cane switch thrust into a palisade. will at first sight draw the eye of the passer-by or the visitor.a. In the living creature there is sort of horn over each eye. thus giving immunity. like a flat battery. in fact plays a considerable role in the phrophylaxis of http://website. I believe. One might. leaving the eye.net/~d. Evil Eye the evil influence. on a millstone – our scarecrows have not been conceived only for sparrows. perhaps. class under the same heading a "para-eye" I have observed on the shores of the Red Sea. the result of vermin and the sun. probably of an acanthopterous or shiny species. in a tree heavy with fruit. It will capture this gaze.

http://website. far too extensive to expound upon here.perkins/OMGEYE3.a.net/~d. Evil Eye the evil eye (Otto Jahn.lineone. But this is naother question. Böse Blick).html (4 of 4)12/12/2004 9:00:00 μμ .Eye 3.

soft corn between the toes. evil eye.net/~d.html12/12/2004 9:00:02 μμ .Eye4. The Eye at the Académie Française : next previous author list entries list home The Académie. Eye at the Académie Française Eye 4.perkins/OAQEYE4. oeil pour oeil. http://website. to ogle.a. Abel Hermant. tape à l'oeil. has carried out revisions upon the expressions: mauvais oeil.lineone. oeil de perdix. an eye for an eye. presided over by M. to wink.

the dire filth of those enormous tentacles appears all the more revolting. looms up like carrion in a nightmare.net/~d. has invented the contemptible "beauty" of the factory. the black smoke halfbeaten down by the wind.perkins/OGBFACTO. not unaware that for most people the factory chimney is merely the sign of mankind's labour. but rather large factory chimneys. it seems that for our generation. I am. I sensed. later become my own.lineone. stinking earth surrounding the textile and dye factories. which both excited me to the point of anguish and made me run sometimes for my life. the rain puddles at their feet. when the truly wretched aesthete. true channels of communication between the ominously dull. That rage would. I discerned in those giant scarecrows. the most fearinspiring architectural form was by no means the church. the empty lots.Factory Chimney Factory Chimney: next previous author list entries list home When I review my own memories. the piles of slag and dross are the sole true attributes of those gods of a sewer Olympus. Today. out of all the world's various objects glimpsed in early childhood. giving meaning to everything spoiling within my own head and to all that which. however monstrous. in civilised states.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:00:13 μμ . at a loss for objects of admiration. as a terrified child.a. I was not hallucinating when. of course. the presence of a fearful rage. and never the terrible projection of that nightmare http://website. threatening sky and the muddy.

Obviously one does not. when placing it in a dictionary. like a cancer. who is necessarily blind. Now. or as the hairy. inexplicable muzzle of a dog. for example. as each grimace of the pavement's mud or of the human face.lineone. rather than the technician. and this for the same reason. continue to focus on that which is seen as the revelation of a state of violence for which one bears some responsibility. for an abstraction. That is why.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:00:13 μμ . hardly has the smoke coiled round within its throat.net/~d. the only possible reason for the present dictionary is precisely to demonstrate the error of that sort of definition. These childish or untutored way of seeing is replaced by a knowing vision which allows one to take a factory chimney for a stone construction forming a pipe for the evacuation of smoke high into the air – which is to say. It should be stressed. that a chimney is only very tentatively of a wholly mechanical order. the terrified witness of the birth of that image of the immense and sinister convulsions in which his whole life will unfold. it is more logical to call upon the little boy. as a rule.perkins/OGBFACTO. than it has already become the oracle of all that is most violent in our present-day-world. http://website. as each part of an immense unrest whose order is that of a dream. within mankind. Hardly has it risen towards the first covering cloud.a.Factory Chimney which develops obscurely. really.

possess rights.html12/12/2004 9:00:15 μμ . in any sense whatever. it would be necessary. it is a question of fitting what exists into a frock-coat. The whole of philosophy has no other aim. amounts to saying that the universe is something akin to a spider or a gob of spittle. for the universe to take on a form.lineone.Formless Formless: next previous author list entries list home A dictionary would begin as of the moment when it no longer provided the meanings of words but their tasks. and everywhere gets crushed like a spider or an earthworm. For academics to be satisfied. http://website.a. but a term serving to declassify. What it designates does not. a mathematical frock-coat. In this way formless is not only an adjective having such and such a meaning. requiring in general that every thing should have a form. To affirm on the contrary that the universe resembles nothing at all and is only formless. in effect.perkins/OGBFORML.net/~d.

was none the worse for that. knows himself well. next to primitive men." say those in favour of Latin tags. He who knows himself well.Hygiene Hygiene: next previous author list entries list home The man who rubs his skin with a friction-glove until it is a vivid red. anxious to maintain their people in good health. or indeed takes a cold shower after some physical exercise. the admirable benefit of this century of reason. Primitive man. fit to allow him to appear." "Wash your hands with sand" [1]: so many commandments that passed for having been invented by wise legislators. "Be thou circumcised.net/~d. It has long been believed that many of the prescriptions concerning taboos were no more than rules of hygiene in disguise.html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 9:00:17 μμ . http://website. "Mens sana in corpore sano. imagines he is acting with the sole aim of keeping himself in good health.lineone. Should one prefer the simpler wisdom of railway stations: "He who weighs himself frequently. thanks to a properly understood hygiene. cleans his teeth with an American product." "Abstain from eating beans. that clean-shaven man with his neatly combed hair. that he is accomplishing a magical rite.perkins/OMLHYGIE. However it seems today that things might be quite the contrary and that our modern hygiene might be a species of taboo. who was not forever washing. mace or lance in hand." He hardly suspects. keeps well. more or less rationalised.a.

are increasingly tending to merge with hygiene. What clearly demonstrates the ritual. in the last analysis.. There is something essentially religious in cleanliness and. on the difference in cleanliness. prior to carrying out certain rites. A coarse mind. dirty language. on the other hand. One protects oneself from these by breathing in the incense of temples and churches. coarse language. and consequently moral. the leagues http://website. means a dirty mind. nature of our practices of cleanliness is the contempt clean people have for dirty people. solely because it is dirtier. In our time. by avoiding.a. the disdain of the bourgeois for the worker rests. religions. to save themselves.html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 9:00:17 μμ .Hygiene Cleanliness has no raison d'être outside of very limited circumstances. a wholly moral purification. Evil odours attract evil spirits. On the scale of metaphysical values.perkins/OMLHYGIE. if not immoral. contact with those who eat garlic-sausage or have smelly feet. being itself no more than a rite of purification. The Salvation Army.net/~d. now that religious values find themselves on the decline. temperance societies. matter is situated lower than mind.lineone. A man who does not wash is taken by the former for a genuinely inferior being. addressing itself to exclusively mystical forces. even more than on the difference in culture.. And the disgust at dirtiness can be explained in no other way than by the antique and magical notion of impurity.

is that not.a. That's how the fast-one gets pulled: the worker's sole ambition is now to have a bathroom. thanks to Cadum soap.. in the absence of water. in the gravest way. to violate his "hygiene"?).perkins/OMLHYGIE. selfaware. those who are clean can go on believing they are the pure in heart. so many organisations of a religious origin whose real aim is to create a mystique of hygiene. [1] The followers of Pythagoras were forbidden (among other things) to eat beans.lineone.net/~d. and the world goes on turning. Islam enjoins ablution before prayer. http://website. everybody will soon be moral..html (3 of 3)12/12/2004 9:00:17 μμ . medicinal mintspirit and mains-drainage. sand may be used. And since there are no crimes.Hygiene against public immorality. errors or weaknesses other than against sacrosanct hygiene (to kill a man. thanks to Pink Pills. the enemies of pallor. powerful and strong because their ancestors of genius have invented antiseptics. the benevolent societies.

From the point of view of ethnography.html12/12/2004 9:00:18 μμ .lineone.net/~d. Djoudjou. ignorant of phonetic conventions. By the application of the law of least effort. the gods. and evil sprits. mysteries.Ju-Ju Ju-Ju: next previous author list entries list home Europeans have a marked predilection for striking and compressed turns of phrase and expression who convenience does not trouble their habits of thought. of a certain number of African peoples it is pointless to enumerate here if the reader really means to take the trouble to finish reading this article. dispensers of justice or decent fellows. resolved them immediately.perkins/OMGJUJU. forces. The word djoudjou denotes. Thus the first Portuguese who were fortunate enough to travel around the coastline of Africa. or of exhibition-catalogue pidgin. beneficent and maleficent. Likewise the little clan of informed aesthetes. djoudjou is a ridiculous word. the successors of the Portuguese took up the term. and the successors of the successors were most careful to leave well alone. After a while the Africans themselves made no bones about understanding it. finding themselves confronted with the immense problems of beliefs. in the broadest terms. http://website. gods. and with a single word.a. who inscribe it in their catalogues in the form ju-ju -–which is fairly ugly when pronounced by an average Parisian. but very elegant if we put it in its place. that is to say if we consider it as being no more than a term of African pidgin.

Kali. horribly disfigured by nameless diseases.lineone. the third. such as Devi (the goddess). Durga (the difficult-ofaccess). raised in menace. and some prostrate themselves face down on the flagstones of the temple." In this temple alone the sacrifices to the goddess reach a figure of a hundred and fifty to two hundred goats daily. pours out blood.a. The statue of the goddess in that temple is consistent with the popular image reproduced here. extended. on all fours. "The blood flows over the flagstones.. Half a dozen hairless and mangy dogs. "She is black-faced and sticks out an enormous tongue.html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 9:00:33 μμ . with the avowed intention of disgusting her readers with an ignoble barbarity.' cry the priests and suppliants in a chorus. one holds a human head. Kali (the black one) etc. Katherine Mayo [1] recounts her visit to the great temple of Kali in Calcutta. Kali. laps up the blood with her tongue. dripping with blood." Katherine Mayo relates. is empty. The animals are decapitated by the priests with a single blow from a cutlass.Untitled Document Kali: next previous author list entries list home The wife of Shiva appears in the Hindu imagination under various names and aspects. Of her four hands. ŒKali. pp. the forth. plunge their avid muzzles into the spreading tide of http://website. 12-18). In L'Inde avec les Anglais (trans. "the drums and gongs before the goddess ring out in a frenzy.net/~d. the second a knife.. Théo Varlet. A woman rushes forward and. filthy with blood.perkins/OGBKALI.

html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 9:00:33 μμ .II." The figure quoted for the number of buffaloes immolated in the nine days of the Durgapuja festival in the middle of the 19th century is nine thousand (op. of cemeteries. whose sacrifice is according to Sylvain Lévi. incomparably more horrible than in the peninsulas. p. but of sacrifices of crocodiles.a. Kali is the goddess of terror. The ancient texts speak not only of the sacrifices of human beings and various domestic animals. of destruction. which gushes towards the idol." In Nepal the orgies of blood are. Today they still slit the throats of a great many buffaloes. pp.38)..lineone. two men of high rank were still immolated every twelve years: they were made drunk.perkins/OGBKALI." It consists of making skilful and complicated incisions in such a way as to "allow a torrent of blood to escape. her belt consists of a fringe of human http://website. their heads were sliced off and the jet of blood directed onto the idols (cf. She is the patroness of cholera. Le Népaul. moreover. At the beginning of the 19th century. She is represented adorned with a necklace of severed human heads. tigers and lions. 38-39). "an unforgettable nightmare.Untitled Document blood. of night and of chaos. Sylvain Lévi. of thieves and prostitutes.net/~d. cit. vol.

a.net/~d. tongues and eyes of gold. Dali) has devoted a lengthy study to the goddess Kali. her intoxication prevented her from seeing him: she knocked him off his feet. The book was first published in Britain in 1927 as Mother India. Attracted by the din. and danced on his corpse. Rich believers offer her silver forearms. trod him underfoot.perkins/OGBKALI.html (3 of 3)12/12/2004 9:00:33 μμ . http://website. pp.Untitled Document forearms. Under the title Hindu-Mythologie und Kastrations-Komplex a psychoanalyst homonymous with the creator of the Jeu lugubre (the painter S. [1] American journalist (1868-1940). 160-98). Shiva came running. Its sensationalism provoked the indignation of Indian nationalists and British anti-imperialists. She dances on the corpse of her husband Shiva and her tongue. appeared in German in Imago (1927. from which the blood of the giant she has just decapitated drips. this study written in English. hangs completely out of her mouth because she is horrified at having lacked respect for the dead giant. Legend tells how her joy at having vanquished the giants raised her to such a degree of exaltation that her dance set the earth shaking and trembling.lineone. but since his wife had drunk the blood of the giants.

Better. unless we possess – like the Buster Keaton of the films – an inviolable sang-froid such that. by the very fact of its existence. friends: that is no doubt the only course that permits us. First-communion photographs. occupations.Keaton (Buster) Keaton (Buster): next previous author list entries list home It is curious to observe. as a child. a serpent entangled in its old skins. It is never more than a species of cadaver and constitutes.a.html12/12/2004 9:00:48 μμ . placed in the proximity (or not) of a pier-table or a column. in our civilised societies. as it were. flat on our belly among furs.net/~d. we become an axis about which the nonsensical trivialities of shifting events gravitate. to tolerate the sight of a photograph showing us as a child. wife. those showing us in the form of a baby. even if it dates only from the previous year.lineone.. such as today we imagine him? It seems to me that a portrait. never laughing. stiffened like a stake by the sword of humour and.perkins/OMLKEATO. is always a mockery. of itself alone. ideas. men retaining their childhood names.. http://website. make it clear to us that the only unity we truly possess is perhaps that of the name. To drag one's old portraits along in one's wake is to become. really a phlegmatic individual. without shame. to change one's name. appearance. Was Buster Keaton. as often as one can. or indeed as wellbehaved little boys. a bewitchment.

Dr. Enough iron is found in the organism to make a medium sized nail. This is the result of his learned researches: " The bodily fat of a normally constituted man would suffice to manufacture seven cakes of toiletsoap. The magnesium would furnish the light needed to take a photograph. but in an unusable quantity. In addition. 13 August 1929. These different raw materials." (Journal des Débats.a.lineone.200 matches. costed at current prices.Man (1): Man (1): next previous author list entries list home "An eminent English chemist. and sugar to sweeten a cup of coffee. a little potassium and sulphur.html12/12/2004 9:00:50 μμ .net/~d.) http://website.perkins/OAQMAN1. The phosphorus would provide 2. Charles Henry Maye. set out to establish in a precise manner what man is made of and what is its chemical value. represent an approximate sum of 25 francs.

Man (2):

Man (2):
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Sir William Earnshaw Cooper, in a book entitled La Culpabilité sanguinaire de la Chrétienté (translated by J. Charpentier, Paris, M. Carpenter) [1], gives prominence to the well-known fact that not one of the millions of animals man massacres every year is necessary for his nourishment. In seeking to characterise the red and hideous bloodstain on the face of man, he expresses himself thus: "If, taking the animals put to death in a single day in all the slaughterhouses of the Christian countries, we set them walking head to tail, with only sufficient space between them that they do not tread on one another, they would stretch in Indian file for 1322 miles – more than thirteen hundred miles of warm, palpitating living bodies, dragged each day, as the years go by, to the Christians' bloody slaughterhouses, so that they might quench their thirst for blood at the red fountain gushing from the veins of their murdered victims... "A calculation based on very modest figures shows the quantity of blood shed each year in the slaughterhouses of Chicago is more than sufficient to float five transatlantic liners..."

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Man (2):

[1] The English Original, The Blood-Guiltiness of Christendom (May We Slay For Food?), was published in 1922 by The Order of the Golden Age, which seems to have been a group of militant nationalist vegetarians. Other works include: The Murder of Agriculture, Socialism and its Perils, Britain for the Briton and Spiritual Science, Here and Hereafter. The quotation is from page 33.

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Materialism

Materialism:
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Most materialists, despite wanting to eliminate all spiritual entities, ended up describing an order of things whose hierarchical relations mark it out as specifically idealist. They have situated dead matter at the summit of a conventional hierarchy of diverse types of facts, without realising that in this way they have submitted to an obsession with an ideal form of matter, with a form which approaches closer than any other to that which matter should be. Dead matter, the pure idea, and God, all in fact answer a question in the same way – perfectly, and as flatly as a docile student in a classroom – a question that can perhaps only be posed by idealist philosophers, the question of the essence of things, in other words of exactly the idea by means of which things become intelligible. The classical materialists did not really even substitute causation for the must be (the quare for the quamobrem, that is to say, determinism for destiny, the past for the future...). Due to the functional role they unconsciously attributed to the idea of science, their need for external authority in fact placed the must be on all appearance. If the principle of things they defined constitutes precisely the stable element that permitted science to acquire an apparently unshakeable position, a veritable divine eternity, this choice cannot be attributed to chance. Most materialists have simply substituted the conformity of dead matter to the idea of science for the

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Materialism

religious relations earlier established between the divinity and his creatures, the one being the idea of the others. Materialism can be seen as a senile idealism to the extent that it is not immediately founded upon psychological or social facts and not upon abstractions, such as artificially isolated phenomena. Thus it is from Freud, among others – rather from long dead physicists whose ideas today are remote from their causation – that a representation of matter must be taken. It matters little that the fear of psychological complication (a fear that bears a unique witness to intellectual debility) cause timid souls to see this attitude as an obscure detour or as a return to spiritual values. The time has come, when employing the word materialism, to assign to it the meaning of a direct interpretation, excluding all idealism, of raw phenomena, and not of a system founded on the fragmentary elements of an ideological analysis elaborated under the sign of religious relations.

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Metamorphosis 1. Abyssinian Games

Metamorphosis 1. Abyssinian Games:
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Wild animals play a leading role in African folklore. The cycle of the hyena is by far the most important in the oral literature. This animal has gathered to itself all the horror of the pitch-black nights which it fills with its sinister plaints, painstakingly enumerated by the people shut up in their thatched houses, and interrupted in popular divination. The personification of witchcraft or of the evil eye, the incarnation or the mount of the sorcerer, it is also, on the high plateau of Ethiopia, the bogey man of young and old alike. A game among the Wollo consists of imitating its howls and slowly inserting oneself into doorways, body bent forwards in such a way as to mimic the creature's curious gait – forelegs very long, hindquarters almost scraping the ground – and covered in a white toga fixed to the head by two knots taking the place of the ears. When, on the contrary, one wishes to make the children and the women laugh, one borrows the form of a goodnatured bird whose misadventures are the stuff of legend: the guinea-fowl. To this end one wears a toga, hands joined on a stick, and with one's wrists bound. In this way one obtains a diamondshaped head, set on a long neck; one's arms, together with the rest of one's body, covered by the cloth. The player goes down all fours, supported on his elbows, his head pulled in between his shoulders. He lowers and raises his forearms, thus, to a wonderful degree,

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a. http://website.Metamorphosis 1.lineone.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:01:52 μμ . Abyssinian Games conveying the two-and-fro movement of a pecking guinea-fowl.net/~d.perkins/OMGMETAM.

a. like wine in a wineskin. They have no desire to get out of their skins. a tree-trunk. an animal. Not to mention the magical artifices that would really permit the accomplishment (albeit for a more less lengthy period) of this metamorphosis. is liable to create a shattering and violent paroxysm. I feel sorry for those who have not.lineone. in one way or another. http://website.Metamorphosis 2. No doubt that is of a nature to satisfy lovers of stagnant bogs. dreamt of turning into one or other of the nondescript objects that surround them: a table.html12/12/2004 9:01:54 μμ . and consequently to everything that is really worthwhile. To remain at ease with oneself. it is certain that nothing counts short of that which is capable of rendering a man genuinely out of himself. Out of the Self: next previous author list entries list home Ovid's Metamorphosis and Apuleius' novel The Golden Ass or Metamorphoses will always number among the most poetic conceptions of the human mind.net/~d. is an attitude contrary to all passion. but in no way those consumed by a higher ambition.. Out of the Self Metamorphosis 2. metamorphosis. at least once in their lives. by reason of their very basis – that is to say.perkins/OMLMETAM. and this peaceable contentment. is a tangible sign of the insupportable bumptiousness that is the most obvious prerogative of the majority of mankind. a chair.. be it material ingredients or everything in life which. untroubled by any curiosity. a sheet of paper.

Man. in certain deviant states. and it lurks in comic disguise within our grandmothers feathered hats.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:01:59 μμ . the horror as integral to life as light is to a tree. for example.perkins/OGBMETAM.Metamorphosis. furthermore. borders on metamorphosis.lineone. an existence of bitter servitude. for instance. A man is an apartment. the identity card. and yet. in savages. Human dignity does exist (it is. an animal thus imprisoned. must know that when he talks of human dignity in the presence of animals. but not on one's visits to the zoo – as when. 3. that shrill madness which. apparently. Wild Animals: next previous author list entries list home Man's equivocal attitude towards the wild animal is more than usually absurd. and so much that we have lost! The innocent cruelty. like a galley http://website. These remain the office. 3. Wild Animals Metamorphosis.a. For in the presence of illegal and essentially free beings (the only real outlaws) the stupid feeling of practical superiority gives way to a most uneasy envy. There are so many animals in this world. above all suspicion). The obsession with metamorphosis can be defined as a violent need – identical. with all our animal needs – that suddenly impels us to cast off the gestures and attitudes requisite to human nature. he lies like a dog. the opaque monstrosity of eyes scarcely distinguishable from the little bubbles that form on the surface of mud. it takes the form of the totem.net/~d. despite appearances. the animals watch the approaching crowds of children tailed by papa-men and mamawomen.

and the beast acts as a beast. Wild Animals slave. like the slave finding his way to escape. with no care for the poetic wonder of the dead man. The man falls dead. http://website.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:01:59 μμ .Metamorphosis. and there is a gate.net/~d. Thus man is seen as a prison of bureaucratic aspect. 3. the animal will rush out.lineone. and if we open the gate.perkins/OGBMETAM.a.

Given any two among them.Metaphor Metaphor: next previous author list entries list home (From the Greek metaphora. since we can only know phenomena. Nevertheless.a. and vice versa. Moreover. which is impossible." (Darmesteter). A concrete word. not figuratively but actually would necessitate knowing the very essence of that object. it is impossible to determine which is designated by the name proper to it and is not a metaphor of the other. which connects all known objects to one another in relations of interdependency. the sky is a rarefied earth. but the whole of intellectual life is based of transpositions.net/~d. And if I see a dog running. just as much as a tree is a man who has put down roots. not things in themselves. or at the very least a figurative expression. A man is a moving tree. is itself hardly more than a metaphor. An abstract word is formed by the sublimation of a concrete word. it is hard to know where metaphor begins and ends. of symbols.html12/12/2004 9:02:03 μμ .perkins/OMLMETAP. In the same way. http://website.lineone. Not only language. which can be described as metaphorical. Even this article is metaphorical. a transfer) is "a figure by which the mind applies the name of one object to another. the earth a denser sky. it is just as much the run that is dogging. to designate an object by an expression to which it corresponds. which designates an object only by one of its qualities. knowledge always proceeds by comparison. because of a shared characteristic that allows them to be set beside one another and compared. On the other hand.

Misfortune Misfortune: next previous author list entries list home It is beyond doubt that everything has been said.. only with this reserve. groaning that vice is a terrifying misfortune. written. found himself rebuked by a magistrate for having eaten chocolate mouth-to-mouth with Madame Delarche. to make the ignoble accusation that he is speaking of misfortune in the same fashion as if he were speaking of good manners (one would have the dim awareness of being a pompous ass). is a magistrate or a cardinal. furthermore.perkins/OGBMISFO.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:02:16 μμ . in a red robe. It would be a matter of speaking. to the inspector of police) would find itself subsumed under the form of vice. Moreover.lineone. or indeed when. that it is never misfortune itself that speaks but some fortunate prattler in the name of misfortune. crying out. who after having killed his mistress and his rival sought to kill himself with a third blast from his shotgun.a. the streets one likes have an air of misfortune about them. which also of course means that misfortune is everything that is hypocritical and mute. nobody would be able to say where.net/~d. that vice. at all events something that assumes all the sinister and ambiguous trappings of misfortune. all unknowing. anything at all would certainly be possible. cried out or moaned regarding misfortune. she whom he was to kill one fine day when he saw http://website. that is to say that the enigma posed by misfortune (which does so. writing. printed. that vice is an underhand and presumptuous abuse of one's wretched person.. That is why we so often say: let's not speak of misfortune. printing. and one only walks along them with the look of mangy dog. Further on. a police officer rather than a murderer. lost his nose and his mouth (he moreover lost the power of speech). one-time Don Juan and a handsome fellow. It is of no importance whether or not this be taken for a circumlocution: that fact is that a certain Crépin. which would allow one.

One is lost in conjecture as to how this infamous phrase from the Assize Court.Misfortune red.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:02:16 μμ . applied in this context.net/~d. so faithfully reconstructs the image of vice.lineone.a. http://website.perkins/OGBMISFO.

but that as soon as these impulses become violent. Mouth: next previous author list entries list home http://website. in the form of screams. Among civilised men. a prolongation of the spinal column. he starts at the top of the skull. the violent meaning of the mouth is conserved in a latent state: it suddenly regains the upper hand with a literally cannibalistic expression such as mouth of fire. And on important occasions human life is still bestially concentrated in the mouth: fury makes men grind their teeth. in the brain or in the mouth. and the general importance of the superior or anterior extremity of the body. But man does not have a simple architecture like the beasts. it assumes the position in normally occupies in the constitution of animals.net/~d. the prow of animals. in other words. he is obliged to resort to the bestial method of liberation. the mouth has even lost the relatively prominent character that it still has among primitive men. In a strict sense.perkins/OGBMOUTH. the most terrifying for neighbouring animals.a.Mouth The mouth is the beginning or. the orifice of profound physical impulses: equally one sees that a man is able to liberate these impulses in at least two different ways. This fact simultaneously highlights the importance of the mouth in animal physiology or even psychology. However. as beautiful as a safe.html12/12/2004 9:02:17 μμ . in the most characteristic cases. if one prefers. it is the most living part. Whence the narrow constipation of a strictly human attitude. the magisterial look of the face with a closed mouth.lineone. in other words. On this subject it is easy to observe that the overwhelmed individual throws back his head while frenetically stretching his neck so that the mouth becomes. but the top of the skull is an insignificant part. terror and atrocious suffering transform the mouth into the organ of rending screams. and it is not even possible to say where he begins. incapable of attracting attention and it is the eyes or the forehead the play the significatory role of an animal's jaws. applied to the cannons men employ to kill each other. As if explosive impulses were to spurt directly out of the body through the mouth. as far as possible.

founded at the end of the 17th century. the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. http://website. the contents of which is formed by the visitors: it is the contents which distinguish a museum from a private collection. On Sundays.a. We must take into account the fact that the galleries and the objects of art are no more than a container. the flashes. visibly animated with a desire to be in all things at one with the celestial apparitions with which their eyes are still ravished.net/~d. at the exit door of the Louvre. the totality of visitors without any doubt represents the most grandiose spectacle of a humanity freed from material cares and dedicated to contemplation. the shimmerings of light technically described by the authorised critics takes place. A museum is comparable to the lung of a great city: every Sunday the throng flows into the museum. The origin of the modern museum would thus be linked to the development of the guillotine.perkins/OGBMUSEU. the first museum in the modern sense of the word (that is to say the first public collection) would seem to have been founded on 27 July 1793. The development of museums has plainly surpassed even the most optimistic hopes of the founders. like blood. above all. it is interesting to admire the torrent of visitors.Museum Museum: next previous author list entries list home According to the Grande Encyclopédie. at five o'clock.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:02:37 μμ . by the Convention. and leaves it fresh and purified.lineone. The pictures are only dead surfaces and it is within the crowd that the play. Not only does the totality of the world's museums today represent a colossal accumulation of riches but. However. was already a public collection belonging to the University. in France.

perkins/OGBMUSEU. in short. The museum is a colossal mirror in which man contemplates himself.a.net/~d.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:02:37 μμ . finds himself literally admirable and abandons himself to the ecstasy expressed in all the art journals. in all his aspects.Museum Grandville has schematised the relations between the container and the contained in museums by exaggerating (at the very least. when a native of the Ivory Coast places polished stone axes of the Neolithic period in a container filled with water. he is doing no more than prefiguring the attitude of enthusiasm and profound communion with objects which characterises the visitor to a modern museum. http://website. and sacrifices chickens to what he believes to be thunder stones (fallen from heaven in a thunderclap).lineone. In the same way. on the face of it) the bonds that are temporarily established between the visited and the visitors. bathes in the container.

lineone. because the nightingale's role is precisely to avoid designating them. Nightingale can be replaced: a) by rose. stupid. we use words as adornments for our own persons. belonging. like most words. it is hideand-seek. this animal helps to ward off disagreeable elements. http://website. a narcotic. The nightingale can be classed among the paraphrases of the absolute. for the most part. The nightingale is an allegory. Words are. star of lyric repertory. by which we try to suggest the indecent while skirting it. indolent. a platitude. but never by legs. adultery's high point. With words we designate vague opinions rather than objects. The nightingale can also be the sign of an erotic fatigue.net/~d. The nightingale belongs to the repertory of bourgeois diversions. in any case. They are means to power proposed by the wily and the drunken. Nobody thinks the nightingale wild or excessively erotic. The nightingale is an eternal prop.a. b) by breasts.Nightingale Nightingale: next previous author list entries list home Save in exceptional cases. no reference to a bird is intended. the good courtesan's comfort: it is the sign of an eternal optimism. The nightingale is generally.perkins/OCENIGHT. to the paraphrase. it is the senior element among all those techniques of classical seduction in which we resort to the charm of the small.html (1 of 4)12/12/2004 9:02:40 μμ . petrifications which elicit mechanical reactions in us.

It is a means of diversion. a moral perfection with which one adorns oneself. Allegories and surrogates must hide the failure and ugliness of man: thus the human soul is made of stars. – that is to say. It's cowardice that prevents people from using themselves in allegory.html (2 of 4)12/12/2004 9:02:40 μμ . One attributes to animals. plants. one schematises the defenceless world and projects one's idealised ego onto a Chihuahua. an ornamental motif. It is a cheap utopia that obscures misery. it is considered a means of concealment. a moral phenomenon. the weak like to juggle with the whole cosmos and get drunk on stars. Allegory is. Imprecision is the soul's façade. etc. to plants. while precision is the sign of threatening and hallucinatory processes against which we defend ourselves with a superstructure of knowledge. The nightingale helps to avoid thinking and psychic disquiet. One weeps with the nightingale in hope of a http://website.Nightingale The nightingale is to be classed among those ideals devoid of meaning. The nightingale is to be relegated among classical still-lifes of lyricism. roses.. robbing it of its literal meaning. It is defenceless animals. twilights. etc. a form of assassination because it disposes of the object.a. in fact.net/~d.lineone. and trees that get used.perkins/OCENIGHT.

