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Georges Bataille - The Story of the Eye

Georges Bataille - The Story of the Eye

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Georges Bataille STORY OF THE EYE by Lord Auch

Translated by Joachim Neugroschel


Originally published in France in 1928 as Histoire de l'oeil
© 1967 by Jean Jacques Pauvert, Paris © This translation Urizen Books, 1977

First City Lights Edition 1987

Cover photograph and design by Gent Sturgeon and Rex Ray

� Contents
Translator's note . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . vii

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Bataille, Georges, 1897-1962. Story of the eye. Translation of: Histoire de l'oeil. I. Title. PQ2603 .A 695H4813 1987 843'.912 87-9242 ISBN: 0-87286-209-7

....................... 1 Part Two: COINCIDENCES. . ................ 87 WC.-Preface to Story of the Eye from Le Petit: 1943 . ................... .. 97 Outline of a sequel ....................... 102

Part One: THE TALE

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I Translator's Note

Story of the Eye was George Bataille's first novel , and there were four editions, the first in 1928. The other three, known as the "new version , " came out i n 1940, 1941, a n d 1967. The "new ver­ sion" differs so thoroughly in all details from the first edition that one can j ustifiably speak of two distinct books. In deed, the Gallimard publication of the complete works includes both versions in its opening volume . This American translation i s based o n the


original version , b ut the "Outline for a Sequel" comes from the fourth edition . Of all the editions, only the final, posthum 0us one b ore the author's name . The other three were credited to Lord Auch , a pseudonym ex­ plained in Bataille's short prose piece Le Petit (1943). (This section from Le Petit is included at the end of this volume . ) J.N.

� �

Part One




The C at's Eye

I grew up very much alone , and as far back as I recall I was frightened of anything sexual. I was nearly sixteen when I met Simone, a girl my own age , at the beach in X. Our families being distantly related, we quickly grew intimate . Three days after our first meeting, Simone and I were alone in her villa. She was wearing a black pinafore with a starched white collar. I b egan realizing that she shared my anxiety at seeing her, and I felt even m ore anxious that day because I hoped she would be stark naked under the pinafore .

"Milk is for the pussy. " I answered. and it was so intimate and so driven that we could hardly let a week go by without meeting. an apparently very young and very pretty girl. isn't it?" said Sim one . and. and thrust my hand under her cunt between her two burning legs. I dashed home. and I saw the milk dripping down her thighs to the stockings. and the next day there were such dark rings around my eyes that Simone. after peering at me for a while. b ut I found it difficult to have things out. and for the first time. . And yet we virtually never talked about it. and I stood before her awhile. I remember that one day. Simone was tall and lovely. dipping into the cool milk. both of us equally overwhelmed . but I was unable to see as far up as the cunt (this name. But when her mother came home. Simone put the saucer on a small bench . she got up. and I vigorously rubbed my cock through the pants while writhing amorously on the floor. is. It merely struck me that by slightly lifting the pinafore from behind. planted herself before me. The day was extremely hot. as she eyed my stiff cock bulging in my pants. I think. there 5 . immobile and trembling. nauseating in part. I realized that her feelings at seeing me were the same as m ine at seeing her. and in part very beautiful. by far the loveliest of the names for the va­ gina) . which I always used with Simone. was fairly equivalent to our usual impression upon seeing one another. I might see her private parts unveiled. " She had black silk stockings on covering her knees. fully absorbed in the sight of the corpse. We remained motionless. I saw her "pink and dark" flesh cooling in the white milk. Suddenly. almost breathless. buried her head in my shoulder and said earnestly: "I don't want you to j erk off any­ more without m e . . when we were in a car tooling along at top speed. we crashe d into a cyclist. "Do you dare me to sit in the saucer?" "I dare you. eager to j erk off some more . The horror and despair at so much bloody flesh.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye without even touching one another. For a long time . . and I took advantage of the moment when the girl tenderly snuggled in her mother's arms: I lifted the back of her p inafore. I was sitting in a low armchair. Now in the corner of a hallway there was a saucer of milk for the cat. with her eyes fixed on me. unseen . we were parked a few yards beyond without getting out. on and on . she sat down without my being able to see her b urning buttocks under the skirt. We reached orgasm at almost the same instant 4 Thus a love life started between the girl and myself. The blood shot to Ply head. She wiped herself evenly with a handkerchief as she stood over my head with one foot on the small bench . She was usually very natural. Then I lay down at her feet without her stirring. Her head was almost totally ripped off by the wheels.

than she pulled down my pants and had me stretch out on the ground. She tucked her dress up . and thrusting her cunt in the air. Simone hiked up the was nothing heartbreaking in her eyes or her voice . perfect as it was. Simone's ass. and suddenly a ravish­ ing blond girl loomed into view: Marcelle. But we were too strongly contracted in our dreadful positions to move even a hair's breadth. she brought her body down towards me." I answered." "So what. please. tranquil and motion­ less. and I never doubted for an instant that the unknown man or woman would soon give in and feel compelled to j erk off endlessly while watching that ass. while I raised my head to the level of that cunt: her knees found support on my shoulders. our naked b odies. the pur­ est and most poignant of our friends.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye "Yes. with its two narrow. crim e . The steps halted. we only exchanged fixed stares at analogous moments. We merely took any opportunity to indulge in un usual acts. Thus. sudden terror. almost running. "but with you like this. she so bluntly craved any upheaval that the faintest call from the senses gave her a look directly suggestive of all things linked to deep sexuality. in to her cun t. We did not lack modesty-on the contrary-but something urgently drove us to defy modesty together as immodestly as p ossible. "ean ' t you pee up to my cunt?" she said . delicate b uttocks and its deep crevice . faster this time. suffocation . but no sooner was I done than I flooded her again. and we stayed in that extraordinary position. this time with fine white come. things indefinitely destroying human bliss and honesty. I ought to say. nevertheless. she lay down with her head under my cock between my legs. when all at once we heard steps crumpling the grass. mounted my belly with her back towards my face. But we never calmed down or played except in the brief relaxed minutes after an orgasm . Meanwhile. " she conclu ded. 6 7 . Only now did we tear loose from our extravagant embrace to hurl ourselves upon a self-abandoned body. True . raised aloft. that we waited a long tim e before copulating. and let herself go. did strike me as an all-powerful entreaty. Our breathing had stopped together. And I did as she said . and it was our un­ happy friend who suddenly collapsed and huddled in the grass amid sobs. Now the steps resumed. lubricated with my young j izm . Evening was gathering. "Please don't move. it'll get on your dress and your face. But on a sensual level. no sooner had she asked me never to j erk off again by myself (we had met on top of a cliff) . while I thrust my finger. and the come. I first saw her mute and absolute spasm (which I shared) the day she sat down in the saucer of milk." Simone begged. b ut it was impossible to see who was approaching. Next. such as blood. the smell of the sea m ixed with the smell of wet linen.