The nightingale outlives the gods. a politics of the absolute. Poets – those gallivanters and embroiderers – transform the nightingale into turbines.net/~d.perkins/OCENIGHT. It even renders slightly daring sounds in a routine harmony. who take their coffee decaffeinated and practise. Mention must be made of the political nightingales. Its cadences are eclectic compilations: only the nuance changes. Let us also note that the nightingale sings best after having devoured a weakling. Song replaces action. etc. because the nightingale http://website. Such is the American's winning sentimentality. Taoism. Buddhism.Nightingale good day at the stock exchange. committing to nothing. as allegory they pass into eternity.html (3 of 4)12/12/2004 9:02:40 μμ . gracefully avoiding every danger through manifestos. Symbols die. through Hegel and double-entry book-keeping.a. The nightingale's music conforms to steady and classical taste. These signs are hidden behind the façade of actuality. Thus what we call the soul is for the most a museum of meaningless signs. it seeks a guaranteed success.lineone. but in degenerating. Tschou period. because it is merely allegorical. baseball.

html (4 of 4)12/12/2004 9:02:40 μμ . Anatole France. http://website. Let us now cite some highly successful nightingales: Mr Shaw. the nightingale of Hellenism and saccharine scepticism. And we'll add to the list the scholarly nightingales who engagingly combine the remains of metaphysics with an optimistic biology.Nightingale even uses sadness. The nightingale plays all the flutes of all time. of common sense and evolution.a.net/~d. for whom drama is a compilation of feature articles.lineone. but it cannot master the saxophone. like pastry. it is more eternal than Apollo.perkins/OCENIGHT. the nightingale of socialism.

a school-task or lesson to be prepared. chewing on their pen holders. a school Œimposition. Few painters produce pictures other than by way of pensums. now with cereals.net/~d.lineone.. for not one of them (or as near as may be not one of them) is really capable of enjoying himself.. now with relics. Or allotted task.a.. Everything is hateful when it is done as a pensum. Leaving aside children who set fire to haystacks.html12/12/2004 9:02:41 μμ . or asses. How many writers harness themselves to their novel and voluntarily reduce themselves to the rank of plough-horses. and often hateful..perkins/OMLPENSU. [1] Pensum. duty. enjoy themselves not to enjoy themselves but in order to perform a species of rite. hand.'" http://website.) a lesson or piece of work imposed as a punishment.Pensum Pensum: [1] next previous author list entries list home Most forms of activity impose themselves on man as pensums. according to the OED: "A charge. works imposed on them by an alien. likewise. also (U. even in the case of activities he appears to have chosen freely. derail trains or dream up great massacres of animals. loaded.S. I know scarcely any but sinister pedants who. All white-men are failures. How many people. sweat blood and water so as to write out to the bitter end their calamitous pensums.

Pottery Pottery: next previous author list entries list home Archaeologists and aesthetes are interested in the container and not in what it contains. it is shameful to drink while standing up. they extrapolate the feet or neck of a vase of which they have only the bulbous part? And. present-day http://website.net/~d. in a sketch.a. They will admire the form of a handle. But they will deny that they make ample use of the imagination when. the odour of aromatic plants. at random according to the cultures of fresh or rancid butter. leaving it open or carefully closing it. among many peoples. but they will studiously avoid studying the attitude of the drinking man and asking themselves why. the animals on the circumference and not in the milk falling directly from the udder. moreover. the supposedly preponderant part of that intemperate faculty could be greatly reduced if we were inclined to take the trouble to look around us. There is an infinite field of observation open to the reasonable mind.perkins/OMGPOTTE. in the pastoral scenes.lineone. Better still.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:03:02 μμ . They will say that these things are transient and that their reconstruction belongs to the domain of the imagination. of smoke. in the colour of the terracotta and not in the odour it can impart to that milk. or cow-dung. they do not seek to know whether the man who kept the pot empty or filling it.

do the monks of perpetual adoration see refilled day and night in a certain rite of Christian Africa? And each of them.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:03:02 μμ .perkins/OMGPOTTE. for its defence. the "children of bottles"? How many beautiful jars of red clay. and a forest of century-old trees whose fearsome spirits do not permit even the breaking of a branch.a. still today called Banu Qamãqim. filled with inexhaustible and miracle-working water. How numerous are the spirits of Arab magic. after all.net/~d. empty pots. evolved so little since the world began. http://website. the Golden Legend contains stories of demons imprisoned in pots. For. or those appearing in dreams? Solomon confined genies in vases. a troop of real serpents. whose beliefs. and even techniques regarding pottery have. on the whole. how many millions of men still believe in omens drawn from pots smashed before marriages or after drinking.Pottery humanity.lineone. has no less than a dragon.

a. their strange intertwinings. inside the skull. in the depths of swamps and in dungeons. of the role of the tempter in Genesis and the phallic significance everywhere attached to the serpent. The wriggling of serpents. [1] The Platonic. one or the other. symbolises for some the eternal destiny of things. Great. the Great Year of the Pythagoreans [1]. http://website.lineone. I have perhaps seen the trace of the crocodile sacred to the Egyptians. on the other hand. the general rhythm of the world with its alternations of dispersion and concentration. One is aware.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:03:10 μμ . 000 years. in the form of the wooden lizard (or crocodiles?) that many prostitutes hang over their doors by way of an immutable sign.Untitled Document Reptiles: next previous author list entries list home A white serpent emerging from the right eye-socket of a skull and re­ entering by the left eye-socket – or vice-versa – in such a way that its head or the end of its tail are always. at the end of which all the heavenly bodies are imagined to have returned to the places they occupied at the creation. or Perfect year (Annus Magnus). In Cairo. their combats with fangs. knots or venom will always be the exact image of human existence shot through from top to bottom by death and love.perkins/OMLREPTI.net/~d. was estimated by early Greek astronomers at about 26.

a.perkins/OMLREPTI.Untitled Document http://website.lineone.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:03:10 μμ .net/~d.

" immediately evokes an erotic image in which the building. beyond doubt. As in the myth of the Titans. to dethrone the father. rash though it may be. that which transforms these edifices into modern towers of Babel. which scrapes." One of the innumerable versions of the story of the struggle between father and son is the Biblical narrative concerning the erection of the Tower of Babel.lineone. the http://website. and the sky which is scraped – the object of the desire of the said phallus – is the incestuously desired mother. it is nevertheless of interest (by the very reason of its immediacy) in confirming the psychoanalytic content of the expression "skyscraper. skyscrapers. the coupling. as she is in all attempts at the spoilation of the paternal virility. is a phallus even more explicit than the Tower of Babel.perkins/OMLSKYSC. with an insolent ease.Skyscraper Skyscraper: next previous author list entries list home Like everything which has about it a prestige of exoticism. the substantive "sky. But trivial though such a comparison may be. on the other. to the tempting amusement of comparisons.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:03:25 μμ . we find here the attempt to climb up to the sky – that its to say.net/~d. whose rival he is. the tall buildings of America lend themselves. of these two words. The most immediate is.a. and. the verb "scrape" on the one hand. Furthermore. to possess oneself of his virility – followed by the destruction of the rebels: castration of the son by his father. To that degree.

the Oedipus complex which is.Skyscraper grandiose ornament of North American cities and the instruments of a luxury and comfort as yet unknown in Europe.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:03:25 μμ . came a cropper and thereby turned Libya into a parched desert and blackened the inhabitants of Africa. Phaeton. http://website. the son of Helios (the sungod). indeed of certain social upheavals and a fair number of inventions. of "progress. sought to drive his father's chariot.perkins/OMLSKYSC. are marvellous and modern symbols – as much by their name as their form – of one of the most important human constants: that which was the cause of Laius' murder by his son. without possible contradiction. [1] [1] Laius was Oedipus's father. Zeus saved the world from being fire by shooting him down. one of the most powerful factors in evolution or. if one believes in it." since it implies a desire no less for substitution than for joyful demolition.lineone.a.net/~d. of the final disaster of Phaeton.

perkins/OGBSLAUG. Seabrook [1] has expressed an intense regret. to exile themselves.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:03:53 μμ . out of propriety. an unseemliness commensurate with an unhealthy need of cleanliness. to a flabby world in which nothing http://website. and boredom. In America. observing that the orgiastic life has survived.Slaughterhouse Slaughterhouse: next previous author list entries list home The slaughterhouse is linked to religion in so far as the temples of bygone eras (not to mention those of the Hindus in our own day) served two purposes: they were used both for prayer and for killing. but those same good folk who countenance. the slaughterhouse is cursed and quarantined like a plague-ridden ship.lineone. In our time. with irascible meanness. by now. but that the sacrificial blood is not part of the cocktail mix. B. only their own unseemliness. Now. the victims of this curse are neither butchers nor beasts. nevertheless. curiously enough. he finds present custom insipid. The result (and this judgement is confirmed by the chaotic aspect of present-day slaughterhouses) was certainly a disturbing convergence of the mysteries of myth and the ominous grandeur typical of those places in which blood flows. The curse (terrifying only to those who utter it) leads them to vegetate as far as possible from the slaughterhouse.a.net/~d. W.

Slaughterhouse fearful remains and in which.lineone. http://website.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:03:53 μμ .net/~d. [1] In The Magic Island.a. they are reduced to eating cheese. subject to the ineradicable obsession of shame.perkins/OGBSLAUG.

desperately absurd. out of confusion or for a laugh. in the behaviour of that scallywag at odds with society: to wit. Questions of Propriety: next previous author list entries list home It is not surprising that the mere utterance of the word space should introduce philosophical protocol. that it is incongruous to assert that space might become a fish swallowing another. I should. how is it that. It is as discontinuous as it is devious.lineone. the dignity of space is so well established and associated with that of the stars. In reality.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:04:44 μμ .a. space breaks all obligatory continuity. moreover. being the masters of ceremony of the abstract universe. to the utter despair of its philosopher-papa. Philosophers. Questions of Propriety Space 1. have pointed out how space should behave under all circumstances.net/~d. Without one's being able to say why. under our modestly averted eyes. prefer not to refresh the memory of persons who interest themselves. Unfortunately space remains a lout.perkins/OGBSPACE.Space 1. Space will still more frightfully disappointing when it said that it takes the ignoble initiation rite practised by some Negroes. professionally or for the want of something better to do. it seems that an ape dressed as a woman is no more than a division of space. http://website. and it is difficult to enumerate what it engenders.

the walls collapse before the bars of their dungeons). http://website...lineone.net/~d.a.perkins/OGBSPACE. for example. Questions of Propriety etc. Space would of course be far better off doing its duty and fabricating the philosophical idea in professors' apartments! Obviously it will never enter anybody's head to lock the professors up in prison to teach them what space is (the day.Space 1.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:04:44 μμ .

We are aware that intelligence proceeds to two distinct operations.. Fundamentals of the Duality of Space: next previous author list entries list home There is no notion more worthy of being cherished than that of space.perkins/OADSPACE. it is a purely theoretical view. It is to be hoped that Monsieur Meyerson [2] has definitively put paid to the evolutionist botch-up. thus reducing it to an abstraction.. to the second: continuous http://website." It is by a utilitarian principle that Bergson explains the transition from the first notion of space: solid. as provisionally definitive and to treat them as so many unities?" On the other hand (the second stage of the intellectual operation). romantics and Bergsonians [1] who. or the real elements into which we have resolved it. under the cover of creative evolution. For that reason it has twice been betrayed: the first time by those who have delivered space over to the geometers." is never perceived.Space 2.. have initiated the most slipshod spiritualism yet seen.net/~d.html (1 of 4)12/12/2004 9:04:46 μμ . "it is only conceived. subordinating space to time.a. a homogeneous and empty medium.. Fundamentals of the Duality of Space Space 2. has for its principal object the unorganised solid. as it emerges from the hands of nature. discontinuous and concrete.. the second time by the inventors of concrete time. infinite and infinitely divisible. he admitted that "space. For the present manipulation. Bergson himself said that "our intelligence. it is above all necessary for us to take the real object.lineone..

a. who on the contrary is afflicted with a morbid geometrism. which is nothing other than Cartesian extension. The first implies an adhesion to a thing. In one of the most important pages of his book. albeit reduced. who on the contrary has in no way lost the notion of Cartesian space. the second. the here appears to dominate and condition the now. http://website. If.lineone. now. supposes on the contrary the rationality of the real. The fundamental distinction between these two aspects is strongly demonstrated. in whom the intelligence is ruined. of that concrete and specific present where as Ward very rightly says. not only by epistemology but by the clinical observation of psychiatry. has nevertheless retained the notion of the I-here-now.net/~d. of the discontinuous. one from the other. Eugène Minkowski [3] sets out in parallel the terminal states of the general paralytic and the schizophrenic. the reality of the diverse. the logical and icy monism of scientists. concrete and limited. Fundamentals of the Duality of Space and abstract extension. has lost the affective notion of the here-now. Schizophrenia. some contact with the real. The former. following the opinion of Monsieur Meyerson. of transitive action by the contact or impact. The second. the two aspects of space appear as profoundly different. he has retained in an essential form.perkins/OADSPACE. we abandon the Bergsonian belief in the primacy of homo faber over homo sapiens. Dr.html (2 of 4)12/12/2004 9:04:46 μμ .Space 2.

At once syntonic and causal. above all. On the other hand we find ourselves in the presence of a concrete space. which science itself. a different degree of abstraction. the space-time of mathematicians.Space 2. much against its will. we conceive rational space as a pure deduction.net/~d. anterior to any intellectual datum.lineone. cannot refuse without suicide. If the time. it can only be imagined as an impact like that of Hume's two marbles: it is the only possible expression of the http://website. this concrete space serves equally well as a basis for purely affective pleasure as for purely scientific hypothesis. and comparing them in particular with Meyersonian theories. the sense of touch does not throw across the fragile and perhaps illusory bridge it imposes between the I-here-now and abstract extension. Fundamentals of the Duality of Space Thus. appeared historically only after pure spatial infinity. by the way. on the one hand. perhaps.a. But. Consulting the observations of Dr Minkowski. this is only because between concrete duration and abstract time.perkins/OADSPACE. or better. It introduces the positive notion of an irrational and anti-spiritual reality. we become aware that this purely irrational space is nothing other than individual contact with nature. and the notion of which survives the ruin of the intelligence. but only.html (3 of 4)12/12/2004 9:04:46 μμ . Cartesian extension could just as easily be called mathematical time. There is no difference in nature between them.

Fundamentals of the Duality of Space instantaneous.net/~d. [2] Emile Meyerson (1859-1933) Philosopher of science. Philosopher.perkins/OADSPACE. holding that hypothesis is necessarily prior to research.lineone." lived time. over which it thus affirms its primacy.html (4 of 4)12/12/2004 9:04:46 μμ . [3] Eugène Minkowski (1885-1972). the very idea of which. [1] Henri Bergson (1859-1941). outside of itself. (the inspiration for which derives from Bergson) follows in the philosophical tradition of French psychiatry. and Matter and Memory.a. Creative Evolution.Space 2. remains inadmissible. Psychiatrist: his work on schizophrenia and "le temps vécu. It is the pure violence which escapes time. http://website. opposed to the positivist and empiricist vies of many of his colleagues. give some idea of the general idealist direction of his thought. of the simultaneous. the titles of whose main works.

spittle is the soul in movement.Spittle 1." and "pneumatic" really signifies "full of soul.a. breath is soul.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:04:48 μμ .lineone. We http://website. Spittle-Soul. Now.net/~d. but a straightforward rendering of our way of seeing. which comes and goes in the form of breath. which can exit the mouth only when permeated with it. where the entrance hole glistens from the wax inside. Spittle accompanies breath. it is also a miracle-maker: Christ's saliva opened the eyes of the blind. For spittle is more than the product of a gland.perkins/OMGSPITT. It must possess a magical nature because. Spittle-Soul : next previous author list entries list home One can be hit full in the face by a truncheon or an automatic pistol without incurring any dishonour. Spittle 1. whether voluntarily or involuntarily dispatched. And we say." As in a hive. Saliva is the deposit of the soul. This is not. one can similarly be disfigured by a bowl of vitriol. the mouth – magically the body's chief aperture – is humid from the to-andfro of the soul." which ceases where breath can no longer be felt. as one might think. and a mother's "heart's balm" heals the bumps of small children. so much so that certain peoples have the notion of "the soul before the face. if it bestows ignominy. But one can't accept spittle without shame. a commentary on the kabyl code [1]. "to breathe one's last.

Mohammed himself [2] feared the witches' saliva as they breathed on knots and spat a little to work some evil spells. the grandfather spits into the mouth of his grandchild several days after his birth. is a guarantee of peace (to seal with a kiss). from insult to miracle. Kabylie. to seal an oath. Finally – and this is a startling demonstration of the theory of the spittle-soul – in Occidental Africa. when opening a door that has been long closed. Thus. In Oriental Africa. Just about everywhere. one spits. use it to strengthen an action. to "sign" a contract. Insitut d'ethnologie de Paris.a. In Great Russia and elsewhere. the kiss.193.lineone. [1] Hanoteaux & Letourneux. Le Livre de recettes d'un dabtara abyssin. for protection. III. Sura 113.perkins/OMGSPITT. p. spittle behaves like the soul – balm or filth. to impress one's will on an object. http://website. [3] Marcel Griaule.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:04:48 μμ . this exchange of saliva. [2] Koran. Spittle-Soul.net/~d. To summarise: from evil will to good will. to give life. one spits in order to cast out the demon of the empty house [3].Spittle 1. to confer spirit on the child.

and. the mouth occupies a privileged position because it is both the locus of speech and respiratory orifice. ever so slightly. Just below the eyes. reveal to us the true nature of a given organ.a.perkins/OMLSPITT.. in the humid vaults of a sea stagnant with distress.net/~d. the different parts of the body. on occasion. Mouth Water Spittle 2. below any waterline. poisoned by a million sewers. Eroticism releases. while simultaneously installing as sovereign goddess the abolition of hierarchies – those hierarchies within which we habitually grade. for better or for better or for worse. One the one hand.html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 9:04:50 μμ . lurking within its inner http://website. Mouth Water: next previous author list entries list home We are so accustomed to the sight of our fellow creatures that we are rarely notice what is monstrous in each of our structural elements. it requires love to restore to the mouth the mythological function (the mouth is merely a moist and warm grotto garnished nonetheless with the hard stalactites of teeth. others at the bottom (according to the value we attach to the different activities controlled by them): eyes at the summit – because they would seem to be admirable lanterns – but the organs of excretion as far down as possible..lineone.Spittle 2. It is considered the cave where the pact of the kiss is sealed rather than the oily factory of mastication. great lightning flashes that. suddenly restoring both its whole reality and its hallucinatory force. Some we place at the top.

man in general to the state of those primitive animals which. it plays havoc with the classification of organs. subsequently. for it lowers the mouth – which is the visible sign of intelligence – to the level of the most shameful organs. Spittle bears closely on erotic manifestations. lending it a function of ejection even more repugnant than its role as gate through which one stuffs food. Indeed. what value can we attach to reason. the tongue. Mouth Water reaches. Like the sexual act carried out in broad daylight.a.Spittle 2.net/~d. through its http://website. and.lineone. given the identical source of language and spittle. and consequently to man's presumed dignity. it is scandal itself. casts the mouth in one fell swoop down to the last rung of the organic ladder. on the other hand. any philosophical discourse can legitimately be figured by the incongruous image of a spluttering orator? Spittle is finally. spittle represents the height of sacrilege. The divinity of the mouth is daily sullied by it. or for that matter to speech. For this reason.perkins/OMLSPITT. when we consider that. that guardian of Lord knows what treasures!) Spittle. because like love. possessing only one aperture for all their needs – and thereby exempt from that elementary separation between the noble and the ignoble) – are still completely plunged in sort of diabolical and inextricable chaos.html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 9:04:50 μμ .

Spittle 2. and its humidity.perkins/OMLSPITT. something other than the spittle of a raving demiurge.net/~d. bald animal. it definite contours. the relative imprecision of its colour. of the non-heirarchised. Mouth Water inconsistency. of the unverifiable. It is the limp and sticky stumbling block shattering more efficiently than any stone all undertakings that presuppose man to be something – something other than a flabby.lineone.html (3 of 3)12/12/2004 9:04:50 μμ . splitting his sides at having expectorated such a concentrated larva: a comical tadpole puffing itself up into meat insufflated by a demigod.a. the very symbol of the formless. http://website.

introduced like that of Christmas. after having perambulated http://website. in the arrondissement of Gap.html (1 of 5)12/12/2004 9:04:52 μμ . To the south. festivals about which. fade into the background in Andrieux before the more grandiose spectacle imposed by the vagaries of nature. in a hamlet in the Hautes-Alpes called Andrieux. The historical festivals. between 1 November and 9 February. continuously exposed to the sun.net/~d.lineone. Here is Ladoucette's description of the festival [2]: "As soon as the night of 9 February is over and dawn breaks over the summits of the mountains. around 1803. An immense and immobile shadow hangs heavily over the village for the entire winter.a. [1] In this locality the difference between winter and summer is extremely pronounced. the position on the southern side. – A very singular custom existed. commune of Guillaume-Perouse. as opposed to the Adret. In the local language this position on the northern slope of the mountain is called Ubac. under normal circumstances all popular practices gravitate.Sun Sun: next previous author list entries list home A form of solar cult in the Hautes-Alps at the beginning of the 19th century. four shepherds of the hamlet announce the festival to the sound of fifes and trumpets. by Christianity. situated on the banks of the Severaire. the high mountains form a sort of barrier which blocks off the sun for a hundred days.perkins/OZRSUN.

The shepherds. again play on their instruments and they set off. goes to the venerable to tell him that all is ready to begin the festival. preceded by the shepherds who begin to play on their rustic instruments. giving all the inhabitants notice to prepare an omelette. everybody.a. in an admirably orderly manner.lineone. Accompanied by the shepherds. bears the name of the Œvenerable. in this circumstance.Sun about the village.perkins/OZRSUN. to make their way to a stone bridge situated at the entry to the village.html (2 of 5)12/12/2004 9:04:52 μμ . "The venerable gives the signal to depart. Arriving there. At ten. "The venerable takes place in their midst and after his having announced the object of the festival. "Everyone then hastens to carry out the orders of the venerable. each deposits his omelette on the parapets of the bridge and they proceed to a nearby meadow where farandoles are danced until the arrival of the sun. armed with an omelette.net/~d. "As soon as the first rays of sunlight begin to shine. which he http://website. their plates of omelette in their hands. the dancing finishes and each goes to reclaim his omelette. who presides over the ceremony and who. they form a chain and execute a farandole about him. who take the lead. makes their way to the square and a deputation. the venerable leaves for the meeting-place where he is received with many acclamations by all the inhabitants.' they take his orders and renew their fanfares. they make their way to the house of the oldest inhabitant.

The sun.html (3 of 5)12/12/2004 9:04:52 μμ . They return in the same order as that in which they came. and even extends into the night. bareheaded. and many families join together to celebrate. We recognise here a Christian influence. The old man raises it aloft. Laid on the parapets of the bridge. The festival lasts all day. This festival thus fall into the category of seasonal celebrations.perkins/OZRSUN. "The venerable immediately announces the departure. The first rays of the sun indicate the moment they should bring their herds out of the cattle-sheds." The role of the shepherds demonstrates the link between this festival and the seasonal life of society [3]. are not sacred in the habitual sense.Sun offers to the day-star. But the venerable raises the http://website. inspired by the particular geographical situation. The beginning of the summer period also changes the inhabitants' way of living. This ritual is completely specific by reason of the latent presence of the notion of the sacred. it attracts its likeness while the inhabitants dance in the nearby meadow. it is distinguished only by the ritual consecrated to the return of the sun.a. where they eat the omelette. The whole ceremony pivots around the ritual of the omelette. They come together again towards the evening. they accompany the venerable to his home. and consequently the omelette. after which each goes back to his family.lineone. being the image of the sun.net/~d.

no." Annales de Géographie. The dance too has an efficacious action. F. it possesses a portion of the essence of the sun. [2] J. 321-3..net/~d. 15 Sept. Essai sur la vie dans une haute vallée des Alpes suisses sous l'influence de l'altitude. usages des HautesAlpes. all that remains is to feast to one's heart's content.html (4 of 5)12/12/2004 9:04:52 μμ . 8vo. the omelette having been exposed on the parapets of the bridge at the entry to the village. !921 (XXXe Année. the sign of a religious act. 208pp. Paris. [1] Marcelle Vessereau. CLX. Fantin. The festival of the return of the sun is a public ceremony in which the community participates as a unit. They dance only until such time as the sun's rays light up the village. pp. Ch. Lausanne. 167). "L'Adret et L'Ubac dans les Alpes occidentales. The sun has set. The consumption of the omelette is also a ritual act for. 1907. du climat et du relief. 1820.Sun omelette aloft bare-headed. it must not be forgotten. Le Val de Conches-en-Valais. 8vo. Biermann.a. Baron de Ladoucette: Histoire. précédés d'un essai sur la topographie de ce département. Then everything resumes it s orderly course. For the same phenomenon in the Swiss Alps: Ch.lineone. The role of the venerable demonstrates the unity of the entire hamlet during the ceremony. antiquités. http://website.perkins/OZRSUN.

a.html (5 of 5)12/12/2004 9:04:53 μμ . http://website.Sun [3] See an essay on the relationship between festivals and the seasonal life of Eskimos: Hubert & Mauss. Arch. old series.lineone. 1916. De Religion suisse. Their results are applied in a study of the popular festival that preceded Christmas.net/~d.perkins/OZRSUN. Année Sociologique.

will certainly mark an important date in the history of cinema. then. we can at last allow ourselves to be possessed body and soul by scenes of ardent sensuality. since what saves it is not so much a visual image here or there as the role-played by the voices in it. Thanks. from which we should expect everything (as Weary River has demonstrated). Which shows why talkies are interesting. The English language is the language of love. such is the great lesson of Weary River.Talkie Talkie [1]: next previous author list entries list home After a certain number of sound movies – at least one of which. and this is enough to make us forget a scenario of imbecile puritanism.lineone. to these talking films. unspoiled by any concern other than to show the protagonists of a sparkling youth and grace – here at last we have a real talkie. like they always do.a. not so much for technical reasons as because it signals the appearance of a totally new form of sentimentality in films. The narrow-minded have not failed in their grubby task with respect to talkies. warning of disaster. Such a film gives the lie to them peremptorily despite its weaknesses.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:05:19 μμ . with retorts rebounding back and forth that sometimes add a sort of vocal close-up to the visual close-up.net/~d. cast http://website. with the charm of an easy life. illuminated only by great gleams of passion now and then pouring out their marvellous reds.perkins/OMLTALKI. Our Dancing Daughters. in this case the end of cinema.

a. cast adrift on the raft of voices while everything collapses around us except perhaps. a troubling movement of lip or throat. a trembling of fingertips. http://website. [1] Apropos of Weary River. a beautiful voice. at once harsh and sweet. dimly lit taverns and prison bars at midnight. every path. in a region where perhaps we know no more about the sun than about the moving barriers of rain. showing at the Clichy-Palace cinema.Talkie adrift on the raft of voices while everything collapses around us in sensuality.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:05:19 μμ . every furrow.perkins/OMLTALKI.net/~d.lineone. which has travelled every road. with the heart-rending accent of the mountains. September 1929. an oracular speech issuing from the mouth of an amorous woman. the sea.

and which must be surrounded by every magical protection.perkins/OMGTHRES. the door is a terrible instrument which must be made use of only knowingly and according to the proper rites. Far from being a convenience. from the open air. To cross a threshold is thus to traverse a zone of danger where invisible but real battles are fought out. all night the house has been closed. In effect. a painting of Saint Sebastian surrounded with formulae.. isolated from the world. one against the other. corpses of enemies buried standing erect. all is well.net/~d. from the cold. above all http://website.Threshold Threshold: next previous author list entries list home The threshold is the node which separates two opposing worlds. slowly.a. One will therefore open it with an infinity of precautions. These precautions are innumerable: a horse-shoe. keeping behind it. As long as the door is closed. The door has been the thoroughly watertight lockgate that has dammed up the threshold. it has been. To open it is a serious matter: it is to unleash two hordes. an animal sacrificed on the threshold.html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 9:05:21 μμ . it is to risk being caught up in the fray. as it were. the cold and the warm. the interior and the open air.lineone. In east Africa the most dangerous moment of the day is the opening of the door in the morning.. a consecrated sprig of box-tree. the light and the shade. from the light.

I say.Threshold avoiding displacing air. However he will avoid any complications by not arriving until very late. when the tradesman's representative presents himself at the door of an important client. and finally.html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 9:05:21 μμ .a. that is to say the doormat.lineone. he wipes his feet all the more ostentatiously on the mat at the door if the house be imposing. in muddy weather. The same movements are observed by the visitor when he presents himself to the household in the early morning. one will cross the threshold. In superior civilisations the doormat has not been created solely to slow the crossing of the threshold and permit the visitor to collect his thoughts. it is properly polite to say to an honoured visitor who is endeavouring to remove the mud from his boots: "Oh.perkins/OMGTHRES. This goes to show that the threshold. It plays a far more important role. one will spit into the gaping opening. When it is fully open. and that even in dry weather. when the door will already have been opened and contact established." The assiduity one employs in freeing the stranger from this obligation is in direct ratio to the respect one has for him. of which it http://website. at the same time pronouncing words of appeasement. looking before oneself. Conversely. with the greatest calm. please don't bother.net/~d.

because there one must manifest or cast aside one's qualities. http://website. because there it is necessary to register.perkins/OMGTHRES. is indeed a thing of dread.html (3 of 3)12/12/2004 9:05:21 μμ .lineone.Threshold is the visible sign. the rank one occupies in society.a. forcibly or with levity.net/~d.

Van Dongen." – K.perkins/OAQWORK. http://website. originally associated with the anarchistic satirical review L'Assiette au Beurre around the turn of the century. Dongen (1877­ 1968) was a painter.a. knowledge a dangerous asset.lineone.html12/12/2004 9:05:23 μμ . Later an associate of Picasso. 338.net/~d. but I believe virtuosity is an infirmity. 1929.-Oct.Work Work: previous author list entries list home "I have no idea what the meaning of work is in our epoch. Sept. ugly and bogus as Justice. and I am well content to have some genius and no talent. and to play like a child: Work is an ostentatious thing. [1] [1] Bulletin de L'Art ancien et moderne. p. he then became a somewhat celebrated "society" portrait painter. which allows me not to work.

net/~d. Jacques Dandieu. Zdenko Anonymous/Quoted Home http://website.perkins/iauthors. Robert Einstein. Arnauld Desnos.a. Georges Baron.lineone.html12/12/2004 9:05:25 μμ . Carl Griaulle. Marcel Leiris.List Of Contributors List of Contributors: For Biographical details: Bataille. Michel Reich.

But he gave up the seminary. and moved to Paris where he entered the Ecole des Chartes. At this time he also started lifelong friendships. Gilbert-Lecomte. which was published in 1931 with illustrations by André Masson.perkins/BOGB. he was close to Leon Chestov and worked with him on the translation into French of his book The Idea of Goodness in Tolstoy and Nietzsche. He thought of taking up an ecclesiastical career and in 1917 enrolled at the Saint-Flour seminary where he spent one year. He was a dreadful student at the lycée in that town. He left the Ecole with a brilliant thesis. but his illness caused him to be definitively rejected by the army. first with the ethnologist Alfred Métraux. In 1926 Bataille underwent an analysis with Doctor Adrien Borel: it was brief. absurd medieval poems). Mme Bataille left her husband when the town was threatened with bombardment by German artillery.net/~d. and a visit to Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight put an end to any idea of a religious vocation. André Masson the painter. He left the Auvergne at an early age. His meeting with André Breton resulted in mutual hostility. In 1920 he spent some time in London. the school for the study of ancient documents. then with Michel Leiris. or http://website. the second son of a syphilitic father who had gone blind and was to become paralysed. whose manuscript he destroyed. where he met the philosopher Henri Bergson. when his family moved to Reims in 1900. he kept apart from the surrealist movement. writing articles for scholarly reviews such as Aréthuse. and became an archivist/palaeographer at the Bibliothèque nationale in 1922. After the analysis.Georges Bataille Biography Georges Bataille (1897-1962) Georges Bataille was born in Billom. The Russian philosopher had a profound influence on Bataille. and fell in love with bull-fighting. He took a lively interest in the problems of translating into French the concepts of psychoanalysis. he could at last write. as was the practice of those days.html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 9:05:28 μμ .a. In 1916 Bataille was called up.lineone. Vailland). and Theodore Fraenkel. In 1914. then L’anus solaire. a small medieval town east of Clermont-Ferrand. First a text entitled WC. and L’Histoire de l’oeil. He then published the first text bearing his name: a six page pamphlet entitled Notre-Dame de Rheims. this being the period when Bataille discovered the works of Nietzsche and Freud. The father died alone the following year. Alongside this black erotic writing. and fled with her son to her remaining family at Rion-ès-Montagnes. Bataille was active as a numismatist. In the same year he was sent to Madrid to the Ecole des hautes études hispaniques. From 1923 to 1925. Apart from one single anonymous contribution to La Révolution surréalist (a transcription into modern French of fatrasies. the lycée where some years later the founding members of the Grand Jeu group came together (Daumal. published in 1928 under the pseudonym of Lord Auch – an abbreviation for Aux Chiottes…! [on the shit-hole].

The two couples continued friendly relations based on mutual esteem: Lacan invited Bataille in the late fifties to contribute to the seminar he held at the Hôpital Saint-Anne. The following year he founded the secret society called Acéphale.Georges Bataille Biography La République des lettres. among them Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin (whose manuscripts were hidden by Bataille in the Bibliothèque nationale during the war). who became a highly-regarded psychoanalyst. born in 1930.a. Laurence. The review was closed down by its owner at the beginning of 1931. He met Maurice Blanchôt "to whom he was bound immediately with admiration and agreement. then moved out of Paris to Vezelay. Bataille was a member of Boris Souvarine's Cercle Communiste Démocratique. That year he published Le Petit under the pseudonym of Louis Trente.html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 9:05:28 μμ . In 1929 he was one of the founders of the review Documents in which he attempted the impossible: to put official science up against texts that radically questioned it. That year. L’Expérience intérieure and Madame Edwarda which was published in 1940 under the pseudonym of Pierre Angélique. and with Leiris and Callois set up the College of Sociology which assembled some remarkable minds.net/~d." and an "acephalous writer fixated on an apparently cosmic anus. http://website. with Raymond Queneau. In 1928 Bataille married Sylvia Maklès who became a famous actress (she was directed by Jean Renoir in Une Partie de Campagne. Colette Peignot’s death in 1938 shook him for some time. Julie. a pamphlet directed against André Breton. took part in the creation and organisation of the Societé de psychologie collective which included both anthropologists and psychoanalysts. they further collaborated in publishing Un cadavre. Bataille began an activity imposed by the danger of fascism: he created the Contre-Attaque movement which was joined by Breton and his friends." In the mid-thirties. Critique des fondements de la dialectique hégélienne. From 1934 he followed Alexandre Kojève’s famous lectures on Hegel. but dissolved in 1936. and Georges Bataille appears as an extra in the film dressed as a priest!) They had one daughter. he started a liaison with Colette Peignot who was then the companion of Souvarine. and contributed to the revue La Critique Sociale where he published important articles including La notion de dépense and.lineone." He became ill and left the Bibliothèque nationale in 1942.perkins/BOGB. Sylvia then married psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan and Georges married Diane Kotchoubey de Beauharnais. He wrote Le Coupable. with whom he had a daughter. He reacted with implacable hatred towards Bataille which he maintained up until his last writings (in 1984) where he inveighs against him as a "sexual lunatic. In 1931. The editorial board brought together Georges Bataille and a number of dissident Surrealists. In 1934 Bataille separated from his wife. though they were not divorced until 1946. des Sciences et des Arts.

but the publisher Maurice Girodias cancelled the project.html (3 of 3)12/12/2004 9:05:28 μμ . and Manet. which was its author’s first commercial success.perkins/BOGB. http://website.lineone. In the course of the fifties several works appeared which had been written earlier. in Provence. and Le Mort.Georges Bataille Biography In 1946 he founded the review Critique which is still in existence and he published in its pages numerous critical articles which were collected in several of his books such as La Part maudite or Le Literature et le mal. however.a. Bataille run out of money and was forced to take up employment again: in 1949 he became librarian at Carpentras. he is buried in Vezelay. Le Bleu du ciel. Suffering increasingly badly from arteriosclerosis. such as L’Abbé C. then in 1951 at Orléans which he left in 1962 for a job at the Bibliothèque nationale. he had managed to finish Les Larmes d’Eros (1961) the last book published in his lifetime. but died in Paris on 8 July 1962.net/~d. his illness and then death prevented him from taking up. In 1958 Bataille made one last attempt to start a review: he put together a contents list for Genèse with the help of Patrick Waldberg. He had planned to re-work La Part maudite. and also Lascaux ou la naissance de l’art. Two further books appeared posthumously: Ma Mère. which.

Jacques Baron Biography Jacques Baron (1905-1986) Baron started early as a poet: he published his first poems in 1921 in Aventure and participated in the Dada movement. He broke with Breton in 1929. and collaborated on such reviews as Le Voyage en Grèce.net/~d. L'An 1 du Surréalisme. Charbon de mer." To earn a living Baron became a merchant sailor. and a novel. In 1921 he met Breton and joined the Surrealists. La Critique sociale and Minotaure. then a radio journalist. became one of the editors of Documents and joined the Cercle Communiste Démocratique.perkins/BOJB. He published many collections of poems. http://website. some memoirs.html12/12/2004 9:05:30 μμ .a.lineone. Boris Souvraine said of him: "he was at the origin of my relations with André Breton and his entourage. among them L'Allure poétique.

of complications following a minor operation. a second followed. La Revue d¹Allemagne. The two men published a book-length manifesto entitled Le Cancer américain. he founded the movement Ordre Nouveau. which denounced the vulgar materialism at work in liberal societies. There he met Bataille.html12/12/2004 9:05:31 μμ . La Révolution nécessaire (1933) to which Bataille contributed anonymously. but also Europe.a. Esprit. Dandieu contributed to many reviews: Documents. interested in philosophy. (1897-1933) Dandieu initially studied law and became a solicitor¹s clerk before taking up a post at the Bibliothèque Nationale in 1925. La Revue Mondiale.net/~d.perkins/BOAD. psychopathology.lineone. He died prematurely. In 1930. with Robert Aron. http://website. epistemology and sociology.Arnauld Dandieu Biography Arnaud Dandieu. Dandieu also published a collection of poems and an essay on Proust. Mouvements. with whom he had many discussions: deeply Catholic.

La Liberté ou l'amour! (1917) and Le vin est tiré (1943). La Révolution surréaliste. then Térézine.lineone. the first two being available in English from Atlas Press: Deuil pour deuil (1924). A lover of music. where he died of exhaustion following typhus a few weeks after the camp's liberation. he wrote many critical texts on film as well as numerous scenarios. two years before he met Benjamin Péret. and also Hemmingway and John Dos Pasos. He wrote for many reviews. and was arrested in 1944 and deported to Buchenwald. including Littérature. he joined Bataille and Documents and was one of the authors of Un cadavre which attacked "le boeuf Breton. http://website. and of cinema.Robert Desnos Biography Robert Desnos (1900-1945) Primarily a poet. his first works appeared in 1917. After splitting with the Surrealists. He was an active member of the Surrealist group while remaining a journalist on Paris-Soir. who introduced him to the Paris Dada group and to André Breton. and he became friendly with Artaud. especially jazz. Picasso." His career in radio began in 1932.a. His principle publications include various poetry collections and three novels.perkins/BORD.html12/12/2004 9:05:33 μμ . He was active in the resistance during the war. and Variétés.net/~d.

In 1936 he left for Spain where he fought with the legendary anarchist Durutti Column. He published one of his first monographs on African art. apart from co-editing Documents.net/~d. In Paris. and his Art of the 20th Century (1926) was equally important.Carl Einstein Biography Carl Einstein (1885-1940) One of the most important writers and art/literary theorists of his time. was highly influential for Dada and illuminated his call for an end to the realistic psychological novel. periodicals that fiercely attacked the spirit of the Weimar republic. wrote a major book on Braque and the screenplay to Jean Renoir's Toni. He was arrested for his part in the civil war on returning to Paris and committed suicide in 1940 when he realised he would be unable to escape from Fascist persecution after the German invasion. http://website. published in 1912. which he abandoned for France in 1928.html12/12/2004 9:05:34 μμ .lineone.a. In 1919 he co-edited two of the most political of the Dada journals with Grosz.perkins/BOCE. His "cubist" novel Bebuquin. Negro Sculpture (1915). he collaborated on Jolas' Transition.

backed by Rivet and Rivière. organised the ethnographic expedition which.html12/12/2004 9:05:36 μμ . in collaboration with Germaine Dieterlen. ethnologie des Dogons. Michel Leiris accompanied the expedition as secretaryarchivist. Among other writings he published Les Masques Dogons (1938). entretien avec Ogotemméli (1948). In the course of the mission Griaule encountered the Dogon of the Bandiagara clifffaces. between 1928 and 1929 Griaule conducted fieldwork in Ethiopia. published in 1933 with an introduction by Marcel Mauss. Silhouettes et graffitis abyssins.Marcel Griaule Biography Marcel Griaule (1898-1956) A linguist by training.net/~d. whence he returned with a curious and magnificent book.lineone. On his return he joined the Documents team as sub-editor (at the same time as Michel Leiris) and.a. the aim of which. http://website. was to augment the collections of the Musée du Trocadéro. he led from Dakar to Djibouti. and finally. Renard pâle. In 1942 he was elected to the first chair of general ethnology at the Sorbonne. in addition to gathering ethnographic data. turned ethnologist. Dieu d'eau.perkins/BOMG. a people that become the chief object of his researches. starting in 1931.

Along with his activities as a research worker with the Centre national de la recherche scientifique. Georges-Henri Rivière. He took part. and written his first book." and it takes in autobiography. Equally it incorporates science. he broke with Breton in 1929. as in Au Verso des images or Francis Bacon face et profil. of the editorial committee of Les Temps modernes and was involved in various political struggles. as a result of the report it submitted to parliament. La Règle du jeu. Between 1921 and 1924 there came a series of decisive meetings: Max Jacob. He joined the Documents team as sub-editor. he decided Bataille and Roger Caillois. on the one hand. In November 1937. in response to the current international situation. Jean Dubuffet. as in L'Age d'Homme. in 1945. to found the Collège de Sociologie. http://website.net/~d.perkins/BOML. as in Operratiques. Robert Desnos.lineone. Meanwhile he had married Louise Godon. Aurora. to the suppression of forced labour in the French African colonies. travelled in Egypt and Greece. Leiris made half-hearted beginnings in the study of chemistry but showed more interest in jazz.Michel Leiris Biography Michel Leiris (1901-1990) Having taken his baccalauréat in philosophy in 1918. art criticism. as in La Langue secrète des Dogons de Saga or Race et civilisation.html12/12/2004 9:05:38 μμ . This experience furnished material for the unclassifiable Afrique fantôme (1934). A Surrealist in 1924. and left in 1930 to become the secretaryarchivist in the ethnographic mission Marcel Griaule led from Dakar to Djibouti. which he was discovering at the time. Georges Bataille. and music criticism. in an important mission to the Ivory Coast which led. notably against the war in Algeria. a book which brought about the definitive break with Griaule and which was pulped in 1941 on the orders of the Vichy government. he was a member with Sartre. on whose painting he published numerous texts. André Masson. In 1966 Leiris became friendly with Francis Bacon. His powerfully original work partakes.a. of literature – albeit "considered as a bullfight. step-daughter of Picasso's dealer Daniel-Henri Kahnweiler.

html12/12/2004 9:05:38 μμ .lineone. Roger Vailland and Roger Gilbert-Lecomte.perkins/BOZR.a.net/~d.Zdenko Reich Zdenko Reich Biographical details remain few: before publishing in Documents he was part of the Grand Jeu group centred around the magazine edited by René Daumal. http://website.

lineone.html12/12/2004 9:05:40 μμ .Related Texts All related texts are by Georges Bataille and were first published in Documents.net/~d.a.perkins/ierelate. author list entries list home Big Toe Civilisation Gunshot Human Face http://website.

and bunions. who has a light head. and human life is erroneously seen as an elevation. regards it as spit. The division of the universe into subterranean hell and a perfectly pure heaven is an indelible conception. Catholic confessors.a. The secret terror inspired in man by his foot is one of the explanations for the tendency to conceal. The human foot is commonly subjected to grotesque tortures that deform it and make it rachitic. who consider http://website. flattens itself upon the ground in the same plane as the other toes). and from ideal to ordure. Furthermore. Heels of greater or lesser height. situate them at the most excessive point of deviance.net/~d. this disquiet is often confused with sexual uneasiness. this rage of seeing oneself as a back and forth movement from ordure to the ideal. Although within the body blood flows in equal quantities from high to low and from low to high. It is stupidly consecrated to corns. who. Also. and it is generally considered incorrect and immoral to look at women's feet. as far as possible. into pure space.Big Toe Big Toe: next author list entries list home rel docs list The big toe is the most human part of the human body. a rage that is easily directed against an organ as base as the foot.html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 9:05:43 μμ . men obstinately imagine a tide that will elevate them. But whatever the role the foot plays in his erection. having become a tree himself. never to return. its length and form. alter the low and flat characteristics of the foot. Turks of Central Asia)." The same aberration is to be found among the Turks (Volga Turks. calluses. there is a preference in favour of that which elevates itself. orang-utan. in other words he has raised himself erect in the air like a tree. this is especially striking among the Chinese. and is all the more beautiful for the correctness of his erection. to the most loathsome filthiness: the peasant expression "her hands are as dirty as feet. the function of the human foot consists in giving a firm foundation to the erection of which man is so proud (the big toe.Related Texts From Documents . adapting themselves to this aberration. or gibbon). Even the husband must never see the naked feet of his wife. in the sense that no other element of this body is so differentiated from the corresponding element of the anthropoid ape (chimpanzee. gorilla. Human life requires." is no longer as true of the entire human collectivity as it was in the seventeenth century. whereas man moves over the ground without clinging to branches. man. losing its function as a prehensile hook for gripping branches. on the pretext that he has this foot in the mud.lineone. according to the sex. mud and darkness being the principles of evil as light and celestial space are the principles of good: with their feet in the mud but their heads somewhat approaching the light. having atrophied the feet of women. a head raised to the heavens and heavenly things. ask of their Chinese penitents "if they have not looked at women's feet. in fact. and if one takes into account turns of phrase that are only now disappearing.perkins/rtGBobig. This is due to the fact that the ape is tree-dwelling.

like M. his elation is suddenly pulled up by an atrocious pain in his big toe because. The hideously cadaverous and at the same time loud and defiant appearance of the big toe corresponds to this derision and gives shrill expression to the disorder of the human body. There he partially disrobed her and made free of her favours. the pullulation of stomachs. on the other hand. a spasmodic laugh reaches its highest pitch whenever its outburst results in man's own arrogance ending up sprawled in the mud. in part well founded. had the idea of starting a fire in order to have the pleasure of carrying her in his arms: "The whole house. Naturally enough. he took the sovereign in his arms and carried her down a small staircase. stressing the role of Spain. completely independently from him. in other words he has feet. though the most noble of animals. Simply allowing for the shod foot to be seen. Blind.lineone. the foot of the queen was the object of the most terrifying prohibition. this familiarity being.a. was more or loss destroyed. profiting from so favourable an occasion. and these feet lead an ignoble life. the Count of Villamediana. of human necessities and aberrations." It is possible to see in these obsessions. Since by its physical attitude the human race distances itself as much as it can from terrestrial mud. but he was consoled by the fact that. Under no circumstances was it possible to touch a woman's foot. was considered indecent. he nevertheless has corns on his feet.00 écus. The vicissitudes of organs. This explanation. modesty concerning the feet became excessively developed in modern times and only began to disappear in the nineteenth century.perkins/rtGBobig. ready to call to mind the grandeurs of human history. for example when his glance falls upon a monument testifying to the grandeur of his nation. larynxes.Related Texts From Documents . drags the imagination into its ebb and flow. The most prudish Roman matrons constantly allowed their naked toes to be seen.net/~d. Reinach. Thus. in more or less constant inflation and upheaval. worth 100. with one exception. but. is in fact such that fingers have come to signify useful action and firm character. http://website. The play of obsessions and fears. majestically imposing silence upon his own waves: yet the clamorous waves of his viscera. yet tranquil and strangely despising his obscure baseness. where women's feet have been the object of the most distressing anguish and were thus the cause of crimes. that product of the violent discord of its organs. A young page saw it and reported it to the king. a progressive refinement of modesty that little by little has been able to descend to the calf. and i. and they are invisible because of an ignominy explicable by the mud in which the feet are found. always more or less tainted or humiliating. according to Mme D'Aulnoy. brusquely put an end to his dignity. presents a detailed study of this development. Corns on the feet differ from headaches and toothaches by their baseness. the toes stupefaction and base idiocy. Nothing similar can be cited from classical antiquity (except for the use of very high soles in tragedies). one can imagine that a toe. a path it follows with reluctance due to its hatred of that frenzy to which it is painfully susceptible: of the bloody palpitations of the body. another way of talking of death. On the other hand.Big Toe it immoral to show their naked feet and even go to bed in stockings. Salomon Reinach's article Modest Feet [1]. is psychologically analogous to the sudden fall of a man.html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 9:05:43 μμ . jutting from beneath a skirt. more grave than any other. being in love with Queen Elizabeth. who took his revenge by killing the count with a pistol shot. the ankle and the foot. and brains traversing animal species and individuals without number. Man is fond of imagining himself to be like the god Neptune. is not however sufficient if one wants to account for the hilarity commonly produced by simply imagining i.

which accounts for the ludicrous value that is more or less always attached to the pleasures condemned by the pure and the superficial. but indicates that one is seduced basely. the case of the Count of Villamediana. classic foot fetishism leading to the licking of toes categorically indicates that it is base form of seduction. vol. Now it is most frequently by considering extreme seductiveness that one can account for the ludicrous. 1905. ultimately. if one considers. his pleasure would have still derived its sacrilegious charm from deformed and muddy feet. however. without transpositions and to the point of screaming. one can affirm that the pleasure he had from touching the queen's foot was in direct proportion to the ugliness and infection represented by the baseness of the foot. the inside of a gaping mouth. for example. whether it finds its goal in one direction or the other.a.Related Texts From Documents . But we are led here to distinguish categorically two radically opposed forms of seduction (whose habitual confusion entails the most absurd misunderstandings of language). Thus. the perfectly unconsidered taste that. and given this back and forth movement. If there is a seductive element to be found in the big toe. The meaning of this article lies in its insistence on a direct and explicit questioning of i.net/~d. leads one to prefer elegant and correct forms. 105­ 10.Big Toe The form of the big toe is not.lineone. Since a queen is a priori an i being. for example. seduction is all the more vivid when the movement is more brutal.perkins/rtGBobig. pp. [1] In L'Anthropologie. 733-6. nothing but a diversion (most human beings are naturally feeble and can only abandon themselves to their instincts when in a poetic haze). without taking into account poetic concoctions that are. more ethereal than any other. reprinted in Cultes. pp. open at the prospect of a big toe. As for the big toe. supposing that the queen's foot was perfectly pretty.html (3 of 3)12/12/2004 9:05:43 μμ . Only secondary (but common) deformations have been able to give its ignominy an exceptionally ludicrous value. 1903. I. for example. in most cases. A return to reality implies no new acceptances. On the contrary. mythes et religions. Here one submits to a seduction that is radically opposed to that caused by light and ideal beauty: the two orders of seduction are often confused because one constantly moves from one to the other. eyes wide open. http://website. it is evidently not sufficient to satisfy any exalted aspirations such as. it was human to the point of laceration to touch what in fact was not very different from the stinking foot of an old tramp. specifically monstrous: in this it is different from other parts of the body. in practice by the most deformed feet.

A woman's fingernail.lineone. so that although we are not dancing or standing on a volcano nevertheless we can say that our whole life. that delightfully coloured cloak that veils the coarseness of our dangerous instincts. whose revolutions in the cosmic order sunder the fragile skin of the earth's circumference and momentarily bare the fire at its centre. allowing our horrifying savageness to appear in the interstices. murderous in their turn.Civilisation Civilisation: next previous author list entries list home rel docs list For all that one may dislike proposing metaphors as explanations. these are precious signs that help us understand our closeness to savages. hard tools that murder minerals and reduce them to a constellation of angles.) We're bored of those utterly insipid theatrical performances uninflated by any potential or actual revolt against that holy Œpoliteness. what we do when we transform a mask or a statue – originally made for complicated and precise ritual purposes – into a vulgar art object: an infinitely deadlier insult than that made to European inventions by the afore-mentioned savages..net/~d. to the behaviour of certain savages who think the best possible use for a telegraph pole is to turn it into a poison arrow (because is that not. red and pointed as a ruby dagger (surprisingly the blood has remained in the middle and not run to the tip). All our moral habits and our polite customs. geysers. a bodily attitude that abruptly relaxes. known as "taste". civilisation may perhaps be compared not too inaccurately to the thin greenish layer – composed of living magma and miscellaneous detritus – that forms on the surface of calm water and occasionally solidifies into a crust. is in touch with lava flows. derived from our living habits. along with those wounds cut in precious stones by ingenious." It would be a mistake to characterise us as blasé.a. as a consequence. until broken up by some eddy. and everything else to do with volcanoes. fruit of a science that can never http://website. Not a day passes when we don't notice some premonitory sign of just such a catastrophe. it must be capable of tracing vigorous sulphur-coloured lines upon it. to shatter at the least impact (like the insubstantial mirror of a fingernail whose polish cracks or becomes scratched). revealed in these fissures just as hell might be in the chasms opened by earthquakes." be it the politeness of the arts. that of the brain. since it attacks a fateful and serious mystical theology and not just mere telegraphy. like writing in the stars (which offers an aerial forecast of human events. for example.perkins/rtGBociv.Related Texts From Documents . and. more or less.. and it is no longer adequate for us to act in ways that are identical.html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 9:05:53 μμ . if we hold up to it a mirror with a suitably thick silvering and sufficiently sensitive surface. craters. that of everyday life. our diverse finery of dark or brilliant fabrics being no different from skin and feather ornaments partially concealing tattoos that depict various mysterious adventures on the body. but the fact that we're sick of plots that are always the same. which melts stone itself in its wicked and violent heat. referred to as "intelligence". which we designate by a word that smells as dusty as the bottom of an old drawer: "morality. everyday more discredited. our very breathing. all those attractive forms of culture of which we are so proud – since it is thanks to them that we are able to regard ourselves as "civilised" – are ready to disappear at the slightest turbulence. a fleeting gesture as touching as the sudden swell of a sail on a rising sea.

stripped naked. it seems quite absurd to inflict upon these lucid and spontaneous productions a frightful capitalised word that one should only write with a pen filled with spiders' webs. nostalgia. as though we were referring to some particular work by an individual who knew (or believed) he was inspired. we feel a terrible regret. having seen the Black Birds show. all the other Negroes in the village gather round his coffin and their singing creates a sort of hysteria that inspires the men to theft and the women to sell themselves to whites. in a more immediate and newer world. all this is as remote as it could be from gypsy sentimentality.. but that doesn't mean we can talk about "Art." as they say. who are as touching as the trees. http://website. for living such a mediocre life. stammer vaguely about the terrestrial Paradise. which is why we would so much like to get closer to our primitive ancestry. What is beautiful about art is not its exotic aspect nor even its highly modern content (this modernism is simply coincidental). so dull and ugly in comparison with these creatures. or the melancholy of big cities resembling the vast sugar cane plantations with their stands of pipes and chimneys. which appears in the programme of a show everyone will recognise as soon as they read it: PORGY The subject of the scene is as follows: "In the Southern States. Actually. in short. likewise in the other arts.html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 9:05:53 μμ . speak only of slavery. Others. The action is set in a barn. simply a case of snobbery. in fact quite the opposite.. has not yet been hypertrophied.Related Texts From Documents .lineone. regret for our mediocrity. Negro music does not sing about "the eternal regrets that lacerate our hearts. Furthermore. but the fact that it doesn't really constitute an Art at all. we have done with all this nonsense. more sentimental and lachrymose romantics. But now. so as to raise enough money to bury the deceased. but so far theatre has hardly been capable of giving us such unadulterated satisfaction. the land is at sea level and when a Negro dies. why we have so little respect for anything that does annihilate the succession of centuries in one stroke and put us. Revues like the Black Birds take us to a point on the other side of art. Obviously." about Great Art. a regret for our painful inability to achieve this sort of simple and beautiful expression.a. When a poor Negro dies. For many years the signs of this rebellion in literature and painting have been all too obvious. to a point of human development at which that bastard son of the illegitimate love of magic and free play. a passing infatuation with certain exotic forms similar to that of yesteryear for gypsy musicians. if he not rich enough to be buried in the mountains. seeing in their current popularity nothing but a fad. he is buried in the swamps where his body floats to the surface again. primitive violence. We have had it with all of that." Pedants are habitually disdainful of everything to do with American negro jazz and art.Civilisation receive too much scorn?).net/~d. as demonstrated by the following explanatory note.perkins/rtGBociv. listening to it. jazz and its derivatives follow their own rules and their own logic.

like the unforgettable scene in the Gleitch Circus when a whole crowd of acrobats performed high above us. despite being surrounded by magic. This.m. but at the same time it is unconsciously satisfying to everyone. I suppose. and the thick blood of the ancient mammoths killed by grandfathers often rushes to our heads again in billows of dark malice.net/~d. however powerfully they move us.Civilisation Thus this music an these dances do not linger on the surface. we are no longer open enough to the mystical to have the option.lineone. For this reason it seems the sculptor Giacometti was entirely correct when he remarked one day that the only possible Theatre piece would be this: the curtain rises.m. so that all of Paris will be able to admire this beautiful young woman as she risks her life in each performance of the free circus. despite these few glimmers of frenzy. This is perhaps the only difference between our times and those of the cavemen: today we hire dozens of scapegoats whose task it is to perform for us everything we are too cowardly to perform for ourselves. because here something real is happening and. so much do we wallow in our lazy tranquillity. The second quarter of the twentieth century in which we live. "Diavolina will perform her death-leap again at 10 p. The worst misfortune is that.a. they plunge deep organic roots into us. which take place every day at 4 p.perkins/rtGBociv. the new attraction in the Zoological Gardens' free circus. Boredom is everywhere. that threat of danger suspended above our passive spectators' heads. total panic. perhaps go a little further than other spectacles. a fireman comes on stage and shouts "Fire!" the curtain falls. we are not so far from the Stone Age. roots whose thousand ramifications penetrate us. will make her debut today. while never actually exposing ourselves to the slightest hazard likely to disintegrate our flesh. The following passage taken from the Journal of 15 August 1929 provides a simple confirmation: THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS "Mlle Claryse (Diavolina). and the murderer becomes a kind of sorcerer who has ritually performed the most horrific of sacrifices. and the theatre empties in wild disorder.html (3 of 3)12/12/2004 9:05:53 μμ . is the precise reason murderers are so popular: a beautiful crime is no doubt terrible. we breath in the sickening odour of our death. What we may deplore in such shows is that. Some circus acts.Related Texts From Documents . is evidently a long way from living up to the hopes of the naïve optimists." a hysteria of such intensity that it would immediately induce the audience to commit sordid acts or indulge in extravagant debauches." And so we enjoy seeing other people take the risks as we sit comfortably back in our chairs and give ourselves up to the maddening intoxication of danger. a painful surgery that nevertheless quickens our blood. Really. She has been engaged by the Gardens until the end of August. each day. and 10 p. just as on the spot where a murder has been committed or in the vicinity of a slaughterhouse.m. they still fail to overcome our spinelessness and create hysteria as intense as that described in "Porgy. 15 August. at 4pm. to sign the pact with the devil! http://website. Her leap from one springboard to another will be 8 metres long and 4 metres high.

the question is whether the naïveté of the black in his indignation over a leaky drum exceeds the white's absurdity in declaring a battle drum impure under the pretext that it's decorated with a man bearing a rifle. of course. From a more elevated viewpoint. the South Seas. but such is not the view of the serviceman who outfit trophy rooms. beautiful old Europe with her thousand and one arts. known as Ludolf. how many paintings and sculptures would one have to destroy? This would not. Asia. be tragic. likewise. The great "primitive" public is interested in so-called i cotton fabrics. however. Some have also been exhibited in national museums. has for some time now taken an interest in the productions of the great "primitive" public which it has come to know through auctions at the Hotel Drouot. or – in a demonstration of methodical rigour – Deir el Bahari's bas-reliefs of Queen Hat-Shep-Sut's expedition to the land of Punt? Wouldn't we also burn the work of Ludolfus. and Africa have been condensed into a few orderly window displays which satisfy this public's imagination. claiming first that it is European – a somewhat amusingly self-castrating remark – and. drew an exotic sheep while hauling his own cock along in a two-wheeled cart? Shouldn't one. but what an effort! Furthermore. America. literatures. according to an Ethiopian. and industries of high and low price. from the north portal of Chartes Cathedral. through private exhibitions. Inversely. secondly. so great and yet so small. deny value to the superb spearheads from the Djibouti market. All of which is none too flattering for Europe. nor that of the neo-Byzantine Ethiopian painters whose fondness for European weapons leads them to adorn King Solomon's honourable warriors with them.Gunshot Gunshot: next previous author list entries list home rel docs list The European public. in those outposts or "exotic" centres where white deign to dwell. namely a European one familiar to him. And if it took a mere rifle to spoil a work of art.perkins/rtGBogun.net/~d. born by a Negro. Large stocks of these exist in museums not constructed by this public. that it looks "modern. and high-quality weapons generously provided by us. The black is certainly naïve in thinking that anything could ever stop a white colonial from selling him a faulty drum. Fine.a.lineone." One could say that a gun is not a decorative motif. when the other party refuses the African the right to "make art" with a European motif. The height of absurdity is reached. in the sixteen-litre oil drums. cheap alcohol. But that is quite another matter. if a black cannot without debasing himself use an exotic element. under the pretext that they were made from fish plates filched from the Franco-Ethiopian railway? And what are we to say of the artistic efforts of http://website. what is one to make of our blind borrowings from an exotic world one of colour about which we must be in self-defence declare we know nothing? Shouldn't we then be pulling up the Queen of Sheba.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:05:57 μμ . and a few dealers. who.

the Mediterranean. What of It! I call folklore the ethnography of pretentious peoples.lineone. confusing the part with the whole. a freakish event within a civilisation. however. It is also self-doubting (because it is a white science.Gunshot the little Galla boys who run alongside trains to snatch up empty Chianti bottles to embellish the pottery rooftops of their houses? As for the argument of antiquity.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:05:57 μμ .a. inclined to be suspicious of the beautiful – a rare. http://website. only a cellarman could give it any value whatsoever. and consequently.net/~d. in any case. and whose dictionaries offer Latin explications of unseemly things. real.perkins/rtGBogun. ethnography is interested in both beauty and ugliness. Ethnography goes so far as to think that the excessive use of oak in the halls of the Sorbonne signals a peculiar conception of the aesthetic of wood. antiquity with ethnography. so as to reserve small shameful pleasures for their élites. who refuse to be called natives. the ethnography of those who fear both words and things. An informed contradictor might say that I am confusing ethnography with folklore. in the European sense of these absurd words. It is. Boring though it may be to repeat it. and therefore tainted with prejudice) and will not deny an object aesthetic value because it is neither ordinary or mass-produced. as the result of much prior consideration and negotiations with the bourgeois wife revealing concerns with art that are simple yet honest and. It considers the pottery of the average bourgeois to be the result of a choice determined by social deformations over thousands of years. of those colourless peoples whose habitat lies north of a sea of low tides and weak storms.