ripped off the panties. forcing it open. kept brusquely revealing the two pleasured cunts of the now silent girls. and with nightfall. . where she was brutally churning Marcelle's cunt. and my cock. one arm around Mar­ celle's hips. bright as day. Simone had found a mud p uddle . I want you to kiss me on the mouth .GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye and coming violently. wresting forth our cries of rage. while flashes of lightning. and drunkenly showed me a new cunt. the hand yanking the thigh. whipped by the downpour. my head locked in her soil-covered legs. please don't cry. and yet that monster was nothing b ut the utter violence of my movements. her face wallowing in the p uddle. huge raindrops began plopping down . "please. Meanwhile the sky had turned quite thun­ dery. The hot rain was finally pouring down and streaming over our fully exposed bodies. covering her body with fond kisses. A brutal frenzy drove our three bodies. b ringing relief from the harshness of a torrid . and was smear­ ing herself wildly: she was jerking off with the earth 8 I 9 . Two young mouths fought over my ass. " Simone. . . whose legs closed around the hips of that strange Mar­ celle. for her part. as lovely and pure as her own: I kissed it furiously while j erking off Simone. airless day. skirt. but I still kept pushing apart female legs wet with saliva and come. "Marcelle. who no longer hid anything but her sobs. " I exclaimed. heightening our fury. my balls. outroared by long rumbles of thunder. The sea was loudly raging. splaying them as if writhing out of a monster's grip. Huge booms of thunder shook us. stroked the girl's lovely smooth hair. which each flash accompanied with a glimpse of our sexual parts.

her mother. did catch us in our unusual act. The blonde girl. so that we did not notice a thing." Simone told me. her legs bent towards me. More than a week had passed without our seeing Marcelle. when Simone was doing gymnastics with me in the rafters of a gar­ age. But still. She would do a headstand on an armchair in the par­ lor. we noticed her standing in the doorway. 11 � CHAPTER TWO The Antique Wardrobe That was the p eriod when Simone devel­ oped a mania for b reaking eggs with her ass. timid and naively pious. I would put the egg right on the hole in her ass. despite having led an exemplary life. while I j erked off in order to come in her face. when we ran into her on the street one day. she pissed on her mother. we b lithely strolled out as though the woman had been reduced to a family p ortrait. I sup­ p ose she was too flabbergasted to speak. her back against the chair's back. But when we were done and trying to clean up the mess. "Pretend there's no one there. The sad widow got out of the way and gaped at us with such dismal eyes and such a desperate expression that she egged us on. A few days later. her b uttocks would squeeze together and she 10 . she was con­ tent. and she would skillfully am use herself by shaking it in the deep crack of her buttocks. who had the misfor­ tune to stop underneath without seeing her. that is to say. simply with Simone b ursting into laughter. the first time this fine woman stumbled upon us. to gape wordlessly. who m ight enter the villa parlor at any moment.Story of the Eye would come while I smeared my face abundantly in her ass. I uncovered that cunt completely and j erked off while looking at it. and she went on wiping her ass. of course. And in deed. crouching on all fours on the beams and exposing her cunt to my face. The m oment my j izm shot out and trickled down her eyes. Very soon. however.

Besides Marcelle. They did have panties on . But rolling about at the foot of the boy she 13 blushed so deeply at seeing us. but that doesn't mean we can't be friends now. and when the other girls were asked to dance a solo in the same way. We understood one an­ other." she mur­ mured. "We promised we wouldn't touch you. that Simone embraced her with uncommon tenderness.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye "I bet. to everyone's horror. A phonograph rescued us from our predica­ ment. we drank quanti­ tites of chilled champagne. "What happened the other day was absurd. Only Marcelle. she richly soaked the tab lecloth. But instead of tea. All at once. a violent rage gradually coming over her. there were three other pretty girls and two b oys here . . her ass stuck in the air. as though she were having an epi­ lectic fit. and we were certain that from now on nothing would make us shrink from achiev­ ing our ends . showed everyone her legs up to her cunt. her clothes were in disarray. pretending to be dead drunk. I promise we'll never lay a hand on you again . The sight of Marcelle blushing had com­ pletely overwhelmed us. "Since the winner decides the penalty. who had a n unusual lack o f will­ power. so that all the young fools started gasping. " It was basically a ridiculous par ty o f mostly turbulent and boastful youngsters. Simone. Mar­ celle. drunk. refused to dance. "that I can pee into the tablecloth in front of everyone. and naked. Why do you want to leave?" "Just because. A convulsion shook her harder and harder. Simone did not waver for an instant. Naturally." she said. yet all she could think of was Marcelle . dancing a frenzied Charleston by herself. crumbled a tablecloth and . agreed to j oin us for tea with some friends at our place. . Finally. nothing serious had occurred yet: Simone had scarcely run a light hand over her young friend. they were not as excited as we wanted them to b e . Simone and I . But this stunning act visibly rattled her to the quick. lifting it up . " Which happened without a hitch . Simone fell upon the floor. "Please forgive me. " she replied stubbornly. and it was agreed that the winner would fix the penalty . The oldest of the eight being not quite seventeen . Marcelle. but aside from Simone and myself. the beverage soon took effect. " Marcelle. but the panties bound the cunt laxly without hiding much. " said Simone to the loser. h is shirt was likewise removed ( to keep him from looking ridiculous) . One of the boys challenged her. All the same. they were in too good a mood to require coaxing. . intoxicated and silent. who for several mo­ ments now had been begging me to let her leave. When his pants were off. who was dazzled. "I am now going to p ull down your pants in front of everyone . she offered to make a bet. 12 . Simone.

During the orgy. shards of glass had left deep bleeding cuts in two of us. I was pale. And yet soon we could hear Marcelle dismally sobbing alone. standing with her dress tucked up. in the makeshift pissoir that was now her prison. . or the floor. she mumbled almost inarticulately: "Piss on me . a strange swish of water. lofty legs and asses. something incredible happened. followed by a trickle and a stream from under the wardrobe door: poor Mar­ celle was pissing in her wardrobe while j erking off. But the explosion of totally drunken guffaws that ensued rapidly degenerated into a debauche of tumbling b odies. Marcelle gaped at this spectacle : she blushed again . and vomit made me almost recoil in horror. Marcelle. that she wanted to take off her dress. naked now. I ought to say that we were all very drunk and completely bowled over by what had been going on . staggering wildly across the room with shrieks and snarls. All at once. brazenly stripped. her underwear. Simone. smeared with blood. All she had left was her stockings and belt. and hard upon it. and after I fingered her cunt a bit and kissed her on the mouth . She wanted to j erk off in the wardrobe and was pleading to be left in peace. she displayed a sickly b ut violent terror. Guffaws emerged like foolish and involun- 14 15 . her pacified face almost smiling. . in which a girl was audibly jerking off with brutal gasps. urine. however. She flinched back as though I were a hideous ghost in a had undressed. was in a dreadful state. looked at me again . without even seeing me. her hand still on her beaver. . was rubbing her bare cunt against the wardrobe. . where she sh ut herself in after whispering a few words to Simone . sperm. her face was blood-red. my clothes askew. ill b odies. were sprawled about. I half tore it off. The resulting stench of blood. that Simone was sleeping tranquilly by now. it dawned on me that I ought to let Marcelle out of her wardrobe : the unhappy girl. in unspeakable disorder. she glided across the room to a large antique bridal wardrobe . Upon seeing me.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye tary hiccups but scarcely managed to interrupt a b rutal onslaught on cunts and cocks. with a kind of thirst. her belly up. She was trembling and shivering feverishly. wet skirts and come . But then she said to me. I must say. The naked boy was being sucked by a girl. but the inhuman shriek from Marcelle's throat was far more terrifying. After all. and all of us had exploded in such wild fits of laughter at some point or other that we had wet our clothes. Half an hour later. an armchair. A young girl was throwing up. Behind me. " she repeated. Piss on my cunt . when I was less drunk. louder and louder.