Related Texts From Documents - Human Face

Human Face:
previous author list entries list home rel docs list Owing to our presumably insufficient data, we can cite but a single era within which the human form stands out as a senile mockery of everything intense and large conceived by man. He mere sight (in photography) of our predecessors in the occupation of this country now produces, for varying reasons, a burst of loud and raucous laughter; that sight, however, is nonetheless hideous. Upon emerging (as if from the maternal womb) from the dreary chambers in which every last details, including their rank and musty odour, had been provided for by those vain ghosts, we seem to have spent the greater part of our time in obliterating all traces, even the smallest, of that shameful ancestry. In other places, the souls of the dead pursue isolated country-dwellers, assuming the wretched aspect of decomposing corpse (and if, in the cannibal isles of the South Seas, they go after the living, it is for food). Here, however, the unhappy youth who is consigned to mental solitude confronts at every unexpected moment of rapture the images of his predecessors looming up in tiresome absurdity. Upon our visions of seduction they intrude their contaminating senility, in their comic black mass they submit to the exhibition our glimpses of paradise, with Satan cast as stage policeman and the maniac¹s scream replacing the dancer's entrechat. In this deeply depressing, ghostly clash, every feeling, every desire is implicated, in appearances that are somewhat misleading and with no possibility of simplification. The very fact that one is haunted by ghosts so lacking in savagery trivialises these terrors and this anger. Those seeking a way out have, consequently, always transposed their difficulties somewhat. No decision on these grounds can really suit those who persist in their conception of an order excluding total complicity with all that has gone before, with its extremities of absurdity and vulgarity. If on the contrary, we acknowledge the presence of an acute perturbation in, let us say, the state of the human mind represented by the sort of provincial wedding photographed twenty-five years ago, then we place ourselves outside established rules in so far as a real negation of the existence of human nature is herein implied. Belief in the existence of this nature presupposes the permanence of certain salient qualities, and, in general, of a way of being, in relation to which the group represented in these photographs is monstrous, not aberrant. Were this a matter of some pathological deterioration – that is to say, an accident that could or should be mitigated – then the human principle would be saved. If however, in accord with our statement, we regard this group as representing the very principle of mental activity at its most civilised and most violent, and the bridal pair as, let us say, the symbolic parents of a wild and apocalyptic rebellion, then a juxtaposition of monsters breeding incompatibles would replace the supposed continuity of our nature. It is, furthermore, pointless to exaggerate the importance of this odd decline of reality. It is no more surprising than any other, since the attribution of a real character to our surroundings is, as always, a
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Related Texts From Documents - Human Face

mere indication of that vulgar intellectual voracity to which we owe both Thomist thought and presentday science. We would do well to restrict the sense of this negation, which expresses in particular two non-relations: the disproportion, the absence of common measure among various human entities which is, in a way, one aspect of the general disproportion obtaining between man and nature. This last disproportion has already found some expression in the abstract. It is understood that a presence as irreducible as that of the self has no place in an intelligible universe, and that, conversely, this external universe has no place within my self except through the aid of metaphor. But we attribute greater importance to concrete expression of this absence relation. If, indeed, we consider a character chosen at random from the ghosts here presented, then its apparition during the discontinuous series expressed by the notion of the scientific universe (or even, more simply put, at a given point of the infinite space and time of common sense) remains perfectly shocking to the mind; it is as shocking as the appearance of the self within the metaphysical whole, or, to return to the concrete, as that of a fly on an orator's nose. The concrete forms of these dispositions can never be overstressed. It is all too easy to reduce the abstract antinomy of the self and the non-self, the Hegelian dialectic having been expressly conceived for this sort of sleight of hand. It is time that we take note that rebellion at its most open has been subjected to propositions as superficial as that which claims the absence of relation to be another form of relation [1]. This paradox, borrowed from Hegel, was aimed at making nature enter into the order of the rational; if every contradictory appearance were given as logically deducible, then reason would, by and large, have nothing more shocking to conceive. Disproportions would merely be the expression of a logical being which precedes, in its unfolding, by contradiction. We must recognise the merit of contemporary science in this respect, when it presents the world¹s original state (and all successive and consequent states) as essentially not subject to proof. The notion of that which is not subject to proof is irreducibly opposed to that of logical contradiction. Its is impossible to reduce the appearance of the fly on the orator¹s nose to the supposed contradiction between the self and the metaphysical whole (for Hegel this fortuitous appearance was simply to be classed as an "imperfection of nature"). If, however, we attribute general value to the undemonstrable character of the universe of science, we may proceed to an operation contrary to that of Hegel and reduce the appearance of the self to that of the fly. Even admitting the arbitrary character of this last move, which may pass for a merely logical trivialisation of its converse operation, it is nonetheless true that the expression given the human self toward the end of the last century strangely fits the conception this advanced. This hallucinating meaning is subjective, no doubt – it appears thus to our eyes – but it requires only that we acknowledge our own interpretation as simply clearer than that of the other time. Human beings of that time, living as Europeans have, in a way that is, of course, obscure, come to assume this madly improbable aspect ( the physical transformation was obviously related to conscious decision). This transformation carries with it , nonetheless, the meaning now clear to us. And it is the specific nature, only, of this dated human aspect that is here in question. Certain people encountered today can be seen in exactly this way, but we are dealing in those cases with facts common to all times. It was only until the first years of the nineteenth century that the extravagance of involuntary contradiction and of the senile paradox had free rein; since then white men and woman, have, as we know, tenaciously persisted in their efforts to regain, at last, a human face. Those wasp-waisted corsets scattered throughout provincial attics are now the prey of moths and flies, the hunting grounds of spiders. As to the tiny cushions which long served to
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Related Texts From Documents - Human Face

emphasise those forms of extreme plumpness, they now haunt only the ghastly brains of those greybeards, expiring daily beneath their weird grey bowlers, who still dream of flabby torsos strangled in the obsessive play of lace and whalebone. And within the image of the earth¹s flabby torsos strangled in the obsessive play of lace and whalebone. And within the image of the earth¹s globe seen trampled underfoot by a dazzling American film star in a bathing suit, we may catch the sound, muffled but heady nonetheless, of a cock¹s crow. And why blush at the sudden fascination? Why not admit that our few remaining heady dreams are traced by the swift bodies of young American girls? Thus if anything can still draw sobs for all that has just vanished, it is no longer a great singer¹s beauty, but mere perversity, sordid and deluded. To us, so many strange, merely half-monstrous individuals seem to persist in empty animation, like the jingle of the music box, in innocent vice, libidinous heat, lyrical fumes. So that despite all antithetical obsession, there is absolutely no thought of dispensing with this hateful ugliness, and we will yet catch ourselves some day, eyes suddenly dimmed and brimming with inadmissible tears, running absurdly towards some provincial haunted house, nastier than flies, more vicious, more rank than a hairdresser¹s shop. [1] By 1921, when Tristan Tzara acknowledged that the absence of system is still a system, but of the most sympathetic sort, "this concession to insignificant objections still apparently remained inconsequential; the introduction of Hegelianism soon to follow, however, could then be expected. The step from this admission to Hegel¹s panlogism is an easy one, since it is consistent with the principle of the identity of contradictory terms. We may even suppose that once this treachery was committed, there was no way of avoiding this panlogism and its glaring consequences, by which I mean the sordid thirst for completeness in all things, a blind hypocrisy, and, ultimately, the need to serve anything that is determinate. Despite the fact that these vulgar inclinations have in compromise with a diametrically opposed impulse, most felicitously exacerbated certain agreed-upon difficulties, there is, from this point on, no further reason not to reconsider the futile betrayal expressed by Tristan Tzara. It is impossible, really, to see what can be systematic in the savage opposition to all system, unless a pun is involved, and the word systematic is understood in the common sense of mechanical obstination. But this is no matter for joking, and this pun betrays, for once, a fundamental, wretched senility. There is really no difference between humility, of the slightest degree, before the SYSTEM – which is to say, before the Idea – and the fear of God. Moreover, this lamentable statement seems – and with reason – literally to have throttled Tzara, who has since displayed a complete sluggishness. This statement appeared as an epigraph in a book by Louis Aragon (Anicet, Paris, 1921).

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which Bataille considered his most important work [4]. However Bataille's ideas do not exactly form a coherent philosophical system (nor for that matter a religious. itself an expansion of Bataille's somewhat controversial interpretation of Marcel Mauss' essay on potlatch. this is far from being accidental. including many of the Surrealists. since he acknowledges to as inherent to it both contradictions. political or ethical one) in the accepted sense. have a definitively heterogeneous character. It is principally the former. [5] The central thread of The Accursed Share is an exploration – beginning in pre-history and moving through the various cultures: Aztec. even fiction to convey his meaning. Bataille synthesised his ideas on social structures in his three volume work The Accursed Share. and absolute limits beyond which he cannot pass. However this is not the place for a comprehensive survey of Bataille's thought [1] and I have tried to limit this section of the introduction to that part of it which relates directly to the present book. many taking the form of more or less unfortunate dualities (profane/sacred. and the objects and concepts which they define. and related texts.perkins/MOHEADBA. Bataille considers the moral. The Accursed Share bears the subtitle "An Essay on General Economy" but unlike every other book on economics. poetry. the gift system of the North American Indians." Written between 1945 and 1949. To appreciate why the apparently random form of the Dictionary was so apposite a representation of Bataille's preoccupations. "primitive" and "Indian. explores the position of the individual in another three volumes. to whole societies. despite the possibility of misrepresentation. he proceeds to social groups. Bataille's ideas are grouped around a set of interrelating notions." and early European to the present day – of http://website. which although written were never collected together in a single work.a. ethical and political issues affecting the individual within a social context. it is necessary to take a more detailed look at some of them.lineone. i. his other large collection [2]. [3] a more inward-looking work.html (1 of 8)12/12/2004 9:06:09 μμ . in this respect one might almost look at them as a conflation of philosophical speculation and prose poetry (for example. Factory Chimney and Slaughterhouse). it devotes itself to the problem of abundance rather than that of scarcity. it was prefigured by his essay i (1933). thought/ eroticism) that are connected principally by the fact that the second portion of each term – which approximates to what he calls "the accursed share" – corresponds to values and necessities that are excluded from the predominant forms of "civilised" culture. From considerations of what it is to be human. but often cover numerous aspects of the totality of his thought. and to present it as simply as possible.net/~d.The Head of Georges Bataille The Head of Georges Bataille: author list entries list home rel docs list If the texts in the Critical Dictionary (and the Da Costa). and gives as its aim the demonstration that "the sexual act is in time what the tiger is in space. that are more relevant here. Unlike many of his contemporaries. Furthermore the texts published here are not straightforward illustrations of one or two of his ideas. and when these limits are approached he tends to use images. accumulation/expenditure. homogeneity/heterogeneity.

myth. and to the economically useful (Debacle. there could only be a revolting utopian sentimentality. These means include sacrifice. In earlier societies the sacred established social cohesion. Industrial society followed the earlier merchant capitalism. with regard to a homogenous person (boss. activities are valued not for themselves." [8] Bataille associates the forces of homogeneity with the Marxist conception of bourgeois class "whenever the State is shown to be at the service of a threatened homogeneity. Indeed. a stranger. the bourgeois consider the worker no more than filth: "Outside the factory." [11] Later Bataille referred to a "politics of the impossible": because http://website. the heterogeneous and sovereignty are accorded their proper due is one in which relations are not based on the useful.net/~d. mourning. in other words. sudden catastrophes and the horrible cries of pain that accompany them. Yet a world in which the sacred. The world of accumulation is associated in Bataille's system with profanity. and loss of communication and intimacy on the level of the individual. sacrifice and excess maintain a social structure which accords value to being rather than utility (Excès). but on expenditure and freedom." This expenditure is the portion of the economy that opposes forces of production and accumulation." [9] The invocation of Marx allows the entrance of the proletariat. games. Among the results of this imbalance he numbers war. there could be no revolutionaries. the rallies of heterogeneous political action turn about a quite desperate ferocity. [7] The forces of accumulation – in our day. and democracy being the platitude inherent to homogenous society. of life. They impose an order based on work alone – in which means become ends in themselves (i. slavery and the destruction of community on the social scale. non-subjugated nature. work) – which is enforced by the imposition of a strict homogeneity upon social relations and activities. stage left.perkins/MOHEADBA. etc. of a non-reduced. For the first time the excess wealth produced by the whole of society was hoarded and accumulated so as to benefit that part of it which controlled the productive process: the emerging bourgeoisie. bureaucrat.a. but for their accumulative worth. According to Bataille the gradual appearance of capitalism created a profound imbalance in social structures by creating an economy based on scarcity. Evaluation) [6]. gushing blood." [10] Thus the proletariat can perform its traditional Marxian role. Monetary economy reduces all men and all that is essentially human to the status of objects of exchange. one might think. of collective production (which makes him an existence for something other than itself).e.lineone. each man is worth what he produces. terrifying ruptures of sadistic understanding of an incontestably thundering and torrential nature.html (2 of 8)12/12/2004 9:06:09 μμ . but in a society based on accumulation it can only represent its subversion. "According to the judgement of homogeneous society. perverse sexual activity. Its expression is found in "unproductive expenditure: luxury. only the revolutionary function remains open to it. "Without a profound complicity with natural forces such as violent death. arranged within measurable limits. a man of another nature. to economic slavery..). The attempt is made to exclude all aspects of the "useless" from existence. Man (1). conventionally measured by monetary value alone. a means of assimilation and pacification. of capitalism – are engaged in a struggle to increase their share of the economy. war. a world in which codes of immoderation. the construction of sumptuary monuments. beneath the grimy banners of the heterogeneous. alienation. Unfortunately. systematising and extending the process (Factory Chimney). destruction and euphoric social dissolution. he stops being an existence for itself: he is no more than a function. to things.The Head of Georges Bataille the means by which different societies have dealt with excess wealth. a labourer is. homogeneity and stasis. cults.. festivals and potlatch. (Egouts): transcribed rituals of waste. arts. spectacles.

Above all. his "refusal to be ruled" allowed common cause with the Surrealists' attacks on the more obvious repressive social institutions of Religion (Escrocs. and characteristics. the heterogeneous is unassimilable. and a possible way out of this philosophical impasse is offered by Durkheim's definition of the sacred as that which is not profane. Expiation). heterology is opposed to any homogenous representation of the world. Bataille proposes a methodology based upon negation: "The specific character of faecal matter or of the spectre. Evidence. or an exclusion from its rule. A dictionary's sole purpose is the impossible of form and homology. For these reasons. often takes the place of the term in a discourse (like the spider or spit that suddenly end Formless). in other words.The Head of Georges Bataille the heterogeneous eschews completion. Explication). to any philosophical system. but in the introduction to The Accursed Share Bataille offers the possibility of defining "a way of thinking whose movement corresponds to the concrete character of the totality that is offered for selection. and the Critical Dictionary is not such an attempt. Eloge). Army (Emulation). and here Bataille underlines an absolute limit to thought." [15] The fly on the orator's nose in Human Face.net/~d. that heterological gob of spittle.a. all is not lost. The heterogeneous. united by opposition to homogeneity. Existence. and the photographs in the Dictionary perform this same function in a more literal fashion. And how should one respond to their efforts? By "the excretion of unassimilable elements. extracts them from the world and pins them to page. Essence. Etat. processes. is either absent from the book or tautological."[13] In fact. An image. definition fixes objects in thought.html (3 of 8)12/12/2004 9:06:09 μμ . such as the absence of any possible common denominator. Education and Philosophy (Education.. any element of subjectivity would allow in the formless. In many of his other works. as well as unlimited time or space. irrationality. includes a wide variety of phenomena. something alien to philosophy. as it name implies.lineone. Elegie. Bataille "notoriously" had recourse to that most physically immediate aspect of literature – its extreme http://website." One can sense his unease with such a tenuous and arbitrary method which. [16] Negation is one approach. in fact.perkins/MOHEADBA. stasis. including those here. can only be the object of a series of negations. A dictionary is never critical. as Bataille makes clear in Formless. any attempt at compiling an Encyclopaedia of Heterology is a farcical contradiction. which of necessity is a method whose very purpose is assimilation: "scientific knowledge by definition is only applicable to homogeneous elements. It must be added that there is no way of placing such elements in the immediate objective human domain. in other words. not to mention the niceties of bourgeois existence (Edifiant. the enslaving of the present to the future. Formless declassifies and is the negation of definition. However. Nevertheless. It does even fall within the field of investigation. in the sense that the pure and simple objectification of their specific character would lead to their incorporation in a homogeneous intellectual system. it crumbles when exposed to the exhalations of the frock coated" professors. Bataille's project is impossible in terms of the conventional idea of what philosophy is. to a hypocritical cancellation of excremental character. The text constitutes the core of the Critical Dictionary. Finally. he employs altogether more successful means. etc. which is another way of stating vulgarly that a burst of laughter is the only imaginable and definitively terminal result. a conventional political programme constitutes a servile submission to the possible.." [14] Homogeneous comprehension only destroys what it wishes to seize. Extasiée) state (Emancipation. being a critique of the dictionary itself. a poetic invective.

Civilisation erects barriers between man and what remains of his animal nature (Metamorphosis): "The polluted philosophies of Christianity tried hard to separate Life from the activity of the endocrine glands. manifests itself as "a life of communication.. namely: pornography (Erotin). Space. Explication. For Bataille all deferment is a submission to the future. and he lists "the waste products of the human body and certain analogous matter (trash. not isolation. etc.The Head of Georges Bataille heterogeneous form in fact – for which he is still best-known in the English-speaking world.." [22] Without the congruence of these worlds no totality of existence is possibility: eroticism must coexist with thought. poets. from nature itself (Hygiene. persons. the parts of the body. the numerous elements or social forms that homogeneous society is powerless to assimilate: mobs. No wonder then." [23] its aim being the recovery of a lost intimacy. history itself being simply a record of the progressive negations of all givens.g. Hygiene.a. in wars are capable of burning. Threshold.html (4 of 8)12/12/2004 9:06:09 μμ .. Gunshot). [21] The worlds of homogeneity and heterogeneity are simultaneously linked but separated. often by considering some topic from the point of view of "primitive" cultures. http://website." [17] It is characterised by violence.. both metaphorically and actually.. The more "civilised" a society. Bataille gave many instances of heterogeneous phenomena: he recognises it as everything other or incommensurate. leaders. with a bizarre but expedient notion: that of an immortal life to come. before pointing out the same features in that of the European (e. the reduction of man to its tool. the various unconscious processes such as dreams or neuroses. for example "men who at home are only peaceful and obliging peasants who bounce their children up and down on their knees. or acts having a suggestive erotic value. Museum. pillaging." non-productive aspect of sexuality. Homology desires the opposite. aristocratic and impoverished classes. [20] Metaphor). killing and torturing. real rites of sacred horror occur daily. The church associates eroticism with impurity and filth. a Museum. why not visit one of those temples of accumulation. (Even its buildings are a repressive imposition of form on nature: Architecture. in the basic assumptions of physical reality." (Economie) [25] And at the weekend. where the heterogeneous is crucified before a crowd whose only ecstasies are the pale effusions of art critics? Meanwhile. "a force or a shock that presents itself as a charge.) Children must be taught a horror of filth and excrement [24]. words.). and shameful: Slaughterhouse. In fact many of the texts in the Critical Dictionary in particular are devoted to tracing this leaking of the sacred back into the profane.. ultimately. and of Mathematics: Euclid.) it is servile to consider duration first. "Life beyond utility is the domain of sovereignty (. that Bataille's works must be unclassifiable. within the scientific method itself. albeit cursed. the pollution of homogeneity.perkins/MOHEADBA. a loss of the absolute freedom in the moment that he defined as sovereignty. and the primary given for man is nature. or pleasure. The sacred. vermin. moral and social status is associated with cleanliness. Slaughterhouse). the warrior. just as it denies death and the present moment. exiled to some less salubrious neighbourhood. the "cleaner" it is. it being the "useless. or language: Eye (1). excess.net/~d. which is what we do when we work. yet homology opposes this coexistence.)" [18] This list can be expanded almost endlessly because actually the power of homogeneity is altogether precarious and its opposition lurks in the most unlikely places (for example. and a further aspect of its method is a retreat from the animal origins of man. to employ the present time for the sake of the future. delirium. etc. different types of violent individuals or at least those who refuse the rule (madmen.lineone.

it is consumption that is concerned with only the moment. Excrement. August/September 1963. http://website. to save the rest from a mortal of contagion. [29] and the photograph accompanying the texts acts as potent representation of Bataille's vision: the detumescent crashing into the mud of the repressive and inhuman order of the useful. Big Toe. special issue of Critique. reprinted 1991. Sacrifice is the antithesis of production. in Hommage à Georges Bataille [ed. some of the texts in the Dictionary so perfectly condense the totality of Bataille's preoccupations that they almost qualify as prose poems. intended to be transgressed during celebrations of heterology such as festivals and sacrifice. This is the sense in which it is gift and relinquishment.. and repulsions. is here embodied in an impure version of the obelisk (impure because both functional and excremental). Human Face. the final part of a process of production which devours the products of the earth and literally shits them into the sky. As I mentioned earlier. the wonder-struck cry of life" and where what is important is "to pass from a for duration. Slaughterhouse. p. that conditions which separates human from animal: knowledge of death. This makes us think of these sublime architects who nonetheless forget that in a kitchen it sometimes happens that water boils.. Deguy. Routledge.) it liberates violence while marking off the domain in which violence reigns absolutely.perkins/MOHEADBA. [1] For such a survey in English see Michael Richardson. 195-6.net/~d. natural. that is having a deep distrust of what is accidental. the Sun – the victim is taken from the real world into a sacred and sovereign realm where death is "the great affirmer.680. let us say. whose reality derives from a long term operation and never resides in the moment – a world that creates and preserves (that creates for the benefit of a lasting reality). abandoning the place of our carnal birth..The Head of Georges Bataille but they are no worse than the secular philosophies.). Georges Bataille. what is important is to leave the world of real things. but its limited ritual form regularly has the effect of protecting those who offer it (. Foucault]. the purpose of sacrifice is "to give destruction its due.. however.html (5 of 8)12/12/2004 9:06:09 μμ . "What then is the essential meaning of our horror of nature? Not wanting to depend on anything.lineone. which separate man from his. blocking out the sun. only the tie connecting the offering to the world of profitable activity is severed (. is simply a fear of death. All those who have to do with sacrifice are in danger. Barthes. For Bataille sacrifice is the supreme expression of expenditure – which is why it is often associated with the most prodigal expender of energy. etc. generally mistrusting the body. 1994. Factory Chimney combines a number of his favourite themes: a horror of industrialisation. A factory chimney is nothing but an organ of defecation. perishable – this appears to be for each one of us the sense of the movement that leads us to represent man independently of filth. of the sexual functions and of death. hygiene. death and eroticism are thus intimately connected and fenced in by prohibitions which are. that machine of accumulation.) It does not destroy as fire does. etiquette." [28] The alternative: Man (2).a." The meaning of these taboos. revolting intimately against the fact of dying. excremental activities..." [27] In a society in which the sacred has its share. The obelisk is a symbol of permanence. Mouth. which is accomplished with a view to the future." [26] Man cannot escape his body and its constant remainder of his basic condition (Eye. [2] According to Métraux. to the violence of an unconditional consumption. but what is given cannot be an object of preservation for the receiver: the gift of an offering makes it pas precisely into the world of abrupt consumption.

rather than satisfying it. Verso Books.lineone. Writings on Surrealism. pp. Leslie A. [4] Inner Experience. Cohen and West.III. Selected Writings. p. Georges. and regulates expenditure. [13] For example in Bataille. Bruce Boone. trans. p. Writings on Surrealism. 1988. I Cunnison.138. 1988. Selected Writings. On Nietzsche.html (6 of 8)12/12/2004 9:06:09 μμ . ed. p. & trans. [7] The Notion of Expenditure in Visions of Excess. The Notion of Expenditure is included in Visions of Excess.. Selected Writings.e. & trans. Bruce Boone. I. 1993. II and III. 1994. 1954. primarily intended to maintain relationships. 1985. Michael Richardson. Georges. UK: Manchester University Press. USA: University of Minnesota Press. Los Angeles. vol. Allan Stoeckl. simply administers. Oeuvres complètes. The Gift. Forms and Function of Exchange in Archaic Societies. 1988. Allan Stoeckl. Communism was bureaucratic and repressive. Bataille and Mauss both saw economic exchange in moral rather than in rational terms. USA: University of Minnesota Press. Marx's project was the reverse.520. ed. 1927-1939. 1985. ed. & trans.107.The Head of Georges Bataille [3] Bataille. believing that in practice. Selected Writings. Likewise religion. ed. p. [11] Visions of Excess. Allan Stoeckl. 1927-1939. State University of New York Press. Verso Books. i. ed. "Free" market policies of Thatcherism. p. Cf. [5] First published in 1925.1. UK: Manchester University Press. USA: University of Minnesota Press. Michael Richardson. 1985. Verso Books. 1985. Lapis Press. [9] The Psychological Structure of Fascism in Visions of Excess. 1927-1939. 1985. ed. "to reduce things to the condition of man" but in practical terms Communism could not achieve this (Accursed Share. Bataille soon modified this opinion. Michael Richardson. The Accursed Share. 1992.perkins/MOHEADBA.141). Vols. 1985. [6] According to Bataille. UK: Manchester University Press.118. Reaganism etc. Selected Writings. trans. Zone Books. [14] The Absence of Myth.138. Gallimard (12 volumes published between 1970 and 1988). 1927-1939. 1994. Boldt. trans.135. 1985. [12] The Use Value of DAF de Sade in The Absence of Myth. Athlone Press. http://website.101. USA: University of Minnesota Press. 1985.a. 1927-1939.net/~d. 1985. USA: University of Minnesota Press. UK: Manchester University Press. trans. 1985. p. UK: Manchester University Press. in Marcel Mauss. Allan Stoeckl.139. Guilty. ed. p. ed. [10] Visions of Excess. Writings on Surrealism. Allan Stoeckl. polices. but Mauss attributed to potlatch an obligatory aspect that Bataille ignored in his interpretation of it. [8] The Absence of Myth. in its Christian guise. Vol.

The Accursed Share. Michael Richardson. Zone Books. Georges." In Bataille. suggested by their phonetics. Michael Richardson.. ed. 1988. Vol. http://website. vol. ed. p. Artaud commented: "Yes. Verso Books. More or less successful examples include Flaubert's Dictionary of Received Ideas. [22] Likewise Bataille demonstrates the existence of potlach in Europe. If lacking in courage. 1994. subtitled a Handbook of Art Knowledge. Bierce's Devil's Dictionary. p. 1993. The Accursed Share. but sufficiently fluid to admit the subjective. II and III. 1993. Eluard and Breton's Dictionnaire abrégé du surréalisme. MERDE.net/~d. a labyrinth of irrationality. 1994. Verso Books. & trans. p.perkins/MOHEADBA. Verso Books.97. Vol. & trans. [15] The Absence of Myth. Writings on Surrealism. Writings on Surrealism. – Take a bit of this and a bit of that. p. 1988. Zone Books. enter the Collection of Drainpipes. p. Georges. [23] See Bataille.1.1." Einstein's Encyclopaedia Bittanica. p. The traditional Christian messengers between these two domains being Angels. put forward less radical defintions: SCULPTURE. & trans. Michael Richardson. ed.lineone. 1994. & trans. not a DICTIONARY where certain pedants in the neighbourhood of the Seine channel their spriritual strictures. attached to the original. Michael Richardson. Vols.22. [20] Where the heterogeneous appears as the image of "an ape dressed as a woman"! [21] .98.The Head of Georges Bataille 1994. which the Académie attempts to supress: Eye (4).99.142. p.a. Two of the contributors to the Critical Dictionary had also written dictionaries of their own. Verso Books. as exemplified by champagne.Argot being the heterogeneous aspect of language. which he rather coyly describes as "animated by the movement of general exuberance and clearly symbolic of overflowing energy. Writings on Surrealism.. for rupture.html (7 of 8)12/12/2004 9:06:09 μμ . In Leiris' Glossaire: j'y serre mes gloses (which first appeared inside words. ed. [17] It is precisely the exclusive and definitive quality of dictionaries that have made them of interest to various writers and there are a number of obvious precursors of the Critical Dictionary which have exploited these qualities by subversion.II. head held high. II and III. penetrated by the formless. Vols.143. Writings on Surrealism. vol. and discourse upon historical continuity. – Value judgement of a sensitive idealist anticipating a private paradise. [19] The Absence of Myth. [16] The Absence of Myth. from now on language has only one use – as a means for madness.41. position in space and make assertions. and are thus infected with emotion. II. [18] The Absence of Myth. for the elimination of thought. 1994.