Next. the desperate shrieks. they sounded as if they had been set afire as live torches. for Marcelle. the parents man­ aged to wipe out the last shreds of reason . What a spec­ tacle. I j udged it prudent to decamp and elude the wrath of an awful father the epitome of a senile Catholic general. kept ges­ ticulating. and the fIrst � � � 17 16 . the guillotine were evoked with fiery yells and spasmodic curses. I CHAPTER THREE Marcelle's Smell My own paren ts had not turned up that evening with the pack. the police had to be called. having left the following note on my mother s night table: "I b eseech you not to send the pol ce after m e for I am carrying a gun . this litany brought me to my senses. still naked. the exaggerated threats of the parents entering the room! Criminal court. we watched her bite her mother's face amid arms vainly trying to subdue her. and she collapsed in a j eremiad of howls that grew more and more inhuman . what an atrocity! It seemed as if nothing could terminate the tragicomical frenzy of these lunatics. But I never for an instant dreamt of fleeing or les­ sening the scandal . with all the neighbors witnessing the outrageous scandal . prison . Indeed . by bursting in . I was out in the open countr . People were running up . Astonishingly. Simone exulted with me! And yet. Nevertheless. I took a bath in my father's bedroom. On the contrary. and her agonizing shrieks of pain expressed unbearable terror and moral suffering. Finally. I en ter d our villa by the back door and filched a certain amount of money. and in the end. it was inevitable. Our friends themselves began howling and sobbing in a delirium of tearful screams.GEORGES BATAILLE nightmare. I resolutely strode to the door and flung it open. what j oy! One can readily picture the cries of dismay. quite convinced they would look for me everywhere but there. by around ten o'clock.

"What's wrong?" asked Simone. I finally accepted being so extraordinarily haunted by the names Simone and Marcelle. and . Her mother. And she gave me a playful kick. " I have never had any aptitude for what is known as striking a p ose . This is how I l ived for several days: Simone and I would come home late at n ight and sleep in her room. My friend's b edroom was lit. But in my weariness. and would have one if only certain events. she had gone for a walk the instant she heard the shrieks) . Still. I soon felt that I could not keep back my sobs. for they relentlessly hated scandal. and so I cast some pebbles through the window. having no authority over her (the day of the scandal. frighteningly pale. but without getting very far from X because of all the windings of the coast. Simone stood before me. I man­ aged to lose any sense of words like hope or des­ pair. That evening we didn't even think of jerking each other off. We were delighted to see one another again. Her foot struck the gun in my pocket and a fearful bang made us shriek at the same tim e . Little by little. As for the ser­ van ts. Willy-nilly. I realized that my life had to have some meaning all the same. I even thought I might kill myself. and I really cried for a long time on the sand. I was merely trying to soothe a violent agitation . a strange . the second for myself. taking the revolver in hand.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye the garden by climbing over the wall. Since it was no use laughing. defined as desirable . b ut we remained in an endless embrace. I thought it might not be such a bad idea to pocket my father's revolver. spectral delirium in which . It was dark out. I walked along the seashore most of the night. A few seconds later she came down and almost wordlessly we headed towards the b each . She sat down and I stretched out at her feet. I could keep going only by accepting or feigning to imagine a phantastic compromise that would confusedly link my m ost disconcerting moves to theirs. I wasn't wounded but I was up on my feet as though in a different world. but it didn't make me come-quite the opposite. mouth to mouth. were to occur. accepted the situation without even trying to fathom the mystery. and at nightfall I went to Simone's place: I passed through 18 . and in this circumstance in particular. and from time to time I lifted her dress and took hold of her cunt. where I would stay locked in until the following night. something we had never done before. hav­ ing written the note with the greatest levity and not without laughing. m oney had for some time been ensuring 19 bullet will be for the policeman . I slept in a wood during the day. phantasms of Simone and Marcelle took shape with gruesome expres­ sions. Simone would b ring me food. I only wished to keep my family at bay.

a housewife and mother! I'll only do it with Marcelle!" "What are you talking about?" I asked. making it. " I felt a hot. " she buoyantly confided after a hefty climax. But we no longer thought it could be done without Marcelle. mouths. nose under my wet ass. when she sees us . day. ing. celle's howls and the nakedness of her writhing limbs. zenness overwhelming and far-reaching. watered her b ody. lovely blond buttocks to impure hands. From the very first day. herself. After thus flooding her cunt. Marcelle's smile . ' . She deeply inhaled our pun­ gent and happy odor: "You smell like Marcelle. Full of muck. (nothing resembles them more than the days of flood and storm or even the suffocating gaseous 21 their devotion to Simone. that they endlessly racked us. sacrilege were to render everything generally dreadful and infamous. ness. Thus it was that our sexual dream kept changing into a night­ mare . At any rate. whose piercing cries kept grating our ears. had ever managed to picture before. legs. . made her lock herself in the wardrobe to j e rk off with such abandon that she could not help pissing-all these things warped our desires . sense of shame that made her redden and. appOinted. . In fact. And her cunt would not open to me unless Marcelle's ghost. brusquely slipped away: "You're totally insane. duct during the scandal had b een more obscene than ever (sprawled out. Simone could not forget that the unforeseen orgasm provoked by her own b razenness. She came back affectionately and said in a gentle. Simone. fully red. Obviously Simone and I were sometimes 20 all we wo the lonel when I tr but dreamy and when . " I m not interested-here. to the unchaste and faintly murmuring spurt on her skin. j izm all over her face .GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye taken with a violent desire to fuck. getting to her. cumstances of Marcelle's confinement and even the name of the sanitarium . were linked to our most violent desires. in a liberating frenzy. "Listen.

And Simone. we had ridden the twenty kilometers separat­ ing us from a sort of castle within a walled park on an isolated cliff overlooking the sea. " as she put it. We had learned that Marcelle was in Room 8. b ut obviously 22 23 . All we could think of was Marcelle. with something of catastrophe or disaster)-those hearbreaking re­ gions. one evening. after getting the precise information . subterra­ nean empire of a Marcelle who was tormented in prison and at the mercy of nightmares. the secret b urial. we took our bicycles and pedaled off to the sanitarium where our friend was confined. allowed me to stare hypnotically. in an abandon presaging only violence . "You could smack her face with your come. like Simone . In less than an h our. Finally. I CHAPTER FOUR A Sunspot Other girls and b oys no longer interested us. while smearing her cunt-"till it Sizzles.GEORGES BATAILLE eruptions of volcanoes. the funeral apparitions. acrid come that she caused to spurt from my cock without seeing it muck up Marcelle's mouth and cunt. like storms or volcanoes. no longer viewed the hot. for her part. " she confided t o m e . There was only one thing I understood: how utterly the orgasms ravaged the girl's face with sobs inter­ rupted by horrible shrieks. and already we childishly imagined her hanging herself. and they never turn active except. were nothing for me now but the profound.