Zone Books. Zone Books. http://website.lineone. vols.Sacrifice. Vol. p. trans. vol. 198. 1989. I. p. 1985. p. it seems that sovereign permanence is maintained across the unfortunate vicissitudes of civilisations. and I don't feel obliged to be convincing on this point.html (8 of 8)12/12/2004 9:06:09 μμ . II. I. UK: Manchester University Press. NY. But my impression is contrary to the one that generally prevails. wherever its rigid image stands out against the sky.net/~d. 1988. Zone Books. [30] "The obelisk is without a doubt the purest image of the head and of the heavens. Allan Stoeckl.. USA: University of Minnesota Press. Vol. II & III. ed. See Violent Silence. 91.215. [29] In The Accursed Share. New York. 1988. [27] Thus. And even today. Vol. Vol. I.. 72.. Zone Books. pp 58-9. vol. vols.The Head of Georges Bataille [24] C. 1984. [28] Theory of Religion. 1985. ed Paul Buck.. I. vols. Celebrating Georges Bataille. II & III. II." In Visions of Excess." In The Accursed Share. vol. Bataille continues: "The line of development from taboos on incest or menstrual blood to the religions of purity and of the soul's immortality are clear. I. II & III.f. 1927-1939. Selected Writings. New York. [26] It did not escape him that writing a book was precisely such an employment: In The Accursed Share.a. is because of something other than its objective reality. vols.perkins/MOHEADBA. vol. New York. New York. II. II & III. Robert Hurley."! In The Accursed Share. Zone Books. 1988. London. 1988. [25] Although Bataille notes "I imagine that our disgust for excrement. p.

net/~d. not least because he was convinced that thought. 158-163. The texts in this anthology share these characteristics. in particular. by its very nature. and the periods of upheaval that preceded and followed the Second World War and the Nazi occupation of France. Before considering Bataille's basic ideas in relation to the texts here.html12/12/2004 9:06:11 μμ . or intentions (and no doubt this first account contains both errors and omissions). Until now there has been virtually no information about the circumstances surrounding its publication. biographies of the various participants can be found on pp." This was something of an understatement: paradox is present at every level of Bataille's thought. since both sets of texts arose from particular circumstances and events: principally the rise. its editors. which developed over many years.perkins/MOPREAMB. everything he wrote is vehement.a. some historical documentation seems desirable. authors. and to a fairly brief survey of some of Bataille's ideas as they relate to them. This book also gives the first account of the inception of the Da Costa Encyclopédique.Preamble Preamble: author list entries list home rel docs list In his Autobiographical Note.lineone. he is convinced that his concern in this world is with writing and. and then the defeat. http://website. and aims of. His basic notions remained remarkably consistent. after which he embarked on a large opus of elaboration. the texts that follow. since they derived from a small group of interests that were in position from an early point on in his career (evident in his texts in this collection which are among his earliest published works). impassioned. what is also remarkable in Bataille is his consistency in tone. also present in many of the texts not written by Bataille: an indication of the powerful influence he exerted upon his contemporaries. of Fascism. I have confined myself in this introduction to a description of the background to. Georges Bataille wrote about himself as follows: "from 1914 onwards. Despite these reservations he evolved a system (or rather an anti-system) of ideas of immense subtlety and complexity. was unable to cast even a dim light upon those essential problems of life that he wished to explore. Apart from the consistency of his ideas. dating from around 1958. however. and moves forward into disturbing realms of human life with teeth gritted. with the formulation of a paradoxical philosophy.

and in 1938 founded the most important museum of anthropology in France. its mixture of insight. http://website. Georges-Henri Rivière. which laid down the ground-rules for field-work which became the basis for all future ethnographic research. had taken charge of reorganising the chaotic artefact collections of the Trocadéro museum. The second faction was more academic. opposed to the heteroclitic elements which disrupted the articles on ancient and modern art and ethnography to which they imagined the magazine was devoted. this faction included the magazine's financial backer. erudition and shock indicate what the magazine could have been had Bataille not been constrained by his collaborators. from the first issue. both of whom worked in the Cabinet des Médailles at the Bibliothèque Nationale [1]. professors of psychiatry and art history and. the largest ethnographic expedition undertaken to date. Marcel Griaule. The first. Paul Rivet. He outlined the framework of its methodology in Documents. and the magazine numbered many of its most important figures on its editorial panel. the creation of a separate section in the magazine specifically to contain these elements. essays which would have been more at home there began escaping into the main part of the review (the Related Texts printed here). When Carl Einstein suggested a compromise. its dictionary format no doubt being Bataille's idea. and eventually he withdrew his backing. Griaule led the Dakar-Djibouti expedition. proprietor of the celebrated Gazette des Beaux-Arts. An article by Bataille in issue number one – Le Cheval académique. its failure to make a profit being an additional factor. Luckily a third group was able to mediate between the two sets of protagonists. but also to criticise aspects of the main part of the magazine. Georges Wildenstein.perkins/MODOCUME. a magazine within a magazine. Thus the Dictionary. a selection of museum curators. was to become one of its most celebrated practitioners.a. and for a while Wildenstein tolerated and even enjoyed it. was the founder with Marcel Mauss and others of the Institute d'Ethnologie. In many ways the Dictionary is the essence of the whole magazine. with Leiris as its official secretary. came into being from the second issue onwards. was to work in the museum for many years. a contributor to the Critical Dictionary. consisted of writers. however. a rather uneasy conception about the direction the magazine should take. Between 1931 and 1933.Documents and the Critical Dictionary Documents and the Critical Dictionary: author list entries list home rel docs list Documents was founded in 1929 by Bataille and Pierre d'Espezel. Its editorial committee consisted of two main factions who formed. playfulness. One of the magazine's founders. almost from the start.lineone. Bataille realised he would be able use it not only as the platform from which to present his more outré ideas.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:12 μμ . many of whom were ex-Surrealists or had been associated with Paris Dada and the Grand Jeu groups. Soon. D'Espezel and his more conservative colleagues were. The appearance of Documents coincided with the birth of modern ethnography in France.net/~d. Another member of the editorial board. and Michel Leiris. centred around Bataille. the Musée de l'Homme. a friend of Bataille's and his collaborator both on Documents and in later ventures. the magazine folded after two years and 15 issues. Each issue was something of a compromise. which drew typically outrageous conclusions from the deformations of horses on ancient coins – so infuriated D'Espezel that he called for the magazine's suppression. despite the fact that the chief editorial input was Bataille's.

vol. Documents.Documents and the Critical Dictionary [1] Much of this account of documents derives from the excellent article by Dominique Lecoq. pp.net/~d. ethnographie. in Georges Bataille. [5] Documents. 1991. Jean-Michel Place. pp. 117-130. Jan Versteeg [ed. Dominique.a. [4] [2] L'Etude des Civilisations matérielles. I.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:12 μμ . June 1985. Actes du colloque d'Amsterdam.perkins/MODOCUME.130-34. [4] Lecoq. (reprinted in two volumes). Critique: Bataille autour des revues.]. Acéphale. préhistoire [5] [3] His team's work on the Dogon people of West Africa spanned five decades.lineone. http://website. archéologie.

philosophy and writing in Documents was crucial for Georges Bataille.perkins/MONOTART. Documents' covers bore the banner: Doctrines (or Variétés). Minotaure (although. ethnography is interested in both beauty and ugliness. ethnology.. or even extraordinary.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:14 μμ .net/~d. Bataille called upon philosophy. Bataille. illegitimate." It is obvious here that he saw the function of the Dictionary as offsetting the aesthetic preoccupations of an art magazine. was also the success of a way of writing capable of overturning the code of branches of knowledge. and this certainly heightened editorial tensions between the various factions.a.. yet. No distinction was made between high and low culture. according to Dominique Lecoq: "The failure of Documents. aesthetics. Later he described the magazine as ". in impelling Documents to expose all the contradictions. only their usefulness to understanding was significant. as Griaule stressed in Gunshot: "Boring though it may be to repeat it. since Documents was established to be the exact opposite of an art review. their inclusion was often simply meant to be provocative). in the European sense of these absurd words. say. psychoanalysis. Archéologie. indicated as if by well-placed beacons by photographs of the Big Toe. Beaux-Arts. and from the start it was actively anti-aesthetic. and made connections appear where they were least expected. an art review offset by an anomalous (hétéroclite) section edited by Bataille under the somewhat remote supervision of Carl Einstein. not to borrow their results but to open up the notions they defined in new.lineone.Not Art But Evidence Not Art But Evidence: author list entries list home rel docs list The combination of ethnology. according to Leiris. Documents took evidence from all aspects of his culture. sense of the word. not writing but documents. and consequently a freakish. economics. Ethnology gave the lead: it was not concerned with the beautiful. It attempted a de-coding of European culture on a par with the emerging disciplines devoted to understanding "primitive" social structures. Bataille felt he had not succeeded in making of Documents what he wanted. and articles on the arts rarely overshadowed the other contents. Many of the writers in Documents took this vigorous relativism to extremes on occasion. event in civilisation." [1] Autobiographical Note [4] Not only did Bataille edit this section on his own but he may also have http://website. in retrospect. unacceptable directions: if logic masks the gaping inadequacies of the logos. Even if. whose aims were not literary in any ordinary. for they provide another layer of information or ironic comment and yet avoid completely the "art" photography later promoted in. Ethnographie. It is however inclined to be suspicious of the beautiful – a rare. and Bataille's one line dismissal of the undertaking rather suggests that in retrospect he may have considered it to have failed. often in the service of satire and derision. etc." Just as the new ethnography aimed to show all of man. chose both to uphold logic and to remove the mask. The very nature of the magazine implied an examination of the given: not art but evidence. In this context the importance of the photographs accompanying the texts becomes selfevident.

Critique: Bataille autour des revues. and it seems likely he also suggested subjects. Dominique. Documents.Not Art But Evidence rewritten some of the articles in it (Einstein for example did not write French).lineone. June 1985. VII. and their possible treatment.net/~d. [3] Lecoq.125 [4] Georges Bataille. http://website. p. in Georges Bataille. to other contributors.460.]. Actes du colloque d'Amsterdam.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:14 μμ . p. [2] One can only assume that the anti-Bataille faction had not envisaged this emancipation extending to their own milieu. Jan Versteeg [ed. Acéphale. Oeuvres complètes (12 volumes published between 1970 and 1988) Vol.a.perkins/MONOTART.

The Related Texts The Related Texts: author list entries list home rel docs list The related texts bear an obvious relation to those of the dictionary. none of this was accidental [3]: "In issue 3 (of Documents) Bataille gave a rough first outline of the aggressively anti-idealist philosophy he was to embrace. in presenting this clownish gallery of creatures with Œmadly improbable' appearances. who could appear as though he were not up to anything. and especially its accompanying photographs) in the main part of the review.) [3] Leiris. Hommage à Georges Bataille [ed. this fact did not escape Wildenstein et al. yet not let go of his idea – decided to put his cards on the table. the others theatre people and other characters dating from the turn of the century at the very latest.'" (Translation by Lydia Davis. poses. in Brisées: Broken Branches. As I have already noted. shows a lower-middle-class wedding with impossible embellishments. Illustrated with photographs. http://website.net/~d.perkins/MORELATE.html12/12/2004 9:06:15 μμ . this is because it reminds man. but they did not seem entirely to embody the spirit of the dictionary. San Francisco. and their inclusion (in particular Big Toe. one of which. having escaped the region of the Critical Dictionary in which the heterogeneous was supposed to be contained.. actually men and women who could be our fathers and mothers. reprinted 1991. led to serious editorial arguments and was one of the reasons for the eventual closure of the magazine [2]. 8). Yet it was not until issue 4 that Bataille – the obstinate peasant. Foucault].' Soon after came Big Toe. They differ from the other essays and contemporary reviews published in Documents by the definitional form in which they are cast and this alone seemed to justify their inclusion in this anthology [1]. but with incredibly antiquated clothing.. that his life is no more than a Œback and forth movement from ordure to ideal and ideal back to ordure. special issue of Critique. Lydia Davis. [2] As Michel Leiris has made clear. Human Face is a real outrage that Bataille. trans. North Point Press.lineone. Deguy. 3) and L'Esprit moderne et le jeu des transpositions (Series II. 195­ 6. is perpetrating against the reassuring idea of a human nature whose continuity would imply Œthe permanence of certain conspicuous qualities' and against the very idea of Œinserting nature into the order of reason. 1989 (first published in Critique) [4] [4] Various. [1] Two other essays by Bataille could possibly have been included: Le Langage des fleurs (Series I. taken in 1905.. with which Bataille took a firm stand (so to speak): full-page reproductions of friendly big toes and a commentary setting out to argue that if the foot is laden with taboos and is an object of erotic fetishism. Barthes. or physiognomies. August/September 1963. whose feet are planted in the mud and whose head is raised toward heaven. From the Impossible Bataille to the Impossible Documents.a. Michel.

but this is not the place to discuss it and since Denis Hollier's book reprints all the available material in English. Leiris. an immediate political task being to define possible structures not based on individualism. Bataille now turned his attention away from direct political action to concentrate on two connected projects: Acéphale and the College of Sociology. [1] He describes its inception in Un Cadavre [5] [2] Or three if one includes Bataille's vice-presidency of the Societé de psychologie collective. both Breton and Bataille had followed similarly dispiriting paths in leftist political organisations and their mutual disillusion. The College examined all areas of social community. was the main instigator of this document. Although unsuccessful – it lasted only 18 months – Breton and Bataille remained on good terms. however. and dismay at the rise of Fascism.Bataille and the Surrealists Bataille and the Surrealists: author list entries list home rel docs list Many past Surrealists contributed to Documents. and were attended by many of the leading intellectuals of the time. Acéphale was intended to embody these principles in a conspiratorial association.lineone. Between 1937 and 1939. which he saw a sort of sacred ideological virus intended to infect the profane social body. I am grateful for Dominique Lecoq for pointing out a general omission in this introduction.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:16 μμ . Callois. which featured a photo of Breton crowned with thorns. Callois in particular contributed lectures on the theory of the secret society. which proceeds in an associative manner deriving from analysis and based upon Œthe tasks of words' (Formless) http://website. namely the importance of psychoanalysis in Bataille's work and especially in the dictionary. intended as an anti-fascist movement outside of Stalinist influence. Klossowski. the reader is referred to that. what we know of its aims point to it as the focus for what the texts published here were intended to facilitate. and it functioned in the years between the appearances of the two sets of texts printed here. despite disagreements on some issues. Bataille. Between the collapse of Documents and 1935. its fortnightly lectures were delivered by members or by invited speakers: Bataille. despite later protestations to the contrary. Acéphale was both an esoteric "secret society" and a publicly available magazine. allowed them to bury their differences with the founding of Contre-Attaque. Its area of study was contiguous with Bataille's thought in almost all respects. Hans Meyer and Claude Lévi-Strauss.perkins/MOBATAIL. Theodor Adorno. Nevertheless. and they formed the nucleus of an anti-Breton group whose most famous attack on their ex-leader was the manifesto A Corpse. totalitarianism or the feeble cohesion of democracies.net/~d. The hostility was reciprocal since Breton had attacked them with equal vim in the second Surrealist manifesto. Jean-Paul Sartre. including Jean Paulhan. The College of Sociology continued the theoretical counterpoint of Acéphale.a. Kojève. Walter Benjamin. from this point onwards. among others.

Michael Richardson. Secret societies. Writings on Surrealism.net/~d. University of Minnesota Press.a. p. 1988. Denis [ed.145-158 of Hollier. 1994. The College of Sociology.perkins/MOBATAIL. ed. & trans. Denis [ed. Verso Books.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:16 μμ . http://website.lineone. Churches [6] The appendices to this book also contain an important letter from Bataille to Callois about the Acéphale project. 1988.356-359 [5] The Ascence of Myth.].Bataille and the Surrealists [3] Hollier. University of Minnesota Press. [6] pp. [4] Brotherhoods.]. Orders. The College of Sociology.

html12/12/2004 9:06:17 μμ . =ACEPHALOUS.a.net/~d. acéphale. ad.perkins/MOACEPHA. Fr. adj. Rare.lineone. also asephal [a. acephal-us: see ACEPHALL] A.Acephal Acephal: author list entries list home rel docs list a. (Oxford English Dictionary. L. Obs.) http://website. and sb. Having no head or chief.

" [3] The drawing inspired Bataille's text The Sacred Conspiracy.) [1] The celebrated aphorism of hermetic philosophy "As above. (. I meet a being who makes me laugh because he is headless. Fludd etc. Architecture) in particular with regard to the sexual act and orgasm.perkins/MOFIGURE. one abjuring hierarchy (Bataille criticised the Surrealists as hierarchical. for him – a heretic exalting the base over the spiritual in a universe in which "man can set aside the thought that it is he or God who keeps the rest of things from being absurd" [2] – the body is projected onto the world: as below. embodies his reversed hermeticism in the form of a parody or anti-idealist version of renaissance depictions of the harmonic arrangement of the human body (Leonardo. Alan Stoeckl. 48-52. He is not me but he is more than me: his stomach is the labyrinth in which he has lost himself. but what to make of the stomach? The empty container will be the receptacle for the Labyrinth that elsewhere had become our rallying sign. I. he has found beyond himself not God. Beyond what I am. The Acéphal is headless.net/~d. flames like those of a Sacred heart in his right. so below' situated man in a universe designed by God in which the structure of the microcosm reflected that of the macrocosm. pp. made on the spot. To some extent all his writing is a doomed attempt to encompass the tumult of the sexual act (see the final section of this introduction). and hierarchy is of course the hall-mark of the fascist organisation). so above.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:19 μμ . in other words as a monster. [2] The Sacred Conspiracy. 1927-1939.. as becomes him. under the eyes of Georges Bataille.' Now the arms? Automatically one hand (the left!) flourishes a dagger. and in which I discover myself as him. UK: http://website. but what to do with this cumbersome and doubting head? – Irresistibly it finds itself displaced to the sex.g. but to our master Dionysus). Absolutely. from which he derived his concept of expenditure. Selected Writings. a potent expression of the totality of Bataille's thought. 1991. André Masson made the drawing: "I saw him immediately as headless. This drawing. not only man escaping his thoughts. where he described it in these terms: "Man has escaped from his head just as the condemned man has escaped from his prison. loses me with him. but a headless organisation. which it masks with a Œdeath's head. The body as trope for society and other structures recurs throughout his writing (e. He is not a God either. Bataille exactly reversed this formula.The Figure of the Acéphale The Figure of the Acéphale: author list entries list home rel docs list The drawing of the Acéphale." [1] Leiris wrote a study of two such diagrams in Documents (reprinted in two volumes). He is not a man. Jean Michel Place. he holds a steel weapon in his left hand.) The pectorals starred according to whim. in Visions of Excess. ed.a. Well. fine so far. who is prohibition against crime..lineone. while the other kneads a blazing heart (a heart that does not belong to the Crucified. had the good luck to please him. but a being who is unaware of prohibition. this fills me with dread because he is made of innocence and crime.

180.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:19 μμ .a.lineone. Hommage à Georges Bataille [ed. Deguy. 1985. special issue of Critique. reprinted 1991.net/~d. http://website. p. [3] From Le Soc de la charrue. 195-6. in Various. Barthes. USA: University of Minnesota Press.The Figure of the Acéphale Manchester University Press. 1985.perkins/MOFIGURE. August/September 1963. Foucault].

Its intentions are in part expressed in the journal Acéphale. it is hideous. Patrick Waldberg). [5] The second text constitutes the 11 point program given to new members. but it seems that some of its members at least have returned an impression of a Œvoyage out of the world. "ferociously religious. God is the enemy of community. from a world that would be henceforth considered as profane. which has led to a life without appeal. a Œsecret society' which. Enthousiasme). in September 1939. this programme asserts various aims. Bataille's own few comments appear in his Autobiographical Note: [1] "With Contre-Attaque dissolved. The Collège de Sociologie.lineone." The actual activities and membership of Acéphale are still shrouded in mystery since no member of the group has ever published an account of his involvement [3]." [4] Two texts by Bataille give some clues as to his intentions. We know something of its aims from other sources. and consign them to work from whose fruits they never benefit (. and often deliberately inaccurate. This society was formed. of necessity. constituted to some extent the exterior aspect of this Œsecret society' (." yet this religion is atheological: "The acephalic man mythologically expresses sovereignty committed to destruction and the death of God. for example.) Of the Œsecret society.. represents only self-interest and the obligation to work. four issues of which appeared between 1936 and 1939 [2]. Bataille immediately decided to form.' it is difficult to speak. together with those of his friends who were former members (among them Georges Ambrosino. Following the creation of a community. all of its members withdrew.net/~d." Furthermore: "A world that cannot be loved to the point of death.html (1 of 5)12/12/2004 9:06:23 μμ . and in this the identification with the headless man merges and melds with the identification with the superhuman." Acéphale is. the finished. which is entirely Œthe death of God. associated with tranquillity. The Sacred Conspiracy.) Realise the universal fulfilment of the individual being within the http://website. If it is compared to worlds gone by. and appears as the most failed of all.'" (Absolute. in the same way that a man loves a woman. although nothing would be externally visible. essentially unviable.perkins/MOSECRET.a. Pierre Klossowski. contained an appeal to go beyond the world: "It is time to abandon the world of the civilised and its light. including the need to "Lift the curse of those feelings of guilt which oppress men. It is too late to be reasonable and educated. force them into wars they do not want. and a few excerpts are sufficient to convey its apocalyptic message. would pursue goals that would be solely religious (but anti-Christian. usually ambiguous. and the acceptance of a changed way of life destined to separate adepts.. founded in March 1936. It was not published until 1970. time made finite: a prison.' Short-lived.The Secret Society of Acéphale The Secret Society of Acéphale: author list entries list home rel docs list Published Information about Acéphale is exceptionally scarce... turning its back on politics. absence of movement. or a creator of false community. Bataille's invitation to Patrick Waldberg "announced the constitution of a secret society involving a ceremony of initiation. he states. which prefaced the first issue of Acéphale. essentially Nietzschean). rites.

had been deeply affected by the death of his lover. and take a seat at some distance from other travellers. expressed here by these arms without a head. not as exclusive values. without talking. its conscience shattered perhaps by its obvious incongruity in the face of world-wide disaster. The most lurid speculations centre on Bataille's interest in performing a human sacrifice. http://website. walk in groups of two or three at the most.lineone..) Assume within oneself perversion and crime. in the centre of a forest. in November 1938. Some months later the war was unleashed in earnest. I had written a panegyric to Saint Just.a. a universe which exists in a state of play rather than one of obligation. only the executioner was lacking. Laure. with eyes open wide to the world which is yet to be. sweeping away what hope remained.. stands a tree struck by lightening. but as a prelude to their integration into the totality of humanity.. This favour was refused him. and afterwards:] All discussions of the meeting is forbidden. [the return journey was similarly regimented. is to decide to part the veil with which our own death is shrouded.html (2 of 5)12/12/2004 9:06:23 μμ . asking no questions. when you should walk in Indian file." [8] Patrick Waldberg attended the last meeting: "The war had burst upon us." Bataille then describes the meeting site: "On a marshy soil. undermined by internal dissentions. Acéphale vacillated. It is a willingness to seek out and to confront a presence that swamps our life of reason which gives to these steps a sense that opposes them to those of others. under whatever pretext. do not speak to anybody.. (. On nearing the meeting-place. This ENCOUNTER that is undergone in the forest will be of real value only to the extent to which death makes its presence felt.. where turmoil seems to have intervened in the usual order of things.. there were only four of us and Bataille solemnly requested whether one of the other three others would assent to being put to death. stop and wait to be conducted to it one at a time. where Louis XVI was acephalised by the guillotine. since this sacrifice would be the foundation of a myth. Then remain motionless and silent until the end. and ensure the survival of the community. a few metres apart. and so he imagined that I possessed the necessary severity of character. although Bataille's written instructions for getting them allow one to assess their tone: "Do not acknowledge anybody. but we know nothing of its rites. exit the station in the direction of the train and turn left. Get off the train at Saint-Nom. (." [7] Acéphale had other privileged places. Callois confirmed this project while recalling his refusal to participate: "The (willing) victim was found." [6] The accomplishment of such a programme seems problematic to say the least and nothing is known of what occurred at Acéphale's meetings..) Participate in the destruction of the world as it presently exists. One can recognise in this tree the mute presence of that which has assumed the name of Acéphale. Bataille asked me to undertake the task perhaps because while I was at college. including the Place de la Concorde. At the last meeting in the heart of the forest.. until you reach the path that leads the road.perkins/MOSECRET. and seriously ill with a lung infection. he spent the war absorbed in an internal exploration which resulted in the Summa Atheologica. To go before this presence." [9] Bataille in fact. Follow the instructions of those who will meet you on the road.The Secret Society of Acéphale ironical world of animals through the revelation of an acephalous universe.net/~d.

albeit in a more exoteric fashion. although their activities were constrained by their situation. refusing to recognise either movement as "engaged" for differing reasons. and with the exception of Callois (by then living in Argentina). but refused to defend Acéphale. They returned to a capital in economic and political chaos.perkins/MOSECRET. The exiled Acéphales. Against the background of the épuration numerous factions exchanged abuse.The Secret Society of Acéphale The group dispersed. Meanwhile Patrick Waldberg's work in the Office of War Information had taken him to Algeria. Acéphale was valid if only because it succeeded in combating this principle for a while.a.html (3 of 5)12/12/2004 9:06:23 μμ . precluded its success and yet despite its mistakes he did not quite condemn Bataille. Paris was liberated in August 1944. others to the southern unoccupied zone of France. which he concluded could only arise. and most of the men shot (although Rivet and Rivière escaped this fate). Tzara. not having been a member. Vailland. and not be constructed. An edited version of it.lineone. the staff forming one of the first organised cells. The Surrealist group and the revue La Main à plume. formed alliances and fell out again with alarming rapidity. in which polemic and accusation reached new heights. During his isolation from the New York group he pondered past events and communicated them in a long letter to his wife Isabelle (dated 19 September 1943) [10]. Sartre and the existentialists attacked both Surrealism and the Communist. and the underground magazine Résistance was printed in the museum's basement. systematically exploited. the Party replied in kind. under the title Vers un nouveau mythe? Prémonitions et défiances. ideological and pragmatic.net/~d. Ireland and London. http://website. Old fellow-travellers attacked Surrealism: Aragon. its female members were sent to concentration camps. collective activity which. Duthuit for his part defended Bataille's appropriation of Nietzsche and Dionysius. together with response by Georges Duthuit and Robert Lebel. around the review Critique and now it appears. June 1942 to February 1944). and the foreign exiles began returning. even for Paris. [11] He concludes by proposing that humour. he says. its lack of rigour. Early in 1941 the group was betrayed. Waldberg expressed a complete disillusion with Acéphale's attempts to create a community around a new myth. appeared in the last issue of VVV (no. Lebel's (another non-member) response was more interesting. and anyway Bataille had foreseen its failure in his essay The Sorcerer's Apprentice. who had remained in Paris during the war. Breton the same month. among them Isabelle Waldberg in November '45. and founded a new review VVV (four issues. the Da Costa. some travelling to New York. could provide the cohesion for renewed group action. who led him through what he was now saw as a pointless labyrinth. Duchamp in May '46. The literary and arbitrary nature of its images and rites. Other contributors to Documents were among the founders of the Resistance. ex-members of the College of Sociology and Surrealists met frequently in New York. 4. seems to be militated against by some general principle. Georges Duthuit supervised the publication of a selection of texts relating to the College of Sociology and Acéphale in Eugene Jolas' anthology Vertical (1941). and yet it possessed an internal cohesion. its Nietzschean bias. it reformed after the war. he viewed the problem from the perspective of promoting group action. and the Surrealists organised a group exhibition The First Papers of Surrealism. the Musée de L'Homme became one of its principal centres in Paris. 1944). the first to take myth as its theme.