The sheet promptly smacked in the gusts. her b ody was quaking with h uge. It greatly outroared the fury of the sea or the wind in the trees. It was our unfortunate friend. but I stayed on my feet. An electric flashlight helped m e to reach an antechamber. I was incapable of understanding anything. a b road wet stain glowed in the translucent moonlight . with that b ogus chateau de plaisance and its repulsively barred windows. and we were at a loss how to identify her window among thirty others. when we spied a second-story window opening and a shadow holding a sheet and fastening it to one of the bars. child­ like sobs. As for myself. and the window was shut before we could recog­ nize the shadow. suffocating. and the moon. : we would have to get inside the building to find her. 24 1 . and for the first time. But then. That was the first time I saw Simone racked by anything but her own lewdness: she huddled against me with a beating heart and gaped at the huge phantom raging in the night as though dementia itself had hoisted its colors on this lugu­ brious chateau. poured sudden light on something so bizarre and so excruciating for us that an abrupt. it was Marcelle who had opened that light­ less window. the rooms were not num ­ bered. on the side of the chateau. She had obviously j erked off in bed with such a disorder of her senses that she had entirely inundated herself. Now all we could hope for was to climb in her window after sawing through the bars. violen t sob choked up in Simone's throat: at the center of the sheet flapping and banging in the wind. feeling my hair in the wind. and it was then that we saw her hang the sheet from the window to let it dry. I felt for the gun in my pocket and I entered cau­ tiously: it was a very ordinary parlor. . We were motionless. I had no practical goal.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye A few seconds later. I did not get anywhere. leaving Simone upset and sprawling on the grass. I stumbled upon an unbarred open window on the ground floor. I could not distinguish anything. as though I were hexed: at that m oment. We had scaled the wall and were now in the park. no doubt about it. Besides. with a revealing clarity. I walked around the b uilding. when all at once the wind seemed to tatter the clouds. new black clouds plunged everything into darkness again. 2S . among trees b uffeted by a violent gust. I was at a loss about what to do in such a park. I j ust wanted to take a b reath of air by myself. and weeping wretchedly. then a stairway. It is hard to imagine the harrowing racket of that vast white sheet caught in the squall. who had collapsed in the grass. Marcelle who had tied that stunning signal of distress to the bars of her prison. like Simone herself. . Simone cowering in my arms and I half-haggard. when our attention was drawn to a strange apparition .

The roar of the wrathful elements. the raging of the trees and the 26 . I wandered aimlessly. 'I _ I I i . But when we instinctively looked up at Mar­ celle's window above the sheet slamming the wind. And yet I stripped off my clothes. but a faint cry sent me fleeing so swiftly that I forgot my clothes on the chair. All at once. for I had no pockets left . especially because the squall was as violent as ever. and the shadow appeared a second time. moistened by saliva. even if the bangs were heard on the inside. It was as if I had left the earth. she j umped into the park as I had done and ran off towards a thorn b ush. I sensed I was being followed: so I hurriedly climbed out through the window and hid in a garden lane: but no sooner had I turned to observe what might be happening in the chateau than I spied a naked woman in the window frame . . Long. opened. haphazardly. by charging after the woman who had run past me unrecognized. Drunk and limp. I scarcely had time to spin around when come b urst in the face of my wonderful Simone: clutching my revolver. I began looking about. I halted. three blind. as though about to see Mar27 I could not even understand why I had the idea of removing my pants and continuing that anguish­ ing exploration only in my shirt. the squall was far too wild now for the gun­ shots to awake any of the sleeping tenants in the chateau. anxious minutes wore by without my hearing any more noise . when suddenly it seemed as if all reality were tearing apart: a hand. I stood motionless. Nothing was more bizarre for me in those utterly thrilling moments than my nudity against the wind on the path of that unknown garden . a slobber­ ing. the naked chest and legs of a woman pressed against my legs with an orgasmic j olt. I was swept up by a thrill as violen t as the storm . I would obviously be hunting her down to kill her. had grabbed my cock and was j erking it. willy-nilly. With a flashlight in my left hand and the revolver in my right hand.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye sheet. keeping only my shoes on . piece by piece. The window shook. Simone and I had fled from one another and raced across the park like dogs. b urning kiss was p lanted on the root of my ass. and so I flashed my light back on. my teeth chattered and my lips foamed. also helped to prevent me from discerning anything distinct in my will or in my gestures. with twisted arms I gripped my gun convulsively. I did not know what to do with the gun which I still held in my hand. A rustle made me switch off my lamp quickly. Inflamed by my revolver. out of b reath: I had reached the b ushes where the shadow had disap­ peared. and. leaving them on a chair. Dumbstruck. horrifying shots were fired in the direction of the chateau. but warm enough to suggest a brutal entreaty. whiling away the time by listening to my erratic breath. we were greatly surprised to see that one of the b ullets had left a star-shaped crack in one of the panes.

while I lov28 29 . she exp osed a leg sheathed in a white silk stocking almost up to her blond cunt. pallid hair was caught in the wind . They were nearly m otion less. face to face in the howling night. whose cunt was in my hand. terrified by me. Simone ran her hand down her belly to her beaver. She said she had been looking for me and. prIse seemed to restore life to her face. was wearing a b lack belt and b lack stockings. She looked thir­ teen rather than sixteen. a rectangular hole piercing the opaque night. But soon. weeping almost. Marcelle imitated her. and poising one foot on the sill. whereas black-haired Simone. Finally. Simone. A moment that seemed immense crawled by: she switched on the light in her room. figuring she "would feel more free. We saw her tumble back into her delirium. some invtsible monstrosity appeared to b e yanking Marcelle away from the bars. b ut before clambering through the wIndow. � When she finally caught sight of us . she had finally gone to search the interior of t e chateau. Because of the furious wind we were incapable of even making ourselves heard "What did you do with your clothes?" I asked Simone an instant later. " And when she had come back out after me. and tense . and as beautiful as her fixed stare. � � � ingly caressed her forehead. she was wearing a white b elt and white stockings. She called. We beckoned. she came back to breathe the open air and gaze at the ocean. the two girls were jerking off with terse. The girl in the window disappeared. to which she responded without smiling. unable to track me down. she kept observIng Marcelle. she found that the wind had c �rried off her dress. showing our aching eyes a world composed of lightning and dawn. and their eyes gaped with unrestrained joy. firm u ob­ ' trusive. Her sleek. the sur. but we couldn't hear.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye celIe bleed and fall dead in the windowframe we remained standing under the strange . glowing window. Meanwhile. She blushed up to her ears. something restless. though her left hand clutched them with all her might. b rusque gestures . but now there was something wild in her eyes. Meanwhile. sent her kisses. we could make out her features: she had not changed. Under her nightgown we could distinguish her thin but full body. and it never crossed her mind to ask me why I was naked. Next. contrasting with the still childlike simplicity of her features. ne rlY motionless apparition. And all that remained before us was an e mpty. she had undressed. Curiously.

and 31 I I . We soon found our bicycles and could offer one another the irritating and theoretically unclean sight of a naked though shod b ody on a machine . In the middle of a slope. making the wretched inmate almost an embodiment of the fury and terror that kept driv­ ing our bodies to endless debauchery. I don 't know why. peculiarly satisfied with our mutual presences. and lightning. then free and relaxed and coinciding with an outburst of superhuman happiness. \ � CHAPTER FIVE A Trickle of Blood . our clothing lost.! Urine is deeply associated for me with salt­ peter. without laughing or speaking. were forced to leave the chateau. like the vision of that glowing hole.Story of the Eye stream of light and blood. Simone and I. Simone halted . with an antique chamber pot of unglazed earthenware . weariness. endlessly in undating it. b ut with a spurt of urine that was limpid and even illuminated for me. But then. in the obscurest part of my b rain. this chaotic and dreadful landscape of my imagination was suddenly inundated by a 30 . in the rainless tempest. backs. those wrenching images were closely knit. not with blood. at first violent and j erky like hiccups. lying abandoned one rainy autumn day on the zinc roof of a provincial wash house. with the cunt and the drawn and dismal expression I had sometimes caught on Marcelle's face. We pedalled rapidly. Yet we were b oth literally perishing of fatigue . fleeing like animals through the hostile darkness. the empty window. and absurdity. an obstinate waiting for total j oy. for Marcelle could climax only by drenching herself. for example. Our faces. But that day. our imaginations haunted by the despondency that was bound to take hold of Mar­ celle again. Since that first night at the sanitarium . akin to one another in the common isolation of lewd­ ness. at the very moment when Marcelle lay sprawling on the floor. It is not astonishing that the bleakest and most leprous aspects of a dream are merely an urging in that direction. saying she had the shivers.