Gallimard (12 volumes published between 1970 and 1988). USA: University of Minnesota Press. Patrick and Isabelle Waldberg. Eds. 2. 2. Dussat. unpublished text quoted in Waldberg. p. Dominique Lecoq was able to supply some information: Dubief and Dautry were historians. such as Isou's Lettrism. Georges. [9] Acephalogramme. ed. particularly since Critique was devoted solely to critical writing. dated 4/4/36. Isabelle & Patrick. ibid. De la Différence. Jean-Michel Place. De la http://website. UK: Manchester University Press. Eds.perkins/MOSECRET. [5] Propositions on the Death of God.html (4 of 5)12/12/2004 9:06:23 μμ . divergences et complicites. Collette Peignot (Laure). Vo. the suicide of the Japanese writer Yukio Mishima was inspired by Bataille's interest in human sacrifice. 201 [6] Programme. The Surrealists' Minotaure had folded at the beginning of the war. Of Pierrre Dugan). Le Bouler. [3] A provisional list of members would include: Georges Bataille. Pierre Klossowski. Georges Amrosino.9.P. Isabelle & Patrick. Correspondance 1940-1949. pp. Un Amour Acéhale.199. [10] Waldberg. Jean Rollin. 1991. Some of these names are obscure. 1985. This gap was partially filled by the Da Costa. pp. and Keleman a Hungarian refugee and professional translator. Un Amour Acéhale. Selected Writings. Vol. New movements. Oeuvres complètes. Jean Dautry. and suffered rebuffs from all quarters. [2] In fact the College dates from a year later.8.274 [7] Bataille. An even longer hiatus existed for the Acéphales between the closure of Acéphale in 1939 and the founding of Critique in 1946. Complete Works. George Dussat. Vol. Pierre Andler (pseud. and Maurice Nadeu even published a History of Surrealism.net/~d. Instructions pour la recontre en forêt. Isabelle & Patrick. [8] Cited in J. [1] Bataille. [12] Both the groups originally centred around Bataille and Breton lacked a review in which to publish. Bataille et Callois. p. by implication consigning it to Trotsky's famous dustbin. Roger Callois. Eds. De la Différence.The Secret Society of Acéphale assumed a pro-Moscow position against Breton's group.a. arose and attacked everyone. Correspondance 1940-1949. an unpublished poet.lineone. Un Amour Acéhale. as had VVV in 1944. Henri Dubief and perhaps Jules Monneret. Visions of Excess. 1992. p. Documents. Jacques Chavy. Pierre or Imre Keleman.55. According to Tatsuo Satomi. The next official magazine of the group was Néon which did not appear until 1948. Allan Stoeckl. 1992.8. [4] Waldberg. Rene Chenon.277-8. Correspondance 1940-1949. p. 1985. 1927-1939. (reprinted in two volumes). associated with Souvraine's Cercle Communiste Démocratique and later Contre Attaque.

is to be found in the six issues of Transition 48 (later 49 and 50). http://website. 1992 p. Sartre.a. Barthes. special issue of Critique.12-23. pp. reprinted 1991.net/~d. and Fouchet were all on its editorial board. Foucault]. [12] The best English account of these debates. August/September 1963.html (5 of 5)12/12/2004 9:06:23 μμ . Deguy. although from a year or so later.The Secret Society of Acéphale Différence.84-89.lineone. [11] Included in Hommage à Georges Bataille [ed.perkins/MOSECRET. Bataille. 195-6.

it must nevertheless be recognised that this word has seen a development to the same degree and in the same way as artist and poet.net/~d.Aesthete Aesthete: next author list entries list home It being perfectly obvious that nobody now adopts such a denomination.a. one distances oneself from the "dangers of action. http://website. words have every right to overturn things and to inspire disgust: after fifteen years you find a dead woman's slipper in the back of a cupboard. though it may be a fairly disgusting spectacle. Everything that. on the other hand. responds to an admissible need is fated to suffer an improvement which..lineone. On the other hand. The wretch who asserts that art no longer functions. In fact.. ("That man is an Artist." has already made a declaration which really must be considered like the dead woman's slipper. in the category of the emotions. one is obliged to regard with the same uneasy (or cynical) curiosity as some sort or other of Chinese torture." or again "I respect Poets. the ageing process is the same for a cliché as for a system of carburization. "the delightful rigour Aesthetes bring to their intentions.There is a cynical pleasure in thinking about words which drag something of us along with them into the dustbin." and above all. that way.perkins/pGBAESTH.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:26 μμ . because. the automatic protest against a debased mental form is itself already pretty well threadbare.") In the last analysis. you take it to the dustbin.

html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:26 μμ .a.lineone.net/~d.Aesthete http://website.perkins/pGBAESTH.

whether it be in physiognomy. for over half a century. above all. opposing a logic of majesty and authority to all unquiet elements. The disappearance of academic pictorial composition. Indeed.perkins/pGBARCHI.net/~d. this comparison is applicable. it is in the form of cathedrals and palaces that Church and State speak to and impose silence upon the crowds. in large part. dress. admirals).a. However. as physiognomy is the expression of the nature of individuals. to the physiognomy of officials (prelates. by the progressive transformation of http://website. This mass movement is difficult to explain otherwise than by popular hostility towards monuments which are their veritable masters.Architecture Architecture: next previous author list entries list home Architecture is the expression of the true nature of societies. In fact. For that matter. explains the strong reaction elicited. on the other hand.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:28 μμ . whenever we find architectural construction elsewhere than in monuments. monuments obviously inspire good social behaviour and often even genuine fear. The fall of the Bastille is symbolic of this state of things. Thus great monuments rise up like dams. only society's ideal nature – that of authoritative command and prohibition – expresses itself in actual architectural constructions. we can infer a prevailing taste for human or divine authority. magistrates.lineone. opens the path to the expression (and thereby exaltation) of psychological processes distinctly at odds with social stability. music or painting. The largescale compositions of certain painters express the will to constrain the spirit within an official ideal. This.

html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:28 μμ .lineone. in any case. the latter already displaying all the elements of architecture. grouping the servile multitudes under their shadow. that mathematical order imposed upon stone is really the culmination of the evolution of earthly forms. whose direction is indicated within the biological order by the passage from the simian to the human form. tends. hitherto characterised by a sort of concealed architectural skeleton.net/~d. as if there were no other way of escaping the architectural straitjacket. a path traced by painters – opens up toward bestial monstrosity.Architecture painting. Hence. in this direction. It is clear. through the denunciation of human dominance. order and constraint. Man would seem to represent merely an intermediary stage within the morphological development between monkey and building. an entire earthly activity. as it were.a. however strange this may seem when a creature as elegant as the human being is involved. and undoubtedly the most intellectually outstanding. an attack on man. Forms have become increasingly static. Therefore an attack on architecture. is necessarily. the human and architectural orders make common cause. in any case. increasingly dominant. the latter being only the development of the former. Currently. http://website.perkins/pGBARCHI. whose monumental productions now truly dominate the whole earth. From the very outset. imposing admiration and wonder.

an absurd stutterers' silence: we are rotting away with neurasthenia under our roofs. dance and cry out. we are witnessing an intoxicating dementia of dubious and charming will-o'-thewisps. [1]: next previous author list entries list home Pointless to seek any longer an explanation for coloured people suddenly breaking. in a vaguely lunar Negro night. http://website.Black Birds Black Birds. are marshy emanations of the decomposition who are set aflame above this immense cemetery: so. [1] The article concerns the Negro revue "Lew leslie's Black Birds." at the Moulin Rouge.perkins/pGBBLACK. June-September 1929.html12/12/2004 9:06:29 μμ .lineone. today. with an incongruous extravagance.net/~d.a. a cemetery and common grave of so much pathetic rubbish. while the blacks who (in America or elsewhere) are civilised along with us and who. writhing and yelling like bursts of laughter. This definition will spare us any discussion.

Launched across oceans of sand.40). that of the camel.html12/12/2004 9:06:31 μμ .a. probably the most monumental. so much so that it pines away if transported anywhere.lineone. its colour. among the forms symptomatic of stupidity. The aspect of the camel reveals. at the same time as the profound absurdity of animal nature. The Orientals call it the ship of the desert. where futility is at its most distressing.perkins/pGBCAMEL. it belongs there by virtue of its form. the cataclysmic and fallen nature of that absurdity and stupidity. it traverses them at regular and silent pace as a ship ploughs through the waves of the sea. seems also the most disastrous. 1923. believe that the camel is something that is at the most critical point of all life.Camel Camel: next previous author list entries list home "The camel. One might.net/~d. http://website. is in its place in the desert: it is the denizen of those singular localities. p. Paris. indeed. What would our lovely women say of those oriental poems in which the harmonious movements of the betrothed are compared to the measured pace of a she-camel?" Contrary to the opinion of Eugène Delacroix (Etudes esthétiques. which seems grotesque to an inhabitant of Paris. its bearing.

Dust Dust: next previous author list entries list home The storytellers have not realised that the Sleeping Beauty would have awoken in a thick layer of dust. Meanwhile dismal sheets of dust constantly invade earthly habitations and uniformly defile them: as if it were a matter of making ready attics and old rooms for the immanent occupation of the obsessions. nothing will remain to ward off night-terrors. deserted dockyards. for lack of which we have become such great book-keepers. dust. Œmaids of all work.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:33 μμ . they are perhaps not completely aware that they are contributing every bit as much as the most positivist of scientists to dispelling the injurious phantoms that cleanliness and logic abhor. invading the immense ruins of abandoned buildings.net/~d. When plump young girls.. it is true. One day or another. phantoms.perkins/pGBDUST. and. supposing it persists.lineone.a. nor have they envisaged the sinister spider's webs that would have been torn apart at the first movement of her red tresses. http://website.. spectres that the decayed odour of old dust nourishes and intoxicates. will probably begin to gain the upper hand over domestics. at that distant epoch.' arm themselves each morning with a large feather-duster or even a vacuum cleaner.

html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:33 μμ .net/~d.Dust http://website.lineone.perkins/pGBDUST.a.

html (1 of 4)12/12/2004 9:06:35 μμ . This is obviously a strange desire on the part of whiteman. in fact.a. Cannibal Delicacy Eye. It seems impossible. this young man observed by a small cat.perkins/pGBCANNI. being more attractive in the bodies of animals and men. In this respect. and pigs that he eats have always been http://website. Cannibal Delicacy: next previous author list entries list home It is obvious that civilised man is characterised by a frequently inexplicable acuity of horrors. one might relate the eye to the edge of a blade whose appearance provokes both intense and contradictory reactions: this is what the makers of Un Chien Andalou [1] must have hideously and obscurely experienced when they decided to make the bloody love affair between these two beings among the earliest images of the film. this is precisely what he would admired to the point of madness. The fear of insects is doubtless one of the most singular and fully developed of these horrors. But this extreme seductiveness is probably at the very edge of horror. 2.lineone. among which one of the most surprising is the fear of the eye. nothing it seems. to describe the eye without employing the word seductive.Eye. from whom the eyes of the cows. That a razor might slice open the dazzling eye of a young and charming woman. 2. who is by chance holding in his hand a coffee spoon (should he suddenly hanker to place an eye in it).net/~d. sheep.

why on the masthead of a perfectly sadistic illustrated weekly..a. The hands of the victim are raised in supplication. where it devours him after assuming the form of a fish. Victor Hugo's poem is sufficiently well known.[3] In fact. 2..perkins/pGBCANNI.lineone. pursuing the criminal through space and to the bottom of the sea.. since among other things it is the eye of conscience. the living eye.. it is not a man." An then an enormous eye appears in the black sky. he made an oak sweat. but a tree trunk. but in vain.. to something so repugnant? Equally. under the murderous weapon. Concerning these. it is also for us the object of such anxiety that we will never bite into it. is a cannibal delicacy. For although the eye. to employ Stevenson's exquisite phrase. published in Paris between 1907 and 1924.Eye. Cannibal Delicacy hidden.. does an eye regularly appear against http://website. the obsessive and lugubrious eye.html (2 of 4)12/12/2004 9:06:35 μμ .. Innumerable eyes nevertheless multiply beneath the waves.net/~d. Grandville writes: "Are these the thousand eyes of the crowd attracted by the rumour of an immanent spectacle of torture?" But why would these absurd eyes be attracted. like a cloud of flies. the eye of the hideous nightmare experienced just before his death [2]: the criminal "dreams that he has just struck down a man in a dark wood. who seeks to defend himself. Blood continues to flow. bleeding.. The eye has the same high rank in horror. Human blood has been spilled and. following an expression that presents a ferocious image to the mind's eye.

209). More precisely. how far the authors of this film.perkins/pGBCANNI.a. above various bloody spectacles? Why does not the Eye of the Police resemble the eye of human justice in Grandville's nightmare. p. was ill for a week (and he then had had to film the scene of the asses http://website.html (3 of 4)12/12/2004 9:06:35 μμ . without logical connection it is true.105) and by Variétés (July 1929. condemned to death and approached by the chaplain an instant before the blade's descent: he dismissed the clergyman by enucleating himself and presenting him with the merry gift of his tornout eye. but penetrating so deeply into horror that the spectators are caught up as directly as they are in an adventure film.Eye. by Bifur (August 1929. because this eye was made of glass. This film can be distinguished from the banal productions of the avant­ garde. perhaps in the end just the expression of a blind thirst for blood? Similar also to the eye of Crampon. 230). Several very explicit facts follow one upon the other. Cannibal Delicacy a red background.net/~d. and the director Luis Buñuel. and without artifice: do they know.lineone. or people like them will go? If Buñuel himself. [1] This extraordinary film is the work of two young Catalans: the painter Salvador Dali. they are caught by the throat. by the importance given to the screenplay. p. 2. with which one might have been tempted to confuse it. in fact. p. See the excellent stills published by Cahiers d'Art (July 1929. after filming the slitting open of the eye.

probably the most beautiful of Grandville's extravagant compositions. both published in 1847 (pp.a.perkins/pGBCANNI. We owe to Pierre d'Espezel's erudition and generosity our awareness of this curious document. borrowed from both the admirable dream narrative Crime and Expiation and from the unprecedented drawing of Grandville. that only an obscure and sinister obsession.lineone. and not a cold memory. can explain this resemblance. a reader of Le Magazin pittoresque.html (4 of 4)12/12/2004 9:06:35 μμ . how can one not appreciate the extent of horror's fascination. but it is also argot for killing someone (i. [3] Faire suer un chêne has this literal meaning. 211-14).net/~d. Cannibal Delicacy cadavers in a pestilential atmosphere).e. however. the story of the pursuit of a criminal by an obstinate eye: it is scarcely useful to observe. http://website. 2. and that it alone is sufficient to hatter everything that stifles us? [2] Victor Hugo.Eye. the oak fears being made into a coffin).

not unaware that for most people the factory chimney is merely the sign of mankind's labour. out of all the world's various objects glimpsed in early childhood.html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 9:06:37 μμ . when the truly wretched aesthete. giving meaning to everything spoiling within my own head and to all that which. the dire filth of those enormous tentacles appears all the more revolting. later become my own. I was not hallucinating when. That rage would.perkins/pGBFACTO. the empty lots. stinking earth surrounding the textile and dye factories.Factory Chimney Factory Chimney: next previous author list entries list home When I review my own memories.a. of course. however monstrous. true channels of communication between the ominously dull. has invented the contemptible "beauty" of the factory. the black smoke half-beaten down by the wind. threatening sky and the muddy. the piles of slag and dross are the sole true attributes of those gods of a sewer Olympus. as a terrified child. at a loss for objects of admiration. I sensed. it seems that for our generation. Today. the presence of a fearful rage.net/~d. the most fear-inspiring architectural form was by no means the church. looms up like carrion in a nightmare. which both excited me to the point of anguish and made me run sometimes for my life. I am. and never the terrible projection of that nightmare which develops http://website. but rather large factory chimneys. the rain puddles at their feet. in civilised states. I discerned in those giant scarecrows.lineone.

Now. rather than the technician. who is necessarily blind.html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 9:06:37 μμ .Factory Chimney obscurely. like a cancer. as each grimace of the pavement's mud or of the human face. These childish or untutored way of seeing is replaced by a knowing vision which allows one to take a factory chimney for a stone construction forming a pipe for the evacuation of smoke high into the air – which is to say. or as the hairy. the terrified witness of the birth of that image of the immense and sinister convulsions in which his whole life will unfold. the only possible reason for the present dictionary is precisely to demonstrate the error of that sort of definition. it is more logical to call upon the little boy. It should be stressed. as a rule. for example. continue to focus on that which is seen as the revelation of a state of violence for which one bears some responsibility. That is why. and this for the same reason.perkins/pGBFACTO.a. Hardly has it risen towards the first covering cloud. within mankind.lineone. Obviously one does not. for an abstraction. http://website. than it has already become the oracle of all that is most violent in our present-day-world. that a chimney is only very tentatively of a wholly mechanical order. inexplicable muzzle of a dog. as each part of an immense unrest whose order is that of a dream. hardly has the smoke coiled round within its throat. really.net/~d. when placing it in a dictionary.

html (3 of 3)12/12/2004 9:06:37 μμ .a.lineone.perkins/pGBFACTO.net/~d.Factory Chimney http://website.

a mathematical frock-coat.lineone. In this way formless is not only an adjective having such and such a meaning.html12/12/2004 9:06:38 μμ . requiring in general that every thing should have a form.perkins/pGBFORML. What it designates does not. in effect. http://website.a.Formless Formless: next previous author list entries list home A dictionary would begin as of the moment when it no longer provided the meanings of words but their tasks.net/~d. and everywhere gets crushed like a spider or an earthworm. For academics to be satisfied. in any sense whatever. for the universe to take on a form. but a term serving to declassify. To affirm on the contrary that the universe resembles nothing at all and is only formless. it is a question of fitting what exists into a frock-coat. amounts to saying that the universe is something akin to a spider or a gob of spittle. it would be necessary. The whole of philosophy has no other aim. possess rights.

' cry the priests and suppliants in a chorus. Durga (the difficult-ofaccess). Of her four hands. one holds a human head. filthy with blood.perkins/pGBKALI. such as Devi (the goddess). with the avowed intention of disgusting her readers with an ignoble barbarity." Katherine Mayo relates. "She is black-faced and sticks out an enormous tongue. ŒKali. the forth.. pp. 12-18). In L'Inde avec les Anglais (trans. Kali.net/~d. dripping with blood. The statue of the goddess in that temple is consistent with the popular image reproduced here.html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 9:06:41 μμ . Théo Varlet. extended. laps up the blood with her tongue. Katherine Mayo [1] recounts her visit to the great temple of Kali in Calcutta. Half a dozen hairless and mangy dogs. on all fours. is empty.a. and some prostrate themselves face down on the flagstones of the temple. The animals are decapitated by the priests with a single blow from a cutlass. raised in menace.lineone.Untitled Document Kali: next previous author list entries list home The wife of Shiva appears in the Hindu imagination under various names and aspects. horribly disfigured by nameless diseases. "The blood flows over the flagstones. plunge their avid muzzles into the spreading tide of blood. "the drums and gongs before the goddess ring out in a frenzy. pours out blood. the third." In this temple alone the sacrifices to the goddess reach a figure of a hundred and fifty to two hundred goats daily.." http://website. Kali (the black one) etc. the second a knife. Kali. A woman rushes forward and.

She is represented adorned with a necklace of severed human heads.38). 38-39). The ancient texts speak not only of the sacrifices of human beings and various domestic animals. of cemeteries. p. incomparably more horrible than in the peninsulas. She dances on the corpse of her husband Shiva and her tongue. her belt consists of a fringe of human forearms. She is the patroness of cholera. hangs completely out of her mouth because http://website. Today they still slit the throats of a great many buffaloes. whose sacrifice is according to Sylvain Lévi. cit. two men of high rank were still immolated every twelve years: they were made drunk. At the beginning of the 19th century. but of sacrifices of crocodiles. Sylvain Lévi. tigers and lions.II." It consists of making skilful and complicated incisions in such a way as to "allow a torrent of blood to escape. which gushes towards the idol.lineone.net/~d. moreover. "an unforgettable nightmare. Kali is the goddess of terror. of destruction. their heads were sliced off and the jet of blood directed onto the idols (cf.. pp.html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 9:06:41 μμ . from which the blood of the giant she has just decapitated drips. vol.a. of night and of chaos. of thieves and prostitutes.Untitled Document In Nepal the orgies of blood are." The figure quoted for the number of buffaloes immolated in the nine days of the Durgapuja festival in the middle of the 19th century is nine thousand (op. Le Népaul.perkins/pGBKALI.

Untitled Document

she is horrified at having lacked respect for the dead giant. Legend tells how her joy at having vanquished the giants raised her to such a degree of exaltation that her dance set the earth shaking and trembling. Attracted by the din, Shiva came running, but since his wife had drunk the blood of the giants, her intoxication prevented her from seeing him: she knocked him off his feet, trod him underfoot, and danced on his corpse. Rich believers offer her silver forearms, tongues and eyes of gold. Under the title Hindu-Mythologie und Kastrations-Komplex a psychoanalyst homonymous with the creator of the Jeu lugubre (the painter S. Dali) has devoted a lengthy study to the goddess Kali; this study written in English, appeared in German in Imago (1927, pp. 160-98). [1] American journalist (1868-1940). The book was first published in Britain in 1927 as Mother India. Its sensationalism provoked the indignation of Indian nationalists and British anti-imperialists.

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Materialism

Materialism:
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Most materialists, despite wanting to eliminate all spiritual entities, ended up describing an order of things whose hierarchical relations mark it out as specifically idealist. They have situated dead matter at the summit of a conventional hierarchy of diverse types of facts, without realising that in this way they have submitted to an obsession with an ideal form of matter, with a form which approaches closer than any other to that which matter should be. Dead matter, the pure idea, and God, all in fact answer a question in the same way – perfectly, and as flatly as a docile student in a classroom – a question that can perhaps only be posed by idealist philosophers, the question of the essence of things, in other words of exactly the idea by means of which things become intelligible. The classical materialists did not really even substitute causation for the must be (the quare for the quamobrem, that is to say, determinism for destiny, the past for the future...). Due to the functional role they unconsciously attributed to the idea of science, their need for external authority in fact placed the must be on all appearance. If the principle of things they defined constitutes precisely the stable element that permitted science to acquire an apparently unshakeable position, a veritable divine eternity, this choice cannot be attributed to chance. Most materialists have simply substituted the conformity of dead matter to the idea of science for the religious relations earlier established between the divinity and

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Materialism

his creatures, the one being the idea of the others. Materialism can be seen as a senile idealism to the extent that it is not immediately founded upon psychological or social facts and not upon abstractions, such as artificially isolated phenomena. Thus it is from Freud, among others – rather from long dead physicists whose ideas today are remote from their causation – that a representation of matter must be taken. It matters little that the fear of psychological complication (a fear that bears a unique witness to intellectual debility) cause timid souls to see this attitude as an obscure detour or as a return to spiritual values. The time has come, when employing the word materialism, to assign to it the meaning of a direct interpretation, excluding all idealism, of raw phenomena, and not of a system founded on the fragmentary elements of an ideological analysis elaborated under the sign of religious relations.

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Metamorphosis. 3. Wild Animals

Metamorphosis. 3. Wild Animals:
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Man's equivocal attitude towards the wild animal is more than usually absurd. Human dignity does exist (it is, apparently, above all suspicion), but not on one's visits to the zoo – as when, for instance, the animals watch the approaching crowds of children tailed by papa-men and mamawomen. Man, despite appearances, must know that when he talks of human dignity in the presence of animals, he lies like a dog. For in the presence of illegal and essentially free beings (the only real outlaws) the stupid feeling of practical superiority gives way to a most uneasy envy; in savages, it takes the form of the totem, and it lurks in comic disguise within our grandmothers feathered hats. There are so many animals in this world, and so much that we have lost! The innocent cruelty; the opaque monstrosity of eyes scarcely distinguishable from the little bubbles that form on the surface of mud; the horror as integral to life as light is to a tree. These remain the office, the identity card, an existence of bitter servitude, and yet, that shrill madness which, in certain deviant states, borders on metamorphosis. The obsession with metamorphosis can be defined as a violent need – identical, furthermore, with all our animal needs – that suddenly impels us to cast off the gestures and attitudes requisite to human nature. A man is an apartment, for example, an animal thus imprisoned, like a galley slave, and there is a gate, and if we open the gate, the animal will rush

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Metamorphosis. 3. Wild Animals

out, like the slave finding his way to escape. The man falls dead, and the beast acts as a beast, with no care for the poetic wonder of the dead man. Thus man is seen as a prison of bureaucratic aspect.

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net/~d. It would be a matter of speaking.. she whom he was to kill one fine day when he saw red. printed. It is of no importance whether or not this be taken for a circumlocution: that fact is that a certain Crépin. or indeed when.. lost his nose and his mouth (he moreover lost the power of speech). one­ time Don Juan and a handsome fellow.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:45 μμ . and one only walks along them with the look of mangy dog. crying out. all unknowing. That is why we so often say: let's not speak of misfortune. Moreover. which also of course means that misfortune is everything that is hypocritical and mute. is a magistrate or a cardinal. nobody would be able to say where. only with this reserve. a police officer rather than a murderer. which would allow one. Further on. to make the ignoble accusation that he is speaking of misfortune in the same fashion as if he were speaking of good manners (one would have the dim awareness of being a pompous ass). to the inspector of police) would find itself subsumed under the form of vice. so faithfully reconstructs the image of vice. applied in this context. who after having killed his mistress and his rival sought to kill himself with a third blast from his shotgun. One is lost in conjecture as to how this infamous phrase from the Assize Court. anything at all would certainly be possible. found himself rebuked by a magistrate for having eaten chocolate mouth-to-mouth with Madame Delarche. the streets one likes have an air of misfortune about them. printing. at all events something that assumes all the sinister and ambiguous trappings of misfortune. that it is never misfortune itself that speaks but some fortunate prattler in the name of misfortune.lineone. furthermore. groaning that vice is a terrifying misfortune. written. that vice is an underhand and presumptuous abuse of one's wretched person. that is to say that the enigma posed by misfortune (which does so. cried out or moaned regarding misfortune. writing. http://website. that vice.Misfortune Misfortune: next previous author list entries list home It is beyond doubt that everything has been said. in a red robe.perkins/pGBMISFO.a.

a.perkins/pGBMISFO.net/~d.lineone.Misfortune http://website.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:45 μμ .

Mouth Mouth: next previous author list entries list home The mouth is the beginning or. However. in other words.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:47 μμ . a prolongation of the spinal column. the violent meaning of the mouth is conserved in a latent state: it suddenly regains the upper hand with a literally cannibalistic expression such as mouth of fire. as far as possible. incapable of attracting attention and it is the eyes or the forehead the play the significatory role of an animal's jaws. if one prefers. But man does not have a simple architecture like the beasts. he starts at the top of the skull. terror and atrocious suffering transform the mouth into the organ of rending screams. And on important occasions human life is still bestially concentrated in the mouth: fury makes men grind their teeth. it assumes the position in normally occupies in the constitution of animals. in other words. applied to the cannons men employ to kill each other.lineone. the prow of animals. in the most characteristic cases. the mouth has even lost the relatively prominent character that it still has among primitive men. Among civilised men. the most terrifying for neighbouring animals. and it is not even possible to say where he begins.a. As if explosive impulses were to spurt directly out of the body through the http://website. it is the most living part. In a strict sense. but the top of the skull is an insignificant part. On this subject it is easy to observe that the overwhelmed individual throws back his head while frenetically stretching his neck so that the mouth becomes.perkins/pGBMOUTH.net/~d.

the orifice of profound physical impulses: equally one sees that a man is able to liberate these impulses in at least two different ways. and the general importance of the superior or anterior extremity of the body. This fact simultaneously highlights the importance of the mouth in animal physiology or even psychology.lineone.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:47 μμ . he is obliged to resort to the bestial method of liberation.a. as beautiful as a safe.Mouth mouth. in the brain or in the mouth.perkins/pGBMOUTH.net/~d. the magisterial look of the face with a closed mouth. http://website. Whence the narrow constipation of a strictly human attitude. in the form of screams. but that as soon as these impulses become violent.

was already a public collection belonging to the University. the shimmerings of light technically described by the authorised critics takes place. The pictures are only dead surfaces and it is within the crowd that the play. A museum is comparable to the lung of a great city: every Sunday the throng flows into the museum. the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. http://website.Museum Museum: next previous author list entries list home According to the Grande Encyclopédie. like blood. founded at the end of the 17th century. at the exit door of the Louvre. The development of museums has plainly surpassed even the most optimistic hopes of the founders. We must take into account the fact that the galleries and the objects of art are no more than a container. above all. and leaves it fresh and purified.net/~d.lineone.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:49 μμ .perkins/pGBMUSEU. the first museum in the modern sense of the word (that is to say the first public collection) would seem to have been founded on 27 July 1793. On Sundays. in France. the contents of which is formed by the visitors: it is the contents which distinguish a museum from a private collection. Not only does the totality of the world's museums today represent a colossal accumulation of riches but. The origin of the modern museum would thus be linked to the development of the guillotine. the totality of visitors without any doubt represents the most grandiose spectacle of a humanity freed from material cares and dedicated to contemplation. the flashes.a. at five o'clock. However. by the Convention.

http://website. and sacrifices chickens to what he believes to be thunder stones (fallen from heaven in a thunderclap). in short. The museum is a colossal mirror in which man contemplates himself. when a native of the Ivory Coast places polished stone axes of the Neolithic period in a container filled with water. Grandville has schematised the relations between the container and the contained in museums by exaggerating (at the very least.a.lineone. In the same way. visibly animated with a desire to be in all things at one with the celestial apparitions with which their eyes are still ravished.net/~d.Museum it is interesting to admire the torrent of visitors.perkins/pGBMUSEU. finds himself literally admirable and abandons himself to the ecstasy expressed in all the art journals. in all his aspects.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:49 μμ . on the face of it) the bonds that are temporarily established between the visited and the visitors. bathes in the container. he is doing no more than prefiguring the attitude of enthusiasm and profound communion with objects which characterises the visitor to a modern museum.

the slaughterhouse is cursed and quarantined like a plague-ridden ship. only their own unseemliness. out of propriety. nevertheless. curiously enough.a. The result (and this judgement is confirmed by the chaotic aspect of present-day slaughterhouses) was certainly a disturbing convergence of the mysteries of myth and the ominous grandeur typical of those places in which blood flows. the victims of this curse are neither butchers nor beasts. Seabrook [1] has expressed an intense regret. with irascible meanness. subject to the ineradicable obsession of shame. In America. but that the sacrificial blood is not part of the cocktail mix. by now. and boredom. In our time. Now.perkins/pGBSLAUG. but those same good folk who countenance. http://website. The curse (terrifying only to those who utter it) leads them to vegetate as far as possible from the slaughterhouse.lineone. B. to exile themselves. [1] In The Magic Island. to a flabby world in which nothing fearful remains and in which. observing that the orgiastic life has survived. W. he finds present custom insipid.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:51 μμ . they are reduced to eating cheese.Slaughterhouse Slaughterhouse: next previous author list entries list home The slaughterhouse is linked to religion in so far as the temples of bygone eras (not to mention those of the Hindus in our own day) served two purposes: they were used both for prayer and for killing.net/~d. an unseemliness commensurate with an unhealthy need of cleanliness.

Slaughterhouse http://website.net/~d.a.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:51 μμ .perkins/pGBSLAUG.lineone.

Questions of Propriety Space 1. Philosophers.a. Without one's being able to say why.Space 1. out of confusion or for a laugh. have pointed out how space should behave under all circumstances. the dignity of space is so well established and associated with that of the stars. It is as discontinuous as it is devious.net/~d. Space would of course be far better off doing its duty and fabricating the philosophical idea in professors' apartments! Obviously it will never enter anybody's head to lock the professors up in prison to teach http://website. to the utter despair of its philosopher-papa. desperately absurd. moreover. prefer not to refresh the memory of persons who interest themselves.lineone. and it is difficult to enumerate what it engenders. in the behaviour of that scallywag at odds with society: to wit. etc. In reality. how is it that.. under our modestly averted eyes. that it is incongruous to assert that space might become a fish swallowing another.perkins/pGBSPACE. space breaks all obligatory continuity. professionally or for the want of something better to do. being the masters of ceremony of the abstract universe. Unfortunately space remains a lout. it seems that an ape dressed as a woman is no more than a division of space. Space will still more frightfully disappointing when it said that it takes the ignoble initiation rite practised by some Negroes. I should. Questions of Propriety: previous author list entries list home It is not surprising that the mere utterance of the word space should introduce philosophical protocol.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:53 μμ ..

Space 1.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:06:53 μμ . Questions of Propriety them what space is (the day.a.net/~d. for example. the walls collapse before the bars of their dungeons). http://website.lineone.perkins/pGBSPACE.

net/~d.html12/12/2004 9:06:54 μμ .Entries By Jacques Baron Jacques Baron: author list entries list home Crustaceans http://website.a.lineone.perkins/ieJB.