Little by little. more and more vehemently on the seat. Like myself. despite a more and more vigorous massage. stiffness by turning the pedal. and hands over one another. not only in the b icycle fork b ut virtually in the crevice of the cyclist's naked ass: the rapid whirling of the dusty tire was also directly comparable to b oth the thirst in my throat and my erection. odor recalling the b eds of sickness or debauchery. The wind had died down somewhat. stantly. flesh and clattering teeth . And it struck me that death was the sole outcome of my erection . we obViously had to reach X by dawn . Furthermore. and lips as a token of gratitude. was already so remote as to seem almost beyond reach. I could barely keep upright and despaired of ever reaching the end of this ride through the impossible. realizing in a cold state. our soaked and b urning b odies. Now it was difficult for Simone to see this rigidity. A leather seat clung to Simone's bare cunt. more bearable state. Yet I felt I could see her eyes. We had ten -j more kilometers to go . she was literally torn away by j oy. I was still extremely agitated. pincered between her b uttocks. she had not yet drained the tempest evoked by the shamelessness of her cunt. detours. b ecause of the darkness. Our personal hallucination now developed as b oundlessly as perhaps the total nightmare of human society. husky m oans. and her nude b ody was h urled upon an embank­ ment with an awful scraping of steel on the pebbles 33 legs were bathed in sweat. the life and death. swift rising of my left leg.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye which ultimately had to plunge into the depths of the cunt sticking to the bicycle seat. my sexual licentiousness: a geometric incandes­ cence (among other things . the rear wheel vanished indefinitely to my eyes. fulgurating. point of my b ody. was visible. Yet. of dressed people . 32 . sonal vision was certain to be replaced by the pure stars. We had abandoned the real world. killed . contradiction of a prolonged state of exhaustion and an absurd rigidity of my penis . I stripped off one of her stockings to wipe her b ody. atmosphere. which was inevitably j erked by the legs pumping up and down on the spinning pedals.

and I quickly returned from the torpor overwhelm­ ing me after I had besmirched what I thought was a corpse . Usua even bath e. 34 I CHAPTER SIX Simone was One of the m ost peac eful eras of my life acci dent . my lower lip drooling and my teeth bared like a leering moron . The sweat was pissing from my face and all over my body. Meanwhile . I lay down next to Simone's b ody j ust as I was. and since I thought we would soon be seeing Mar­ celle. trembling with fear. and soon I drifted off into vague nightmares . but it fell back inert. advantage of these mom en ts to piss or r. Simone was slowly coming to: her arm touched me in an involuntary movement. no bruise marked the body. which was still clad in the garter belt and a single stocking. heedless of my fatigue . I took I wou ld step into the bath room . my eyes were bloody and swollen . m y ears screeching. the peri od follo wing Sim one' s m inor her cam e . I threw myself upon the lifeless body. which only left h er ill . Whenever her mot lly. " disEach time . I was overcome with bloody spasms." she said . Horrified to the limit of my strength . But since I had j ust rescued the person I loved most in the world. a thin trickle of blood running from the corner of her mouth . she was the first time the wom an tried to ente imm ediately stop ped by her daughter: naked "Do n't go in . I found her inert. however. the mother was my plac e m issed befo re long . I pulled up one arm . he head hanging down .GEORGES BATAILLE and a piercing shriek. m y tem­ ples and my heart drumming away. No inj ury. "the re's a man in there . I took her in my arms and carried her down the road . and I wou ld take 35 . m y teeth chattering. and as I clutched it in an embrace. I walked as fast as I could because the day was j ust b reaking. but only a superhuman effort allowed me to reach the villa and happily put my marvelous friend alive in her very own bed. soaked and full of coagulated dust.

this time with nothing on b ut her garter-belt and stockings. would then get up on a white enameled chair with a cork seat. and shells sucked ut in v rious degrees to obtain varying levels of ImmerSIon. hard-boiled eggs. we imagined Marcelle. for while I held her up. in a bathrobe drenched in hot water and thus clinging to her b ody but exposing her b osom . and she would also urinate freely in her robe or. She would sit for a long time gazing at the eggs. but nevertheless she soon delighted in having me throw eggs int the toilet b owl. I myself settled comfortably next to her so that our cheeks and temples might touch. making her forget her obsession and ultimately restoring her high spirits. this would shake us up. And she could also stick my cock in her mouth. She did promise that as soon as she was well again. on Marcelle's back or head. and she would pee while crushing them Simone also daydreamed about my holding Mar celle. I would carry a feverish Simone to the bathroom to help her pee and then I would carefully wash her on the bidet She was extremely weak and naturally I never stroked her seriously. if the robe were aj ar. and she would rest her head on the rim of the bowl and fix her wide eyes on the white eggs. b ut her body covered and her feet shod: we would p ut her in a bath tub filled with fresh eggs. From time to time. it would give the barrel a pungent smell of powder . and � At last. I would arouse her breasts from a distance by lifting the tips on the heated barrel of a long service revolver that had been loaded and j ust fired first of all.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye her head down. Furthermore . her cunt aloft. sometimes she had me strip naked and swallow the raw egg from the bottom of the bidet. The gulping gurgle of the flushing water always amused Simone. one day at six. Then she would settle on th toilet to view them under her cunt between the parted thighs. wen t through newspapers. she would pour a j ar of dazzling white creme fraiche on Marcelle's gray anus. when the oblique 37 36 . I would read them aloud . and finally. Simone herself. Another game was to crack a fresh egg on the edge of the bidet and empty it under her: sometimes she would piss on it. with her dress tucked up . which sank. Marcelle herself could fully inundate me if she liked. We were calmed by the long contemplation. : ( � ) � � � ) ( At that time. It was after such dreams that Simone would ask me to bed her down on blankets by the toilet. again in a chair next to the sickbed. while I could piss on Marcelle from the other side I would certainly piss on her b reasts . and if there were any items about crime or violence. she would do the same for me and also for Marcelle . At the same time. her legs bent. and what not. and secondly. she would have me flush the bowl. I smoked cigarettes. her thighs would be gripping my neck.