Heavy and light.html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 9:06:56 μμ .lineone.a. his trousers rolled up to his thighs.net/~d. The idlers crowded round him. animals made of silence and of weight. fabulous creatures that amaze children plying on beaches. a crab enormous as a house. Of all the ridiculous actions men take upon themselves. and a shrimp as tall as a tree! Crustaceans. ironic and grotesque. Gérard de Nerval went for a stroll in the gardens of the PalaisRoyal with a living lobster on a leash. Nerval replied: "But what are you laughing at? You people go about readily enough with dogs. Everybody has seen that elderly gentlemen.Crustaceans Crustaceans: author list entries list home One day. Woe betide the http://website. hunting shrimps in a rockpool for his dinner. his shrimping net at the ready. wearing an alpaca jacket. a white piqué hat on his head. a wicker basket on his belly. flabbergasted and roaring with laughter at the strange retinue. submarine vampires nourished on corpses and refuse. cats and other noisy and dirty domestic animals. My lobster is a gentle animal. none is more so than shrimping. affable and clean. How true that would be of the giant crayfish. One of his friends having asked him why he was making such a fool of himself. and he is at least familiar with the wonders of the deeps!" A painter friend of mine said one day that if a grasshopper were the size of a lion it would be the most beautiful animal in the world.perkins/pJBCRUSTA. bearded and red-faced.

she flutters in the triumphant fingers. The crayfish and the lobster are nobles. Who has not heard of La Môme Crevette ? Among crustaceans. It combines every fault. make love and die. the crab known as the "sleeper.Crustaceans poor shrimp that lets itself be caught! In desperation she wriggles. It walks sideways. We do not know whether they suffer or if they have ideas concerning ethics and the organisation of societies. She is also a woman.perkins/pJBCRUSTA. [1] In ch. harden. graceful and lively as mercury. grow old. According to Jarry it would appear that a lobster fell in love with a can of corned beef. They are present at all human ceremonies: political banquets. the most deceitful..a. she slides. is the most mysterious. It hides under rocks and its mobile eyes watch for passing prey with a cruel malice.net/~d. petal separated from the great bouquet of the waves. They are cultivated like oysters and tulips. 26 of Exploits and http://website. wedding breakfasts and wakes. the shiftiest.html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 9:06:56 μμ . [1] Crustaceans are boiled alive to conserve the succulence of their flesh. There are men who resemble it.lineone. All these beasts change their carapaces." the image of eternal sleep. Elastic animal flower..

http://website.lineone.Crustaceans Opinions of Doctor Faustroll.html (3 of 3)12/12/2004 9:06:56 μμ . ŒPataphysician.a.perkins/pJBCRUSTA.net/~d.

html12/12/2004 9:06:56 μμ .Entries By Arnaud Dandieu Space 2 Home http://website.perkins/ieAD.lineone.a.net/~d.

lineone.a.perkins/ieRD.net/~d.html12/12/2004 9:06:58 μμ .Entries By Robert Desnos Robert Desnos: author list entries list home Eye 1 http://website.

which. The expression à l'oeil. alludes less to the organ of sight than to one of its functions. a hole: the eye of a crankshaft. Hence the expression tu en as un oeil. The eye's fragility quickly led to its being made a term of comparison with something precious: j'y tiens comme à la prunelle de mon oeil. l'oeillade. with a certain old-fashioned military whiff about it. free. comme le gendarme [to sleep with one eye open. like a policeman]. I treasure it/him/ her like the apple of my eye. that poetic language. One cannot. taken initially in a figurative sense to express a concrete action. brought about by its analogy with the private parts: mon oeil. In metallurgy it tends to be regarded as a cavity. pays with the http://website. One could hold forth as lengthily on the numerous obscene senses of the word. an eye for an eye. has naturally made much use of the organ of sight: le quart d'oeil (commissariat of police) derives – and in the process outdoes it – from the classical proverb ne dormir que d'un oeil. rich in poetic imagery. crever l'oeil.a. as a sensitive spot not to be touched without good reason. eyelet (of a shoe). Then. the amorous glance or ogle. is the paraphrase of a medieval story in which a poor wretch who having eaten the smell of a roast. people have spoken of l'oeil d'une oeuvre [the eye. oeil pour oeil.perkins/pRDEYE1. as it emerges from the very formula of lynch law. thus the look. by extension to the technique of the arts.lineone. then again. and the famous mettre le doigt dans l'oeil [to poke one's finger in one's eye]. even summarily. of a work] in the sense of appearance. Coco bel oeil.net/~d. and accursed.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:00 μμ . Image of the Eye: author list entries list home Because of its poetic virtues. which has passed from slang into polite usage.Eye 1. Argot. has been taken up again in the proper sense to express an abstract state (to be mistaken. compile a list of the writers who have found an analogy between it and the stars. by extension. gratis. for centuries the eye has served for lyrical comparisons and for allegories. Image of the Eye Eye 1. to make a blunder) admirable ideomaterial property of the senses. you're looking good.

for your beautiful eyes.perkins/pRDEYE1. to be of the opinion the mourir pour beaux yeux. before themselves falling into popular usage.. orbites. Pour vos beaux yeux. lashes. etc. paupières. However there is no doubt an allusion here to the need for a marksman who wishes to aim straight to shut one of his eyes. takes us back to the vocabulary of the gendarme. sockets. meaning to be on the look-out. by way of cash. cils. jeter un cil [flick an eyelash]. Image of the Eye sound of his money. since it is rare for a man to have the same acuity of vision in each eye. having been replaced by sight. to frown. was originally a knightly expression. have entered ordinary language and enriched the figurative vocabulary: froncer les sourcils. Finally we shift the whole to the part. It is the debasement of the ethics of love in connection with the evolution of customs which makes it possible today – when "dispassionate" people (in both the exact and the figurate sense) consider love to be a trifle – to confuse cause with effect. to have a peep. hearing.Eye 1.lineone. eyelids. It nonetheless has a scientific justification. So it would surely be better to say fermer l'oeil et le mauvais [close your worst eye]. literally to open one's best eye.a. and the words prunelles. Ouvrir L'oeil et le bon. It was rightly estimated that the quality of beautiful eyes was enough to pursue dangerous adventures. to keep a weather eye open. http://website. se mirer dans des prunelles. to gaze into someone's eyes. to knit the brows. pupils.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:00 μμ .net/~d. is not an enviable fate. to die for beautiful eyes.

perkins/ieCE.net/~d.a.lineone.html12/12/2004 9:07:01 μμ .Entries By Carl Einstein Carl Einstein: author list entries list home Absolute Nightingale http://website.

perkins/pCEABSOL. that is why the qualities ascribed to the gods delineate by contradiction the failings and servilities of their creators. like the absolute.Absolute Absolute: next author list entries list home It is undeniable that man invented God so that his wretchedness might be forbidden by somebody greater than himself: God is the dialectical opposite of human imperfections. in effect. which is readily and at first glance observed. because that excludes the object. Only the details.html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 9:07:03 μμ .lineone. on account of their being separate. man has been obliged to renounce his peculiarity and miserable content. being obliged to separate himself from them in http://website. It is in this way that works of art are indemonstrable. does not seem consistent. can be proven only if an object. the interludes can be demonstrated. in instances without importance. The absolute is the sum of the compensations for human wretchedness. Nothing can be demonstrated by the absolute: the absolute is precisely that supreme truth which remains indemonstrable. To create so perfect a notion. he then seeks to recoup the energy expended by means of prayer: from which it is evident that man is unable to endure his own energies. but never the artifice of a construction. cannot be related to anything: the lie. Yet it is precisely this impossibility of proving the absolute which makes it irrefutable. which amounts to saying. from the object. Ideal entities serve as compensations for wretchedness. It is impossible to shatter a lie which.net/~d. The absolute is powerful because perfectly empty: it is thanks to this characteristic that it represents the perfection of truth.a. The absolute is the greatest expenditure of energy made by man. The lie limited by an object can be proven. having no object.

priests. imaginary entities he has separated from himself. each may be changed into anything whatever. who deified themselves to enhance servitude and fear. The absolute has been man's greatest exploit: it is thanks to that exploit that he outgrown the mythological state. because he does not know the world. That absolute is identical with the void and with that which has no object. the absolute is so enfeebled that it needs to be demonstrated. the neutral absolute is a means of power.perkins/pCEABSOL. because he invented something greater than himself. It should be added that man.a. than faced with himself. whose existence is more or less situated in the absolute. Man has created his own servitude. but only a little corner of it.Absolute order to find equilibrium.net/~d. I believe that man has less to fear.lineone. the ancestors of governing classes. because he fears his wandering soul. On the one hand to the mighty and to http://website. Man dies. since they do not possess precise qualities.html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 9:07:03 μμ . one must still demonstrate them – are called facts of science or of knowledge. faced with the Universe. madmen. It is thus that he has done everything to forget his dreams. after having accepted them without due consideration. Like money. But it was at the same time his greatest defeat. The absolute gods were. is afraid of himself and of his own creations. The absolute belongs to leaders. killed by his fetishes. to begin with. in the epoch of philosophy. It is thus that man dies by the absolute which is at the same time his means of freedom. to animals and to plants. above all. Things – whose frailty is such that. It would appear that philosophy is the degeneration of the mythological state: in fact.

lineone. The absolute has been identified with the essence and with being itself. and it is by means of the absolute that one is immortalised. after one has forgotten death. on the other to those without any power.html (3 of 3)12/12/2004 9:07:03 μμ . and it is thus that they become immortal spirits like the latter. http://website.net/~d. Words. it is by means of notions that duration is conned. the contemporary "contortionist" believes only in his own banal and obsequious "I": in this way he has discovered the most obnoxious form of the absolute and a freedom which.perkins/pCEABSOL. has ceased to be limited by "taboos" and is no longer anything other than abject and ugly. What a fear of death! People must begin by seeing words through death. The absolute belongs to the tectonicecstatics. entirely separate from objects and that very fact from their poverty. The power of the absolute shows itself in its identity with the unconditional. created by man.a. become his nightmares.Absolute kings. and notions are the padded cells of the logicians.

it is hide-and-seek. by which we try to suggest the indecent while skirting it. The nightingale is generally. The nightingale is to be classed among those ideals devoid of meaning. in any case. like most words. indolent.perkins/pCENIGHT. The nightingale can also be the sign of an erotic fatigue. stupid. to the paraphrase.html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 9:07:06 μμ . a moral phenomenon. because the nightingale's role is precisely to avoid designating them. but never by legs. They are means to power proposed by the wily and the drunken. The nightingale belongs to the repertory of bourgeois diversions. belonging. The nightingale is to be relegated among classical still-lifes of lyricism. Nightingale can be replaced: a) by rose. star of lyric repertory. a platitude. for the most part. it is considered a means of concealment. we use words as adornments for our own persons. It is a cheap utopia that obscures misery. The nightingale is an eternal prop. The nightingale can be classed among the paraphrases of the absolute. Nobody thinks the nightingale wild or excessively erotic. a narcotic. b) by breasts. Words are. The nightingale is an allegory.lineone. no reference to a bird is intended. http://website.a.Nightingale Nightingale: previous author list entries list home Save in exceptional cases. it is the senior element among all those techniques of classical seduction in which we resort to the charm of the small. petrifications which elicit mechanical reactions in us. With words we designate vague opinions rather than objects. the good courtesan's comfort: it is the sign of an eternal optimism.net/~d. this animal helps to ward off disagreeable elements. adultery's high point.

one schematises the defenceless world and projects one's idealised ego onto a Chihuahua. It is a means of diversion. the weak like to juggle with the whole cosmos and get drunk on stars. while precision is the sign of threatening and hallucinatory processes against which we defend ourselves with a superstructure of knowledge. Thus what we call the soul is for the most a museum of meaningless signs. One weeps with the nightingale in hope of a good day at the stock exchange. Tschou period. Buddhism. baseball.net/~d.perkins/pCENIGHT. Poets – those gallivanters and embroiderers – transform the nightingale into turbines. an ornamental motif. as allegory they pass into eternity. One attributes to animals. etc. Allegories and surrogates must hide the failure and ugliness of man: thus the human soul is made of stars.a.. Allegory is. but in degenerating.Nightingale It's cowardice that prevents people from using themselves in allegory. – that is to say. twilights. Imprecision is the soul's façade. because it is merely allegorical. The nightingale helps to avoid thinking and psychic disquiet. a moral perfection with which one adorns oneself. Taoism. committing to nothing. Such is the American's winning sentimentality. Symbols die. plants. These signs are hidden behind the façade of actuality.html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 9:07:06 μμ . etc. in fact. robbing it of its literal meaning. The nightingale outlives the gods. It is defenceless animals. to plants. Mention must be made of the political http://website. etc. and trees that get used.lineone. roses. a form of assassination because it disposes of the object.

The nightingale plays all the flutes of all time. because the nightingale even uses sadness. And we'll add to the list the scholarly nightingales who engagingly combine the remains of metaphysics with an optimistic biology. for whom drama is a compilation of feature articles. through Hegel and double-entry book-keeping. The nightingale's music conforms to steady and classical taste. a politics of the absolute. Let us now cite some highly successful nightingales: Mr Shaw. like pastry. Anatole France.lineone. http://website. it is more eternal than Apollo.net/~d.a. gracefully avoiding every danger through manifestos.perkins/pCENIGHT. Song replaces action. but it cannot master the saxophone. it seeks a guaranteed success.Nightingale nightingales. Its cadences are eclectic compilations: only the nuance changes. the nightingale of socialism. the nightingale of Hellenism and saccharine scepticism. of common sense and evolution.html (3 of 3)12/12/2004 9:07:06 μμ . Let us also note that the nightingale sings best after having devoured a weakling. It even renders slightly daring sounds in a routine harmony. who take their coffee decaffeinated and practise.

html12/12/2004 9:07:06 μμ .perkins/ieMG.a.Entries By Marcel Griaule Marcel Griaule: author list entries list home Eye 3 Ju-Ju Metamorphosis 1 Pottery Spittle 1 Threshold http://website.lineone.net/~d.

to desire is to take. this abandonment. The power of the eye is so strong that it is dangerous even when mere curiosity animates it: as a result of being stared at by a number of http://website. Hypnotism is the culminating point of a phenomenon which has leeser degrees. They have crept into our ordinary language. and the primitive who has noticed a gaze on a possesion of his immediately makes a gift of it. the stereotyped phraseology of our run-ofthe-mill novels and our best poems.Eye 3. This gift. to enjoy it. such as the gaze of desire.a. He fears the eyes of all animals. the curious gaze.html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 9:07:09 μμ . has always been. he is in still greater terror of the human eye. or simply beautiful. be it strange. and we might say that for him every eye is evil. and it is to some extent thus that we must explain the majority of gifts made by indigenous peoples. as if the gaze had deposited in the object a force ready to come into play aginst any stranger. and still is. Evil Eye Eye 3. above all those that are round and fixed. In all these degrees. among the civilised as among the primitives. as if it were dangerous for him to keep it any longer.net/~d. These ancient beliefs have survived in our civilisations." It would be easy to compile a dictionary of expressions concerned with the magic of the eyes. the primitive fears it.perkins/pMGEYE3. We speak of "piercing eyes. is above all prophylatic: it banishes a cause of misfortune. To look at an object with desire is to appropriate it." of Œdevouring with one's eyes. the doorway for evil influences. or simply the vague gaze that settles on nothing. To desire is to pollute. vague.lineone." or "eyes like pistols. Evil Eye: next author list entries list home The eye.

Antoine D'Abadie (Douze ans dans Haute Ethiopie. The commonest consits of an amulet worn round the neck. the utterance or the putting into words of a formula is itself efficacious – surround the figure. A bucrane stuck on a post in a field. as it were a solvent containing the evil – a vaccine compounded with the dead bacillus – and wearing this remedy amounts to innoculating oneself with the evil influence. will at first sight draw the eye of the passer-by or the visitor.perkins/pMGEYE3. By ascertaining the power of an eye without evil intent. the first http://website. thus giving immunity." Yet the soldiers' curiosity was benevolent. Its whiteness. to defend oneself and. which disregard them – or set above a threshold – the idea of making it a decorative motif came later – is the best fluid-conductor. on a millstone – our scarecrows have not been conceived only for sparrows.html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 9:07:09 μμ .lineone. representing one of two eyes. then. crying: "Your accursed eyes will pierce me before seeing him. is the symbol of a powerful defence: it recalls the halting of the animal by a wild beast dropping on its head from a branch. men have found many techniques. one can gain an idea of the power it wields when it expresses an evil desire. Another means employed in the majority of African countries is the bucrane.net/~d. II.a. written medicines – in magic. that it dries up cows udders and kills little children. It is essential. they form. It will capture this gaze. the result of vermin and the sun. in a tree heavy with fruit. 879). had a woman who loved him rush to him and cover him with her robe.205). Magical formulae. One is not surprised that it "eats the hearts of humans and the insides of cucmbers" (Mignes. p. Evil Eye soldiers. This in effect. for this. Sciences occultes.Eye 3.

Evil Eye being the most dangerous – and here it seems right and proper to conjure up all the magic of the first time – it will suck in through the two holes of the empty sockets. leaving the eye.net/~d. One might.html (3 of 3)12/12/2004 9:07:09 μμ . http://website. It consits of the skeleton of a fish. perhaps. In the living creature there is sort of horn over each eye. On the other hand. the phallus. I believe. like a flat battery. probably of an acanthopterous or shiny species. at Port Sudan.a. in fact plays a considerable role in the phrophylaxis of the evil eye (Otto Jahn. its head impaled on a cane switch thrust into a palisade. class under the same heading a "para-eye" I have observed on the shores of the Red Sea.perkins/pMGEYE3. its vaguely phallic appearance has not.Eye 3.lineone. far too extensive to expound upon here. that stone-shattering lighting. been without influence in determining the choice. Böse Blick). But this is naother question.

By the application of the law of least effort.perkins/pMGJUJU. the successors of the Portuguese took up the term. djoudjou is a ridiculous word. After a while the Africans themselves made no bones about understanding it.net/~d. From the point of view of ethnography. but very elegant if we put it in its place. Djoudjou.lineone. that is to say if we consider http://website. resolved them immediately.a. who inscribe it in their catalogues in the form ju-ju -–which is fairly ugly when pronounced by an average Parisian. mysteries. of a certain number of African peoples it is pointless to enumerate here if the reader really means to take the trouble to finish reading this article. Thus the first Portuguese who were fortunate enough to travel around the coastline of Africa. Likewise the little clan of informed aesthetes. and the successors of the successors were most careful to leave well alone. finding themselves confronted with the immense problems of beliefs.Ju-Ju Ju-Ju: next previous author list entries list home Europeans have a marked predilection for striking and compressed turns of phrase and expression who convenience does not trouble their habits of thought. beneficent and maleficent. in the broadest terms. and with a single word. The word djoudjou denotes. and evil sprits. dispensers of justice or decent fellows. forces. ignorant of phonetic conventions.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:10 μμ . gods. the gods.

a.perkins/pMGJUJU.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:10 μμ .net/~d.lineone. or of exhibitioncatalogue pidgin. http://website.Ju-Ju it as being no more than a term of African pidgin.

hindquarters almost scraping the ground – and covered in a white toga fixed to the head by two knots taking the place of the ears. on the contrary. and interrupted in popular divination. one wishes to make the children and the women laugh. In this way one obtains a diamondshaped head. This animal has gathered to itself all the horror of the pitch-black nights which it fills with its sinister plaints.perkins/pMGMETAM. The personification of witchcraft or of the evil eye. set on a long neck.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:12 μμ . Abyssinian Games: next previous author list entries list home Wild animals play a leading role in African folklore. and with one's wrists bound. When.lineone. covered by the cloth. supported on his elbows. The cycle of the hyena is by far the most important in the oral literature. painstakingly enumerated by the people shut up in their thatched houses. To this end one wears a toga.Metamorphosis 1. Abyssinian Games Metamorphosis 1. the bogey man of young and old alike. it is also. The player goes down all fours. on the high plateau of Ethiopia. together with the rest of one's body.net/~d. the incarnation or the mount of the sorcerer. body bent forwards in such a way as to mimic the creature's curious gait – forelegs very long. He http://website. his head pulled in between his shoulders. one's arms.a. hands joined on a stick. A game among the Wollo consists of imitating its howls and slowly inserting oneself into doorways. one borrows the form of a good-natured bird whose misadventures are the stuff of legend: the guinea-fowl.

lineone.Metamorphosis 1. http://website.perkins/pMGMETAM. Abyssinian Games lowers and raises his forearms. to a wonderful degree. conveying the two-and-fro movement of a pecking guinea-fowl. thus.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:12 μμ .net/~d.a.

perkins/pMGPOTTE. evolved so little since the world began.lineone. They will say that these things are transient and that their reconstruction belongs to the domain of the imagination.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:14 μμ . the supposedly preponderant part of that intemperate faculty could be greatly reduced if we were inclined to take the trouble to look around us. among many peoples. it is shameful to drink while standing up.a. the odour of aromatic plants. moreover. Better still. There is an infinite field of observation open to the reasonable mind. present-day humanity. they extrapolate the feet or neck of a vase of which they have only the bulbous part? And. on the whole. leaving it open or carefully closing it. in the colour of the terracotta and not in the odour it can impart to that milk. http://website.Pottery Pottery: next previous author list entries list home Archaeologists and aesthetes are interested in the container and not in what it contains. in the pastoral scenes. but they will studiously avoid studying the attitude of the drinking man and asking themselves why. of smoke. But they will deny that they make ample use of the imagination when. the animals on the circumference and not in the milk falling directly from the udder. or cow-dung. in a sketch. and even techniques regarding pottery have. they do not seek to know whether the man who kept the pot empty or filling it. at random according to the cultures of fresh or rancid butter. whose beliefs.net/~d. They will admire the form of a handle.

and a forest of century-old trees whose fearsome spirits do not permit even the breaking of a branch.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:14 μμ . do the monks of perpetual adoration see refilled day and night in a certain rite of Christian Africa? And each of them. or those appearing in dreams? Solomon confined genies in vases.net/~d. after all.Pottery For.lineone.a. how many millions of men still believe in omens drawn from pots smashed before marriages or after drinking. has no less than a dragon. a troop of real serpents. filled with inexhaustible and miracleworking water. the Golden Legend contains stories of demons imprisoned in pots. still today called Banu Qamãqim. the "children of bottles"? How many beautiful jars of red clay. http://website. for its defence. empty pots. How numerous are the spirits of Arab magic.perkins/pMGPOTTE.

" and "pneumatic" really signifies "full of soul. where the entrance hole glistens from the wax inside. whether voluntarily or involuntarily dispatched. Spittle-Soul : next previous author list entries list home One can be hit full in the face by a truncheon or an automatic pistol without incurring any dishonour. as one might think. the mouth – magically the body's chief aperture – is humid from the to-andfro of the soul. and a mother's "heart's balm" heals the bumps of small children. "to breathe one's last. spittle is the soul in movement.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:16 μμ . Saliva is the deposit of the soul. For spittle is more than the product of a gland.perkins/pMGSPITT. Now. but a straightforward rendering of our way of seeing. which can exit the mouth only when permeated with it. We use it to strengthen an action.lineone. if it bestows ignominy." As in a hive.a.Spittle 1. which comes and goes in the form of breath." which ceases where breath can no longer be felt. And we say. This is not. a commentary on the kabyl code [1].net/~d. so much so that certain peoples have the notion of "the soul before the face. to impress one's will on http://website. one can similarly be disfigured by a bowl of vitriol. for protection. Spittle-Soul. But one can't accept spittle without shame. It must possess a magical nature because. Spittle 1. breath is soul. it is also a miracle-maker: Christ's saliva opened the eyes of the blind. Spittle accompanies breath.

Thus. Kabylie. http://website. III. In Great Russia and elsewhere. [1] Hanoteaux & Letourneux. one spits.net/~d. to confer spirit on the child. the kiss. to seal an oath. to give life. Finally – and this is a startling demonstration of the theory of the spittle-soul – in Occidental Africa. p. one spits in order to cast out the demon of the empty house [3]. In Oriental Africa.193. is a guarantee of peace (to seal with a kiss). the grandfather spits into the mouth of his grandchild several days after his birth. Sura 113. Mohammed himself [2] feared the witches' saliva as they breathed on knots and spat a little to work some evil spells. an object. Just about everywhere. Le Livre de recettes d'un dabtara abyssin. [3] Marcel Griaule.a. Insitut d'ethnologie de Paris.perkins/pMGSPITT.lineone.Spittle 1. [2] Koran. To summarise: from evil will to good will. when opening a door that has been long closed. spittle behaves like the soul – balm or filth. to "sign" a contract. from insult to miracle. Spittle-Soul.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:16 μμ . this exchange of saliva.

isolated from the world. In effect. and which must be surrounded by every magical protection.perkins/pMGTHRES. To open it is a serious matter: it is to unleash two hordes.Threshold Threshold: previous author list entries list home The threshold is the node which separates two opposing worlds. at the same time pronouncing words of appeasement. These precautions are innumerable: a horse-shoe. all night the house has been closed. Far from being a convenience. a painting of Saint Sebastian surrounded with formulae. the light and the shade..net/~d. a consecrated sprig of boxtree. it is to risk being caught up in the fray.a.lineone. When it is fully open. it has been. One will therefore open it with an infinity of precautions. the interior and the open air. an animal sacrificed on the threshold. the door is a terrible instrument which must be made use of only knowingly and according to the proper rites. from the cold. the cold and the warm. To cross a threshold is thus to traverse a zone of danger where invisible but real battles are fought out. In east Africa the most dangerous moment of the day is the opening of the door in the morning. slowly. as it were. above all avoiding displacing air. one will cross the http://website. corpses of enemies buried standing erect. from the light. from the open air. and finally. one will spit into the gaping opening.. one against the other. As long as the door is closed. all is well. with the greatest calm.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:18 μμ . keeping behind it. The door has been the thoroughly watertight lock-gate that has dammed up the threshold.

the rank one occupies in society. This goes to show that the threshold. However he will avoid any complications by not arriving until very late. I say.a. The same movements are observed by the visitor when he presents himself to the household in the early morning. when the door will already have been opened and contact established. In superior civilisations the doormat has not been created solely to slow the crossing of the threshold and permit the visitor to collect his thoughts. he wipes his feet all the more ostentatiously on the mat at the door if the house be imposing.perkins/pMGTHRES. of which it is the visible sign.net/~d. because there one must manifest or cast aside one's qualities. please don't bother. that is to say the doormat. when the tradesman's representative presents himself at the door of an important client. forcibly or with levity. is indeed a thing of dread. Conversely. and that even in dry weather. it is properly polite to say to an honoured visitor who is endeavouring to remove the mud from his boots: "Oh. because there it is necessary to register. looking before oneself.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:18 μμ .lineone. in muddy weather. http://website.Threshold threshold." The assiduity one employs in freeing the stranger from this obligation is in direct ratio to the respect one has for him. It plays a far more important role.

lineone.net/~d.Entries By Michel Leiris Angel 2 Benga Debacle Hygiene Keaton (Buster) Metamorphosis 2 Metaphor Pensum Reptiles Skyscraper Spittle 2 Talkie Home http://website.a.html12/12/2004 9:07:18 μμ .perkins/ieML.

His residence is in the Little Bear. and all things that can kill or avoid death..perkins/pMLANGEL. the buckler.a. Gabriel is the angel who presides over Monday. one of the holy angels. LXIX. one of the guilty angels was likewise called Gabriel. "It is he who revealed to the sons of men how to kill. In the Sepher Henoch.Angel 2. over Paradise and the Cherubim. the breastplate.) Scripture cites the archangels Gabriel." (Nouvelle Larousse Illustré.lineone. ch.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:20 μμ .). Genius of the Moon. He formed the inhabitants of the arid element down to the consummation of the centuries. The Angel Gabriel: next author list entries list home "GABRIEL (from a Hebrew word which strictly means the man of God). ch.. presiding over the ninth circle of light in the hermetic hierarchy. The Angel Gabriel Angel 2. . the sword. 26ff. http://website. XX. who presides over Ikisat. Michael and Raphaël as chiefs of the heavenly hosts that vanquished Lucifer and the rebel angels." According to the Sepher Henoch. it was he who seduced Eve and taught the sons of men deadly wounds.Occult sciences and astrology.net/~d. 1." With Michaël and Samaël. archangel who came to the Virgin to announce that she was going to be the mother of Jesus Christ (Luke. we read: "Gabriel.