" each of her buttocks was a peeled hard-boiled egg. she had felt a strong urge to relieve herself completely. wrenching my head toward her on the seat. she talked on and on. and when I replied that it was out of the question. she remarked that she was still in the same state and that it was inordinately pleasant. Nor was I ultimately disturb ed when I recognized the voice. a jet of urine a "gunshot seen as a light. She played gaily with words. virtually drinking my left eye between her lips.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye fling eggs into the sunny air and break them with shots from my gun. speaking about broken eggs. not ostenta­ tiously. We agreed to send for hot soft­ b oiled eggs without shells. Truly. b ut I didn't even turn around. trying to reason me in to it. and after her promise . she would ease herself fully on those eggs. She added that. and I kept on sucking the breast contentedly. It is fair to say that the room of a bedridden invalid is j ust the right place for gradually rediscov­ ering childhood lewdness. and then broken eyes. This incident was so extraordinarily meaningful to Simone that her b ody tautened and she had a long climax. something red . the eyes. for the toilet. it was ship­ wrecked before our very eyes. And egg? A calf's eye. the sun. she admitted that an instant ago. but had held back for the sake of greater pleasure . The eye . the urge bloated her belly and particularly made her cun t swell up like a ripe fruit. Smiling. and she pissed noisily on the bobbing eggs with total vigor and satisfaction . whereas ordinarily she never spoke about herself or me. I thought of pulling down my pants as for a call of nature. I assumed it was a maid. she said . She asked me to promise that when we could go outdoors. I would 38 . because of the color of the head (the calf's head) and also because the white of the egg was the white of the eye . As of now she could be regarded as cured . for her. and when I passed my hand under the sheets and her cunt gripped it firm and tight. Upon my asking what the word urinate reminded her of. b ut merely hoping she would leave and 39 sunshine was directly lighting the bathroom . the smell of the ass was the smell of p owder. and the yolk the eyeball. with­ out leaving the eye . and her arguments became more and more unreasonable . with a razor. she sat down. was egg-shaped. and she ran her fingers through my hair. and she demonstrated her j oy by speaking to me at length about various intimate things. a storm b egan brewing little by little in my innermost depth-I was reflecting m ore and more . and after filling up with a bizarre noise. Then. b ut since she remained and I couldn't pass up even one instant of my pleasure. and she promised that when she now sat on the seat. Her mother was the one who brought us the eggs. she replied: terminate. which was sucked as obsti­ nately as a b reast. Her cunt was still in my hand and in the state she had described . a half-sucked egg was suddenly invaded by the water. I gently sucked Simone's b reast while waiting for the soft-boiled eggs.

talked about was the day we would return to the 41 40 . seeing them peeled. white. her beautiful cunt) . to us. slowly dropped them into the water one by one . tainments with the eggs. and I CHAPTER SEVEN Marcelle aft and By a sort of shared modesty. that this without an answer indefinitely. had always avoided talking about the most impor­ tant obj ects of our obsessions. no further eggs ever came up in our conversations. ing them between her b uttocks and thighs. to Marcelle. this tale . the end of the last class in school. sion with a plopping noise akin to that of the soft­ boiled eggs. When she finally decided to walk out and vainly ponder over her dismay elsewhere. without our knowledge.GEORGES BATAILLE delighted at going beyond all limits. With the three that were left . this unexpected answer is necessary for measuring the immensity of the void that yawned before us . bathroom. exception. nevertheless . when our eyes met in a silent and murky in terrogation . But I ought to say that nothing of the sort ever happened between us again. We spent all of Simone's i llness in a bed­ room . Simone settled on the toilet. each ate one of the hot eggs with salt. ering. Finally. That was why the word egg was dropped from our vocabulary. never spoke about the kind of interest we had in one another. notice one or m ore. At any rate.

the gears. But of course we also held up the knotted rope to let her understand what we were doing this time . After stepping into flat-heeled shoes. and she threw it back after looping it around a bar. She simply turned her back to p ull flesh-colored stockings over her legs. which I had con­ cealed in a thicket the day of our tumble .GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye out ahead beyond the trees: only Marcelle's win­ dow was still aglow and wide open. gray woolen skirt and a sweater with very tiny black. There were no diffi­ culties. she came over to the window chateau. who quickly recognized u s a n d obeyed o u r gesture of putting a finger on our lips. and red checks. flat hips. and I meticulously oiled the various parts. all of which Simone examined with the keenest interest. I then attached a pair of toe-clips to my own b icycle so that I could seat one of the girls in back. we left at night: in fact. I softly told her to get dressed so she could come with us. I still kept out of sight during the day. We would simply be forced to share the bed (and we would inevitably have to use the same bathtub . at least for the time being. and a hacksaw. bathed in sweat because of both my effort and what I saw. ball bearings. Her back still towards me. Marcelle p ulled a blouse over long. Marcelle flinched when I tried to kiss her. But a good six weeks passed before Simone could pedal after me reasonably well to the sanitar­ ium . and I scrambled all the way up. I had prepared a small cord . I hurled the cord up to her with the aid of a rock. Like the previous time. to my surprise. white . And that was indeed my impression when we j umped over the park wall and saw the huge b uilding stretching 42 43 . sprockets. the big rope was hoisted by Marcelle and fastened to the bar. Taking some pebbles from a lane. ) . a thick. I also managed to find the bicycles. But now. securing them on a belt of bright red ribbons that brought out an ass with a perfect shape and an exception­ ally fine skin . I continued filing. She did not slip on any panties. Nothing could be easier. Since she only had a bathrobe on ." due to the association of the words sanitarium and castle. even though I was ill at ease anywhere in the world. etc. I was in a hurry to arrive at the place that I dimly regarded as a "haunted castle . we threw them into her chamber and they promptly summoned the girl . etc . She merely watched me very attentively as I started filing away at a bar. and also the memory of the phantom sheet and the thought of the lunatics in a h uge silent dwelling at night. whose straight lines were admirably terminated by the ass when she had one foot on a chair. only a pleated. knot­ ted rope. peering atten­ tively at each knot and section of the rope. I felt at bottom as if I were going home. than to have Marcelle living in Simone's room secretly like myself. and this time there was certainly every reason for remain­ ing inconspicuous.

She did so. I succeeded in cutting through the filthy bar. Nonetheless. I pulled it aside with all my strength . Also. b ut returned. b ut before withdrawing her hand. gradually won over. "Now we can get married. she was scarcely aware of Simone's existence . And when­ ever she thought of it. However. She gazed at me affectionately and seemed touched by my wordless j oy at seeing her. . h ugging her knees and thighs. she snuggled in my arms and kissed my m outh with all her strength . imagining how aghast the director of the "haunted castle" would be to see her strolling through the garden with her husband. and almost at the same instant she asked me to protect her when the Cardinal and sat down close enough to me so that my one hand could caress her head. "It's very bad here . . while Simone. climbing down underneath . " she did not ask me to explain . her eyes wet with tears. Reaching the ground. so sleek and so blond that it actually looked pale. she ran it over my clothes absent-mindedly. like a dog nuzzling his master's leg. and I helped her des­ cend. " At that point. flung her hands around Mar­ celle's legs. her silence. she only rubbed her cheek against the thigh. I too frightened her. she looked at me wide-eyed. can't we ?" she finally said. when I spoke to Marcelle about the "haunted castle. At first. mirthfully. pressing her lips to the cunt. and when one of her hands happened to touch my leg. and because Simone's head was docilely rubbing Marcelle's thigh. she finally yanked the b ody apart. After long work. and since my face was already hard and somber. which left enough space for her to squeeze through . sitting at our feet. We were lying in the moonlight by the edge of a forest. which she greedily devoured. . Simone and I realized that Marcelle grasped absolutely nothing of what was going on and she was actually incapable of telling one situa­ tion from another. her lovely short hair. I would never have dreamt for even an instant that I could do anything b ut devote the rest of my life to such an unreal apparition. which forced me to see the top of her thigh and even to touch it when I supported her. she understood that this was the building where she had been wickedly locked up .GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye then . unable to restrain a h uge surge of j oy. she at times mis­ took her for a wolf b ecause of her b lack hair. Thus she smiled. She let m e give her a long kiss on her forehead and her eyes. her terror p ulled her away from me as though she had seen something pass through the trees. We wanted to rest a while during our trip back and we especially wanted to embrace and 44 45 . we suffer . I watched her uneasily.