The Angel Gabriel http://website.lineone.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:20 μμ .perkins/pMLANGEL.net/~d.a.Angel 2.

was born in Dakar in 1906. to music by G. Before Louisiana. sadly too brief. which. then drew attention to himself in 1926 in a parody of Josephine Baker whom he interpreted with Dorville. He is more than worthy of this.net/~d.perkins/pMLBEN. whose presence last summer. of whom nobody today contests that he is one of our best actors. at least in the domain of show-business.a. disturbed our torpor. as much for his remarkable beauty as for his talent as a dancer. After Habib Benglia. it is interesting to note that. and the film Hallelujah.Benga (Feral) Benga (Féral): next previous author list entries list home The young Senegalese dancer Féral Benga. it is to Féral Benga that the responsibility falls to represent his admirable race before the Parisian public.lineone. the Black Birds. the American Negro operetta which will probably soon be staged at the Porte Saint-Martin (with Louis Douglas as manger and Strappy Jones in the leading role). who is at present starring in the revue at the Folies-Bergère. http://website.html12/12/2004 9:07:22 μμ . it is to be hoped will soon be screened in public. With all due deference to paleface chauvinism. He made his debut in 1925 among the extras at the FoliesBergère.H. the deficiency of the white race stands confirmed. here is Féral Benga who has recently been revivifying our all but dead music-hall after the departure of the great black troupe. Rivière.

the rivers of our sentiments are being transformed into arteries filled with a frozen congealing blood. and popularised above all to designate collapses in monetary value and financial crashes. Employed regarding the war of 1870 by Zola.a. the cold is setting in. which the most frightful of old men love to recall.net/~d. it could pass as prophetic.lineone. al the more powerful. just as in that winter of 1870-71. to the passage of carriages. In effect life today finds itself caught fast and frozen into the thick industrial ice that could turn us all into corpses. because of its brutal and implacable concision. boulevards for the tenacious animalculae of a state of affairs in which nothing has any raison d'être other than an economic one. since. Who is not aware of the coup de foudre [love at first sight]. the air is freezing and. with that very haste that characterises disasters – I mean the word débâcle. this expression is still today very powerful.Debacle Debacle: next previous author list entries list home The phenomena of nature are a vast alphabet of symbols upon which we draw to forge many of our expressions.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:24 μμ . indeed. the déjeuner de soleil [flash in the pan]." and the "avalanche of compliments"? Worn-out as most of these images may be. a word quite precisely "thrown together" [bâclé]. more difficult to support on our spinal columns http://website. The rivers of truly human relations are immobile and dead. social relations are mean and filthy as lice. pedestrians and wagons. it spine of frozen water. when the solidified Seine offered its back. there is none the less one which remains moving. in a work which bears it as its title.perkins/pMLDEBAC. given present circumstances. the "brainstorm.

in the grimacing poses of shameful paralytics.a. and then itself being changed into a chimerical vapour – that of annihilating absolutely everything. drowning in their passage everything that is lacking in humanity. http://website. so to speak. centuries-old dams. has as its final result – after first smashed what was hostile and alien to it. our muscles. To escape from this dust-filled lumber-room in which we are mouldering. that would be the end of this traffic that confines us. we feel ourselves more.net/~d.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:24 μμ . fields. be they uncultivated wastes. we make no move. and expand over every land.Debacle than whole wagon-loads of market-garden produce or omnibuses chock-full of men of necessarily ignoble countenance. in short. Prisoners of this cold. and in the end evaporate so that this resurrection transforms itself forthwith into defeat and. to smash and break the banks. we remain inert. as mummies are of their rigid bandages. that of the times of deluges. towns. If the river thawed.. like lumps of wood..perkins/pMLDEBAC. our skin resume their natural state. we and our tarnished cast-offs – rusty as the old sabre of a Reichsoffen cuirassier – it is necessary that our hearts. of ice-age cataclysms and tidal waves. hamlets.lineone. at the same time find more their original violence. and yet we hope for nothing so much as for the debacle. this grotesque circulation of petty self-interest that bends us to the yoke and reduces us to worse than domestics.

that clean-shaven man with his neatly combed hair. keeps well. or indeed takes a cold shower after some physical exercise. knows himself well. next to primitive men. mace or lance in hand. He who knows himself well." say those in favour of Latin tags. Cleanliness has no raison d'être outside of very limited circumstances." "Wash your hands with sand" [1]: so many commandments that passed for having been invented by wise legislators. Should one prefer the simpler wisdom of railway stations: "He who weighs himself frequently. addressing itself to exclusively mystical forces. "Mens sana in corpore sano.a.html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 9:07:26 μμ . It has long been believed that many of the prescriptions concerning taboos were no more than rules of hygiene in disguise. was none the worse for that.perkins/pMLHYGIE. the admirable benefit of this century of reason. and http://website. that he is accomplishing a magical rite.lineone. Primitive man. cleans his teeth with an American product. who was not forever washing. more or less rationalised." "Abstain from eating beans. imagines he is acting with the sole aim of keeping himself in good health. being itself no more than a rite of purification. What clearly demonstrates the ritual. anxious to maintain their people in good health. fit to allow him to appear.net/~d. However it seems today that things might be quite the contrary and that our modern hygiene might be a species of taboo." He hardly suspects. prior to carrying out certain rites.Hygiene Hygiene: next previous author list entries list home The man who rubs his skin with a frictionglove until it is a vivid red. a wholly moral purification. "Be thou circumcised. thanks to a properly understood hygiene.

selfaware. nature of our practices of cleanliness is the contempt clean people have for dirty people.. And since there are no crimes. matter is situated lower than mind. religions. on the difference in cleanliness. Evil odours attract evil spirits. contact with those who eat garlic-sausage or have smelly feet. solely because it is dirtier. thanks to Cadum soap. temperance societies. even more than on the difference in culture. the disdain of the bourgeois for the worker rests. the leagues against public immorality. There is something essentially religious in cleanliness and.perkins/pMLHYGIE. dirty language. if not immoral. the benevolent societies.html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 9:07:26 μμ . everybody will soon be moral. In our time. to save themselves. to violate his "hygiene"?). The Salvation Army. so many organisations of a religious origin whose real aim is to create a mystique of hygiene. errors or weaknesses other than against sacrosanct hygiene (to kill a man.net/~d. the enemies of http://website. now that religious values find themselves on the decline. on the other hand.Hygiene consequently moral. coarse language. A man who does not wash is taken by the former for a genuinely inferior being.a. And the disgust at dirtiness can be explained in no other way than by the antique and magical notion of impurity. is that not. means a dirty mind. One protects oneself from these by breathing in the incense of temples and churches. On the scale of metaphysical values. in the gravest way.. thanks to Pink Pills.lineone. those who are clean can go on believing they are the pure in heart. That's how the fast-one gets pulled: the worker's sole ambition is now to have a bathroom. A coarse mind. by avoiding. in the last analysis. and the world goes on turning. are increasingly tending to merge with hygiene.

powerful and strong because their ancestors of genius have invented antiseptics.html (3 of 3)12/12/2004 9:07:26 μμ . sand may be used. [1] The followers of Pythagoras were forbidden (among other things) to eat beans.lineone.net/~d. http://website. Islam enjoins ablution before prayer.a..Hygiene pallor. medicinal mint-spirit and mainsdrainage. in the absence of water..perkins/pMLHYGIE.

It is never more than a species of cadaver and constitutes. to change one's name. ideas. as a child..html12/12/2004 9:07:28 μμ . or indeed as well-behaved little boys. a bewitchment.lineone. a serpent entangled in its old skins.Keaton (Buster) Keaton (Buster): next previous author list entries list home It is curious to observe.a. to tolerate the sight of a photograph showing us as a child. occupations. of itself alone. is always a mockery. Better. placed in the proximity (or not) of a pier-table or a column. friends: that is no doubt the only course that permits us. stiffened like a stake by the sword of humour and. as it were.. as often as one can. http://website.net/~d. flat on our belly among furs. Was Buster Keaton. in our civilised societies.perkins/pMLKEATO. First-communion photographs. men retaining their childhood names. make it clear to us that the only unity we truly possess is perhaps that of the name. without shame. unless we possess – like the Buster Keaton of the films – an inviolable sang-froid such that. To drag one's old portraits along in one's wake is to become. those showing us in the form of a baby. such as today we imagine him? It seems to me that a portrait. even if it dates only from the previous year. really a phlegmatic individual. wife. we become an axis about which the nonsensical trivialities of shifting events gravitate. by the very fact of its existence. appearance. never laughing.

Metamorphosis 2. Out of the Self

Metamorphosis 2. Out of the Self:
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Ovid's Metamorphosis and Apuleius' novel The Golden Ass or Metamorphoses will always number among the most poetic conceptions of the human mind, by reason of their very basis – that is to say, metamorphosis. I feel sorry for those who have not, at least once in their lives, dreamt of turning into one or other of the nondescript objects that surround them: a table, a chair, an animal, a tree-trunk, a sheet of paper... They have no desire to get out of their skins, and this peaceable contentment, untroubled by any curiosity, is a tangible sign of the insupportable bumptiousness that is the most obvious prerogative of the majority of mankind. To remain at ease with oneself, like wine in a wineskin, is an attitude contrary to all passion, and consequently to everything that is really worthwhile. No doubt that is of a nature to satisfy lovers of stagnant bogs, but in no way those consumed by a higher ambition. Not to mention the magical artifices that would really permit the accomplishment (albeit for a more less lengthy period) of this metamorphosis, it is certain that nothing counts short of that which is capable of rendering a man genuinely out of himself, be it material ingredients or everything in life which, in one way or another, is liable to create a shattering and violent paroxysm.

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Metamorphosis 2. Out of the Self

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Metaphor

Metaphor:
next previous author list entries list home (From the Greek metaphora, a transfer) is "a figure by which the mind applies the name of one object to another, because of a shared characteristic that allows them to be set beside one another and compared." (Darmesteter). Nevertheless, it is hard to know where metaphor begins and ends. An abstract word is formed by the sublimation of a concrete word. A concrete word, which designates an object only by one of its qualities, is itself hardly more than a metaphor, or at the very least a figurative expression. Moreover, to designate an object by an expression to which it corresponds, not figuratively but actually would necessitate knowing the very essence of that object, which is impossible, since we can only know phenomena, not things in themselves. Not only language, but the whole of intellectual life is based of transpositions, of symbols, which can be described as metaphorical. On the other hand, knowledge always proceeds by comparison, which connects all known objects to one another in relations of interdependency. Given any two among them, it is impossible to determine which is designated by the name proper to it and is not a metaphor of the other, and vice versa. A man is a moving tree, just as much as a tree is a man who has put down roots. In the same way, the sky is a rarefied earth, the earth a denser sky. And if I see a dog running, it is just as much the run that is dogging. Even this article is metaphorical.

http://website.lineone.net/~d.a.perkins/pMLMETAP.html12/12/2004 9:07:30 μμ

Pensum

Pensum: [1]
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Most forms of activity impose themselves on man as pensums, even in the case of activities he appears to have chosen freely. Few painters produce pictures other than by way of pensums, works imposed on them by an alien, and often hateful, hand. How many writers harness themselves to their novel and voluntarily reduce themselves to the rank of plough-horses, or asses, loaded, now with cereals, now with relics. How many people, likewise, enjoy themselves not to enjoy themselves but in order to perform a species of rite... Everything is hateful when it is done as a pensum. All white-men are failures, for not one of them (or as near as may be not one of them) is really capable of enjoying himself. Leaving aside children who set fire to haystacks, derail trains or dream up great massacres of animals, I know scarcely any but sinister pedants who, chewing on their pen holders, sweat blood and water so as to write out to the bitter end their calamitous pensums... [1] Pensum, according to the OED: "A charge, duty. Or allotted task; a school-task or lesson to be prepared; also (U.S.) a lesson or piece of work imposed as a punishment, a school Œimposition.'"

http://website.lineone.net/~d.a.perkins/pMLPENSU.html12/12/2004 9:07:32 μμ

Reptiles

Reptiles:
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A white serpent emerging from the right eyesocket of a skull and re-entering by the left eye-socket – or vice-versa – in such a way that its head or the end of its tail are always, one or the other, inside the skull, symbolises for some the eternal destiny of things, the Great Year of the Pythagoreans [1], the general rhythm of the world with its alternations of dispersion and concentration. One is aware, on the other hand, of the role of the tempter in Genesis and the phallic significance everywhere attached to the serpent. In Cairo, in the form of the wooden lizard (or crocodiles?) that many prostitutes hang over their doors by way of an immutable sign, I have perhaps seen the trace of the crocodile sacred to the Egyptians. The wriggling of serpents, in the depths of swamps and in dungeons, their strange intertwinings, their combats with fangs, knots or venom will always be the exact image of human existence shot through from top to bottom by death and love. [1] The Platonic, Great, or Perfect year (Annus Magnus), was estimated by early Greek astronomers at about 26, 000 years, at the end of which all the heavenly bodies are imagined to have returned to the places they occupied at the creation.

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rash though it may be. it is nevertheless of interest (by the very reason of its immediacy) in confirming the psychoanalytic content of the expression "skyscraper. that which transforms these edifices into modern towers of Babel. of the final disaster of Phaeton. the substantive "sky. and the sky which is scraped – the object of the desire of the said phallus – is the incestuously desired mother.perkins/pMLSKYSC. which scrapes. sought to drive his father's chariot.lineone." since it implies a desire no less for substitution than for joyful demolition. skyscrapers. as she is in all attempts at the spoilation of the paternal virility. the grandiose ornament of North American cities and the instruments of a luxury and comfort as yet unknown in Europe." One of the innumerable versions of the story of the struggle between father and son is the Biblical narrative concerning the erection of the Tower of Babel. the coupling. to possess oneself of his virility – followed by the destruction of the rebels: castration of the son by his father.net/~d. without possible contradiction. http://website.[1] [1] Laius was Oedipus's father.Skyscraper Skyscraper: next previous author list entries list home Like everything which has about it a prestige of exoticism. we find here the attempt to climb up to the sky – that its to say. and.a. is a phallus even more explicit than the Tower of Babel. But trivial though such a comparison may be. one of the most powerful factors in evolution or. on the other. the son of Helios (the sun-god). As in the myth of the Titans. to the tempting amusement of comparisons. the Oedipus complex which is. To that degree. whose rival he is. are marvellous and modern symbols – as much by their name as their form – of one of the most important human constants: that which was the cause of Laius' murder by his son. the verb "scrape" on the one hand. The most immediate is. Zeus saved the world from being fire by shooting him down. beyond doubt. indeed of certain social upheavals and a fair number of inventions. Furthermore. came a cropper and thereby turned Libya into a parched desert and blackened the inhabitants of Africa. of "progress. the tall buildings of America lend themselves. Phaeton. if one believes in it.html12/12/2004 9:07:35 μμ . to dethrone the father. of these two words." immediately evokes an erotic image in which the building. with an insolent ease.

Mouth Water: next previous author list entries list home We are so accustomed to the sight of our fellow creatures that we are rarely notice what is monstrous in each of our structural elements. the different parts of the body. Mouth Water Spittle 2. and. lurking within its inner reaches. It is considered the cave where the pact of the kiss is sealed rather than the oily factory of mastication.lineone.. it requires love to restore to the mouth the mythological function (the mouth is merely a moist and warm grotto garnished nonetheless with the hard stalactites of teeth. the tongue. that guardian of Lord knows what treasures!) Spittle. others at the bottom (according to the value we attach to the different activities controlled by them): eyes at the summit – because they would seem to be admirable lanterns – but the organs of excretion as far down as possible. Just below the eyes.. in the humid vaults of a sea stagnant with distress. ever so slightly. suddenly restoring both its whole reality and its hallucinatory force. Some we place at the top. reveal to us the true nature of a given organ. http://website.net/~d. for better or for better or for worse. the mouth occupies a privileged position because it is both the locus of speech and respiratory orifice. poisoned by a million sewers. Eroticism releases. while simultaneously installing as sovereign goddess the abolition of hierarchies – those hierarchies within which we habitually grade.html (1 of 3)12/12/2004 9:07:37 μμ . casts the mouth in one fell swoop down to the last rung of the organic ladder. on the other hand. great lightning flashes that. on occasion.perkins/pMLSPITT. One the one hand.Spittle 2.a. lending it a function of ejection even more repugnant than its role as gate through which one stuffs food. below any waterline.

of the non-heirarchised. possessing only one aperture for all their needs – and thereby exempt from that elementary separation between the noble and the ignoble) – are still completely plunged in sort of diabolical and inextricable chaos.Spittle 2. It is the limp and sticky stumbling block shattering more efficiently than any stone all undertakings that presuppose man to be something – something other than a flabby. or for that matter to speech. spittle represents the height of sacrilege. and. given the identical source of language and spittle. bald animal.html (2 of 3)12/12/2004 9:07:37 μμ . something other than the spittle of a raving demiurge.lineone. the relative imprecision of its colour. it definite contours. and consequently to man's presumed dignity. through its inconsistency. it is scandal itself.a.net/~d. The divinity of the mouth is daily sullied by it. for it lowers the mouth – which is the visible sign of intelligence – to the level of the most shameful organs. http://website. man in general to the state of those primitive animals which. Like the sexual act carried out in broad daylight. Indeed. subsequently. when we consider that. Mouth Water Spittle bears closely on erotic manifestations. and its humidity.perkins/pMLSPITT. it plays havoc with the classification of organs. of the unverifiable. what value can we attach to reason. For this reason. any philosophical discourse can legitimately be figured by the incongruous image of a spluttering orator? Spittle is finally. splitting his sides at having expectorated such a concentrated larva: a comical tadpole puffing itself up into meat insufflated by a demigod. because like love. the very symbol of the formless.

net/~d.a. Mouth Water http://website.lineone.perkins/pMLSPITT.Spittle 2.html (3 of 3)12/12/2004 9:07:37 μμ .

like they always do. and this is enough to make us forget a scenario of imbecile puritanism. The English language is the language of love. Such a film gives the lie to them peremptorily despite its weaknesses. in this case the end of cinema. illuminated only by great gleams of passion now and then pouring out their marvellous reds. a beautiful voice.html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:39 μμ . then. to these talking films. unspoiled by any concern other than to show the protagonists of a sparkling youth and grace – here at last we have a real talkie. warning of disaster. dimly lit taverns and prison bars at midnight.lineone. The narrow-minded have not failed in their grubby task with respect to talkies. Our Dancing Daughters.a. from which we should expect everything (as Weary River has demonstrated). Which shows why talkies are interesting. with the charm of an easy life. since what saves it is not so much a visual image here or there as the role-played by the voices in it. which has http://website. at once harsh and sweet.Talkie Talkie [1]: previous author list entries list home After a certain number of sound movies – at least one of which.net/~d. an oracular speech issuing from the mouth of an amorous woman. will certainly mark an important date in the history of cinema. we can at last allow ourselves to be possessed body and soul by scenes of ardent sensuality.perkins/pMLTALKI. Thanks. cast adrift on the raft of voices while everything collapses around us except perhaps. a troubling movement of lip or throat. such is the great lesson of Weary River. with the heart­ rending accent of the mountains. not so much for technical reasons as because it signals the appearance of a totally new form of sentimentality in films. with retorts rebounding back and forth that sometimes add a sort of vocal close-up to the visual close-up. the sea. a trembling of fingertips. cast adrift on the raft of voices while everything collapses around us in sensuality.

http://website. September 1929.net/~d. [1] Apropos of Weary River.Talkie travelled every road.a. every path.perkins/pMLTALKI. every furrow. in a region where perhaps we know no more about the sun than about the moving barriers of rain.lineone.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:39 μμ . showing at the Clichy-Palace cinema.

lineone.perkins/ieZR.html12/12/2004 9:07:40 μμ .Entries By Zdenko Reich Zdenko Reich: author list entries list home Sun http://website.a.net/~d.

Here is Ladoucette's description of the festival [2]: "As soon as the night of 9 February is over and dawn breaks over the summits of the mountains. by Christianity.a. in the arrondissement of Gap. "Everyone then hastens to carry out the orders of the venerable. bears the name of the Œvenerable. continuously exposed to the sun. everybody. the position on the southern side. four shepherds of the hamlet announce the festival to the sound of fifes and trumpets. goes to the venerable to tell him that all is ready to begin the festival. under normal circumstances all popular practices gravitate. makes their way to the square and a deputation. introduced like that of Christmas.net/~d. who presides over the ceremony and who. In the local language this position on the northern slope of the mountain is called Ubac. [1] In this locality the difference between winter and summer is extremely pronounced. To the south. commune of Guillaume-Perouse.Sun Sun: author list entries list home A form of solar cult in the Hautes-Alps at the beginning of the 19th century. they make their way to the house of the oldest inhabitant. The historical festivals. around 1803.html (1 of 4)12/12/2004 9:07:42 μμ . fade into the background in Andrieux before the more grandiose spectacle imposed by the vagaries of nature. between 1 November and 9 February.lineone. as opposed to the Adret. An immense and immobile shadow hangs heavily over the village for the entire winter. Accompanied by the shepherds. At ten.' they take his orders and renew their fanfares. after having perambulated about the village. armed with an omelette. giving all the inhabitants notice to prepare an omelette.perkins/pZRSUN. festivals about which. – A very singular custom existed. the venerable leaves for the meeting-place where he is http://website. in this circumstance. in a hamlet in the Hautes-Alpes called Andrieux. the high mountains form a sort of barrier which blocks off the sun for a hundred days. preceded by the shepherds who begin to play on their rustic instruments. situated on the banks of the Severaire.

it is distinguished only by the ritual consecrated to the return of the sun. in an admirably orderly manner. bareheaded.perkins/pZRSUN. This festival thus fall into the category of seasonal celebrations. "The venerable immediately announces the departure. the dancing finishes and each goes to reclaim his omelette. and many families join together to celebrate. after which each goes back to his family. being the image of the sun. they accompany the venerable to his home. again play on their instruments and they set off. The first rays of the sun indicate the moment they should bring their herds out of the cattle-sheds. "As soon as the first rays of sunlight begin to shine. The old man raises it aloft. to make their way to a stone bridge situated at the entry to the village. The festival lasts all day. The whole ceremony pivots around the ritual of the omelette." The role of the shepherds demonstrates the link between this festival and the seasonal life of society [3]. The shepherds.a.lineone.net/~d. Arriving there. who take the lead. They return in the same order as that in which they came. They come together again towards the evening. inspired by the particular geographical situation. each deposits his omelette on the parapets of the bridge and they proceed to a nearby meadow where farandoles are danced until the arrival of the sun. Laid on the parapets of the bridge. their plates of omelette in their hands. The beginning of the summer period also changes the inhabitants' way of living.html (2 of 4)12/12/2004 9:07:42 μμ . which he offers to the day-star. where they eat the omelette. they form a chain and execute a farandole about him. "The venerable takes place in their midst and after his having announced the object of the festival.Sun received with many acclamations by all the inhabitants. "The venerable gives the signal to depart. and even extends into the night. it attracts its likeness while the http://website.

They dance only until such time as the sun's rays light up the village. 8vo. du climat et du relief. are not sacred in the habitual sense. F. We recognise here a Christian influence. CLX.perkins/pZRSUN.net/~d. it must not be forgotten. the omelette having been exposed on the parapets of the bridge at the entry to the village. 321-3. The role of the venerable demonstrates the unity of the entire hamlet during the ceremony. 1916. antiquités.a. old series. !921 (XXXe Année. Essai sur la vie dans une haute vallée des Alpes suisses sous l'influence de l'altitude. 1820. Ch. Fantin. and consequently the omelette. The consumption of the omelette is also a ritual act for." Annales de Géographie. [1] Marcelle Vessereau.. Le Val de Conches-en-Valais. De Religion suisse. "L'Adret et L'Ubac dans les Alpes occidentales. [2] J. Année Sociologique. pp. Paris. The festival of the return of the sun is a public ceremony in which the community participates as a unit. [3] See an essay on the relationship between festivals and the seasonal life of Eskimos: Hubert & Mauss. But the venerable raises the omelette aloft bare-headed. Their results are applied in a study of the popular festival that preceded Christmas. This ritual is completely specific by reason of the latent presence of the notion of the sacred. http://website. précédés d'un essai sur la topographie de ce département. 8vo.lineone. the sign of a religious act. Baron de Ladoucette: Histoire. it possesses a portion of the essence of the sun. Lausanne. 1907. no. all that remains is to feast to one's heart's content. 15 Sept. Then everything resumes it s orderly course. 167). The sun. Biermann.html (3 of 4)12/12/2004 9:07:42 μμ . The dance too has an efficacious action. For the same phenomenon in the Swiss Alps: Ch. The sun has set. 208pp. Arch. usages des Hautes-Alpes.Sun inhabitants dance in the nearby meadow.

Sun http://website.net/~d.lineone.perkins/pZRSUN.a.html (4 of 4)12/12/2004 9:07:42 μμ .

Entries By Anonymous/Quoted Entries By Anonymous/Quoted: author list entries list home Angel 1 Bonjour Brothers Cults Eye 4 Man 1 Man 2 Work Home http://website.a.lineone.perkins/ieAQ.html12/12/2004 9:07:43 μμ .net/~d.

html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:45 μμ . far from uttering cries of pain. "there was talk in the region thereabouts of miracles: a little knife with a red handle of a peculiar construction.lineone.Bonjour Brothers Bonjour Brothers: next previous author list entries list home These two 18th-century ecclesiastics made themselves "commendable by the severity of their morals. There he would wield the discipline to right and left.. in the presence of the two curés.net/~d. one Friday at three in the afternoon. and the priest would gain access by a window. "This execution took place in the chapel of the Virgin attached to the church at Farreins. but he had cured her of a pain in that place. These miracles produced the desired effect: they drew to the Bonjour brothers a great number of proselytes. above all girls and women. calling their fustigator "my little father.. and above all their talent for the pulpit. without rhyme or reason. by their piety. just as Jesus Christ had been. and the penitents. not only without causing her any harm.a. of Father Caffe. Dominican. After their installation at Fareins. which disappeared in the Revolution. without any light. and ten or twelve persons of both sexes who numbered among the adepts.perkins/pAQBONJO. the vicaire Furlay." and founded the flagellant sect of the Fareinists. expressed their satisfaction in cries of joy. their charity. Some time afterwards a young girl requested the good curé to crucify her." http://website. they would assemble in a barn during the night. The curé had thrust it up to the hilt into the leg of a young girl. of the sort of those described in La Magie blanche dévoilée acquired a singular celebrity.

The two priests and the vicaire Furlay were locked up or sent into exile. he took refuge in Paris. They were happy only when their little father had given them a good thrashing. 14-15. Ozanam. supplicating him to deal them blows with a stick.a. These disorders were interrupted following upon the sudden death of a man who protested against these practices and was found stabbed with a needle. these fanatics would pursue him into the fields.net/~d. indeed. He sent the former away in the month of January. the crucified girl and another prophetess came there to rejoin him. barefoot. The younger one having meanwhile succeeded in escaping. with five nails driven into each heel. and they avidly sought every occasion for these.) http://website. vol. from the Biographie Universelle of Michaud and Poujoulat." (After F.lineone.Bonjour Brothers Individually. she had spent an entire Lent eating only a round of toast spread with human dung each morning.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:45 μμ .perkins/pAQBONJO. pp. V.

a. would appear to have acknowledged that the woman whose body was discovered died while following a course of medical treatment prescribed by the cult. – Police carrying out a search of the cellar of a house in which was practised one of the mysterious cults so widespread in the city discovered the body in a hermetically sealed chest.perkins/pAQCULTS. The headquarters of the cult was discovered as a result of the arrest of Mrs Blackborn. in the hope of a resurrection. both accused of fraud.html12/12/2004 9:07:47 μμ . The presence of the small dogs was supposed to facilitate that resurrection. Mrs Willa Rhoades.) http://website.Cults Cults: next previous author list entries list home Los Angeles. alongside the bodies of seven small dogs. The body had been preserved in ice for more than one year. Mrs Angling Wieland." and of her daughter. (Report in The New York Herald. 6th October.net/~d.lineone. "queen of the order. "princess" of the cult and adoptive mother of the victim.

Eye4. Abel Hermant. Eye at the Académie Française Eye 4. ¦il pour ¦il. to ogle. to wink.html12/12/2004 9:07:48 μμ .net/~d. The Eye at the Académie Française : next previous author list entries list home The Académie. has carried out revisions upon the expressions: mauvais ¦il. an eye for an eye. evil eye.lineone. http://website. ¦il de perdix. presided over by M. tape à l'¦il.perkins/pAQEYE4.a. soft corn between the toes.

a little potassium and sulphur. The phosphorus would provide 2. set out to establish in a precise manner what man is made of and what is its chemical value. These different raw materials. The magnesium would furnish the light needed to take a photograph. Enough iron is found in the organism to make a medium sized nail.perkins/pAQMAN1. Dr. This is the result of his learned researches: " The bodily fat of a normally constituted man would suffice to manufacture seven cakes of toiletsoap." (Journal des Débats.html12/12/2004 9:07:50 μμ .a. Charles Henry Maye.) http://website.net/~d. represent an approximate sum of 25 francs. costed at current prices. 13 August 1929. In addition. and sugar to sweeten a cup of coffee.Man (1): Man (1): next previous author list entries list home "An eminent English chemist.lineone. but in an unusable quantity.200 matches.

they would stretch in Indian file for 1322 miles – more than thirteen hundred miles of warm.net/~d. Paris.a. which seems to have been a group of militant nationalist vegetarians. dragged each day. we set them walking head to tail. he expresses himself thus: "If. so that they might quench their thirst for blood at the red fountain gushing from the veins of their murdered victims. The BloodGuiltiness of Christendom (May We Slay For Food?).. palpitating living bodies.lineone. In seeking to characterise the red and hideous bloodstain on the face of man." [1] The English Original.Man (2): Man (2): next previous author list entries list home Sir William Earnshaw Cooper. as the years go by. in a book entitled La Culpabilité sanguinaire de la Chrétienté (translated by J. gives prominence to the well-known fact that not one of the millions of animals man massacres every year is necessary for his nourishment. Socialism and its Perils. to the Christians' bloody slaughterhouses. Charpentier. Other works include: The Murder of Agriculture. was published in 1922 by The Order of the Golden Age. with only sufficient space between them that they do not tread on one another..html (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:52 μμ . "A calculation based on very modest figures shows the quantity of blood shed each year in the slaughterhouses of Chicago is more than sufficient to float five transatlantic liners... http://website.perkins/pAQMAN2. Carpenter) [1]. taking the animals put to death in a single day in all the slaughterhouses of the Christian countries. M.

net/~d.lineone. Here and Hereafter. http://website.Man (2): Britain for the Briton and Spiritual Science.a.html (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:52 μμ .perkins/pAQMAN2. The quotation is from page 33.

lineone. but I believe virtuosity is an infirmity.-Oct." – K. which allows me not to work.Work Work: previous author list entries list home "I have no idea what the meaning of work is in our epoch. he then became a somewhat celebrated "society" portrait painter. and to play like a child: Work is an ostentatious thing. Dongen (1877­ 1968) was a painter. Sept. Van Dongen. [1] [1] Bulletin de L'Art ancien et moderne. 1929. http://website. originally associated with the anarchistic satirical review L'Assiette au Beurre around the turn of the century. p.html12/12/2004 9:07:53 μμ . ugly and bogus as Justice. 338.net/~d. Later an associate of Picasso. knowledge a dangerous asset.perkins/pAQWORK. and I am well content to have some genius and no talent.a.

halls. they told me they were greatly surprised that those who gave themselves out as being learned. The Marvels of Heaven and Hell) "Note. but because angels change in station. The Angels Angel 1. I have sometimes conversed with angels concerning this. In them are seen porticoes. I have myself a thousand times seen them in garments different from those in which I had seen them previously. and the Lord dresses them according to their present manner of being. they have lodgings and houses.a. more or less magnificent according to the rank of each. "I know from my own experience what I have called angels' dwellings. courtyards. they even change them. living-rooms. The Angels: next author list entries list home "The garments of angels are real garments.Angel 1. – The reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels & http://website. orchards and fields. antechambers. not on account of their wearing out. vestibules.html%20 (1 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:55 μμ . visible and palpable. "The angels live among themselves as men live on earth. for every time I have spoken with them. flower beds. gardens.." (Emmanuel Swedenborg.net/~d.perkins/pAQANGEL.lineone. after having heard from Jesus Christ himself that in his Father's house there are many mansions. I have done so in their quarters and I have found these similar to the habitations of men on earth: but nevertheless far more beautiful.. bedrooms. and were reputed as such in the Church and the world were as ignorant as they are concerning this matter.

The Angels God.net/~d. and at liberty when of Devils and Hell. is because he was a true Poet and of the Devil's Party without knowing it.a.perkins/pAQANGEL. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.) http://website.lineone." (William Blake.html%20 (2 of 2)12/12/2004 9:07:55 μμ .Angel 1.