" said Marcelle . and particularly two details: I had been wearing a blinding red carnival novelty. which. "But who is the Cardinal?" Simone asked her. We didn't dare b udge. Th us. Her dress was pulled up . in her terror. " I now recalled Marcelle's dreadful fear when she left the wardrobe . a Jacobine liberty cap . hands-all parts of me were stained with blood. "But why is he a cardinal?" I cried. "The man who locked me in the wardrobe . exposing the gray beaver between red ribbons at the end of long thighs. so that we didn't know what to do. I was totally helpless after this unexpected discovery.j . for me. and so was Simone. furthermore. and for Marcelle to fall sound asleep . and it had thereby become an extraordinary hallucination in a world so frail that a mere b reath might have changed us into light. My mind reeled in some kind of exhausting 47 46 . a priest of the guillotine. with the blood­ smeared executioner wearing a liberty cap: a bizarre overlapping of piety and abomination for priests explained the confusion . Marcelle was now half asleep in my arms. has remained attached to both my hard reality and the horror continually aroused by the compulsiveness of my actions. � CHAPTER EIGHT The Open Eyes of the De adwom an .GEORGES BATAILLE stare at Marcelle .� I I For a mom ent. Marcelle confused a cardinal . because of the deep cuts in a girl I had raped. She replied: "Because he is the priest of the guillotine. clothes. and all we desired was for that unreal immobility to last as long as p ossible. my face.

ing her hair. . because decent people have gelded eyes. They are never frightened and sa flat ro or my o bounci be 48 49 . lime and perfectly p ure is left intact by it. I cared only for what is classified as "dirty. cal vapors shining in the immensity (in empty space. I was not even satisfied with the usual debauchery. rock. In general. and also because one cuts the throats of roosters. If she died. She soaked her dress in a long convulsion that fully denuded her and promptly made me spurt a wave of jizm in my clothes. not made a sudden . That is why they fear lewdness. Sickening stench . discordant shrieks he provoked in the wardrobe. the least kinship now between the dead girl and . that Cardinal. pared to start all over again. I loved Marcelle without mourning her. The nauseating crow of a rooster in particular coincided with my own life . she is dead . because the only thing it dirties is debauchery itself. which merely serves as a backdrop . eye. course . did n ot care for what is known as "pleasures of the flesh" because they really are insipid. " On the other hand. if I sometimes locked myself up in a cellar for hours at a time preCisely because I was thinking ab out Marcelle. cheted between my eyes and Marcelle's nudity.r GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye by the crowing of a rooster or when strolling under a starry heaven . and heavenly urine across the cranial vault formed by the ring of constellations: that open crack at the summit of the sky. . where they er's crow in total silence) . large. have been if Simone . the milky way. hold back any longer. her thighs. Otherwise. I stretched out in the grass. I associate the moon with the vaginal b lood of mothers. ity. To others. sures of the flesh" only on condition that they be insipid . vertigo. My kind of debauchery soils not only my b ody and my thoughts. But as of then. trophes that b ring me to her at times when I least exp ect it.

and that was the most hopeless part of it. Even when Simone drenched the face. those eyes. so had S imone at that moment. and I fucked her for the first time. By the time S imone and I returned she was hanging inside the wardrobe . which makes most of my days inevitably dreary. . so similar to her. It was impossible to otherwise . and . so I imagine . as it were. She rec­ ognized the huge bridal wardrobe . will merely report here that Marcelle hanged herself after a dreadful incident. b ut in no way awe­ struck. I no longer cared at all for either Simone or Marcelle. b ut we were glad precisely because it was painful. Simone. But that won't prevent me from thinking back to that time with no revulsion and even with a sense of com­ plicity. Marcelle b elonged to us so deeply in our isolation that we could not see her as j ust another corpse. could not feel her any­ m ore. I would not even have been astonished. I observed Simone. The open eyes were more irritating than anything else. my only pleasure was in the smutty things Simone was doing. has all the prerogatives. was frightened and furiOUS. all three of us. and of course. for the corpse was very irritating to her. there was no other way for me to stop that desperate howling than to leave the room. so alien were these events to me. in irritation : it mainly goes to prove how impossible it was for us to understand what was happening. inasmuch as absurd existence. for me. Any boredom in the world is linked. . Nothing about her death could be mea­ sured by a common standard. Simone stood up and gazed at the corpse. very remote from anything we touched. and thus Marcelle was closer to me dead than in her lifetime. We were perfectly calm. it is no more understandable today than back then. I too stretched out on the carpet. It was very painful for both of us. Marcelle had become a total stranger. as I precisely recall. and when she began shrieking. Basically. whether in boredom or. We laid her out on the carpet. as though she could not bear the thought that this 50 51 . to an obstacle as ridiculous as death. the lack of excitement made everything far more absurd. did not close. being truly incapable of con­ ceiving death such as one normally considers it. and her teeth started chattering: she instantly realized upon looking at me that I was the man she called the Cardinal. next to the corpse. at worst. above all. and the contradic­ tory impulses overtaking us in this circumstance neutralized one another. . leaving us blind and . but she was quite dead. I cut the rope. Even if someone had told me it was I who had j ust died. Simone was still a virgin. to that moment and. in a myself. As for the fact that Simone dared to piss on the corpse. and in fact. Simone saw I was get­ ting a hard-on and she started j erking me off. extraordinarily.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye creature.

reach­ ing an obscure point on the Spanish coast. who had offered to support her and would be more likely than anyone else to show interest in our plight. and burning up the craft with the aid of two drums of gasoline we had taken along. as a precautionary 53 52 . where Simone was counting on our disappearing with the help of a fabulously rich Englishman . The villa was abandoned in the m iddle of the n ight. like voices in a space that is absolutely soundless. We had no trouble stealing a b oat.r GEORGES BATAILLE I world where gestures have no carrying power. we instantly took off for Spain . � CHAPTER NINE Lewd Anim als To avoid the bother o f a police investiga­ tio n .

In fact. that were rare. Simone had me fuck her on and on . These orgasms were as differ­ ent from normal climaxes as. which b anged violently against the ground. As for Simone. at some lewd and dismal sight . then purely by way of orgasms. with all parts of the body in violent release . Finally he had told a servant to buy a wax manne­ quin with a blonde wig. they also have long-lasting j ags. hurting herself with a terrible bang on the door fittings. windowless pigsty. she always came to nestle in my arms. or if she was still attached to this world . she tensed· breathlessly for a few seconds. Sir Edmond had not even touched her. Sir Edm ond had a cramped. with suitcases full of linen and rich clothing. After these huge fits. then tore herself away at one swoop and thrashed about on the ground like a headless chicken. b ut driving a magnifi­ cent automobile . making her draw diagrams and sketches. and I saw that her face was smeared with saliva and blood. he had then laid the figure out on the floor and asked Simone to urinate on its face. in front of that door. looking as if she belonged to something other than the terrestrial world. where almost everything bored her. say.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye they go whirling willy-nilly. shaking their b ellies. the mirth of sav­ age Africans from that of Occidentals. However. Once the door was shut. . she would first open uncertain eyes. Simone grabbed her own ass in b oth hands and threw back her head. where one day he locked up a petite and scrumptious streetwalker from Madrid. Sir Edmond gave her his wrist to bite on and allay the spasm that kept shaking her. and 54 55 . while Sir Edmond j erked off. Simone said that Sir Edmond would j oin us in Madrid and all day long he had been plying her with the most detailed questions about Marcelle's death . and chests. she settled her little ass comfort­ ably in my large hands and remained there for a - I measure . b ut incomparably more violent than before. and chortling and gulping horribly. . pulling with all her might on the fingernails b uried in her ass. in the same position as she had urinated on the eyes of the corpse : during all that time . she collapsed in a pool of liquid man ure under the b ellies of the grunting swine . For example. under a fine drizzle of rain . with her ass in the m ud. there had been a great change in Simone after Marcelle's suicide-she kept staring into space all the time . though the savages may sometimes laugh as mod­ erately as whites. She only came back at nightfall . flailing their arms about wildly. necks. on the open eyes. wearing only cami-knickers. from the garage of the villa. Simone left me concealed in a wood during the day and went to look for the Englishman in San Sebastian . . Gasping and slipping away from me.

GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye felt in the same way. when its h orns plunge all the way into the flank of a mare . when the b ull comes hurtling out of the b ullpen like a big rat. and since we were attending the first major b ullfight of the year that Sunday. "w atever d you want with raw balls? You certaInly don t intend to eat raw balls now. pink. roasted balls of one of the first b ulls to be killed. and it is well kn own that at such thrilling instants the women jerk off by merely rubbing their thighs together. Thus. but added one condition : they had to be raw. Sir Edmond once told Simone that until quite recently. mostly occasional amateur toreadors. thrusts over and over again into the matador's cape. The utter nearness of death is also 56 ? � 57 . She was on tenterhooks from start to finish at the b ullfight." objected Sir Edmond. Apropos bullfights. do you?" "I want to have them before me on a plate. b lindly raging dashes at the void of colored cloths. Simone took a keen interest in this tale. but Simone still preferred bullfights. the third . and gray. huddled like a little girl. each time they occur. " concluded Simone. certain virile Spaniards. the second. in terror (which of course mainly expressed a violent desire) at the thought of seeing the toreador hurled up by one of the monstrous lunges of the horns when the b ull made its endless. There were actu­ ally three things about b ullfights that fascinated her: the first. brutal. barely grazing the erect line of the b ody. raw-boned mare gallops across the arena. long time without moving or speaking. vile b undle of b owels between her thighs in the most dreadful wan colors. "I say. But these series of prodigious passes are rare. a pearly white. Simone's heart throbbed fastest when the exploding bladder dropped its mass of mare's urine on the sand in one quick plop. in the front row of the arena. any spectator has that feeling of total and repeated lunging typical of the game of coitus. Sir Edmond deployed his ingenuity at pro­ viding us with obscene spectacles at random . lashing out unseasonably and dragging a huge. and ate them while watching the killing of the next few b ulls. she begged Sir Edmond to get her the balls of the first b ull. they unlease a veritable delirium in the arena. when that ludicrous. but always somber. And there is something else I ought to say: When the b ull makes its quick. They received them at their own seats. used to ask the caretaker of the arena to b ring them the fresh.

Now this extrem e unreality of the solar blaze was so closely attached to everything hap­ pening to me during the b ullfight on May 7. yet he was already extremely popu­ lar. bringing out the most captivating fea­ ture of the game . during an embarkment. Lalanda. and Granero was generally considered superior to Lalanda. half blue. that Simone had that day. tur­ bid.Story of the Eye celebrated bull-killer had agreed to dine with us the evening of the fight. Simone had b een deeply interested in his story. exceptionally. In this respect. he looked more like a very manly prince charming with a perfectly elegant figure . Granero stood out from the rest of the mat­ adors because there was nothing of the b utcher about him . for it safeguards the straight line shoot­ ing up so rigid and erect every time the lunging b ull grazes the b ody and because the pants so tightly sheathe the ass. at times even unreal when the combined intensities of light and heat suggest the freedom of the senses. had shown gen uine pleasure when Sir Edmond announced that the 58 . hot. which never has the color or harshness one imagines: it is j ust perfectly sunny with a dazzling b ut mellow sheen . and. and Granero were to fight in the arena of Madrid. One must also bear in mind the typically torrid Spanish sky. the last two were renowned as the best matadors in Spain . half yellow. tall and of a still childlike simplicity. He had only j ust turned twenty. b eing handsome . and a small illustrated bro­ chure with a description of all the circumstances and a few photographs. Later on . that the only obj ects I have ever carefully preserved are a round paper fan . the small valise containing those two 59 � CHAPTER TEN Gr anero '8 Eye On May 7. 1922. the toreadors La Rosa. A bright red cloth and a b rilliant sword (before the dying b ull whose hide steams with sweat and b lood) complete the m eta­ morphosis. the matador's costume is quite expressive.

one horse and rider were hurled aloft together. the sword deep in the b lood-smeared body. But when Granero faced the b ull. Standing here . But when we arrived at our places next to Sir Edm ond. In the end. The young man sent the furious beast racing around him in his pink cape. which were equally b urning and equally lusting to press stark naked against wet unslaked hands. and died. which was gorged with come. proceeding amid a frenzy of cheers. I grabbed Simone's cunt. to a geographic point and a precise date. on Simone's seat. loudly crash­ ing down behind the horns. thrusting my b ony middle finger deep inside. there . then my penis . glands the size and shape of eggs. who sat between Sir Edmond and myself. A bull's orgasm is not more p owerful than the one that wrenched through our loins to tear us to shreds.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye least equal to mine. he disemboweled three horses in a row before an orderly fight could take place . in broad sunlight. An incredible ovation resounded as the b ull staggered to its knees with the uncertainty of a drunkard. the one whose raw balls Simone looked forward to having served on a plate . lay a white dish containing two peeled balls. The first b ull . 'I ·1 ! . and she seized my furious cock through my pants. She took my hand wordlessly and led me to an outer courtyard of the filthy arena. though without shaking my thick penis out of that stuffed vulva. was a kind of black monster. with the beast blinded by a scrap of red cloth . each time . an event that my imagi­ nation compulsively pictures as a simple vision of solar deliquescence. the revolts o f our mouths cleaved together in a storm of saliva. witnessed the killing with an exhileration at 60 . and 61 souvenirs tumbled into the sea. I exposed Simone's cunt. and into her blood-red. slobbery flesh I stuck my fingers . and was fished out by an Arab with a long pole . and he j ust barely eluded a frightful impact. who zoomed out of the pen so quickly that despite all efforts and all shouts. Our hearts were still booming in our chests. where sordid flies whirled about in a sunbeam . where the stench of equine and human urine was suffocating because of the great heat. We stepped into a stinking shithouse. Sim one. But I need them to fix that event to the earthly soil. as we returned to the first row of the arena. At the same time . which is why the obj ects are in such a bad state . collapsed with its legs sticking up . and she refused to sit down again when the interminable acclamation for the young man was over. which entered that cavern of blood while I j erked off her ass. the death of the solar monster was performed cleanly. and Sim one's cunt was still as greedy as before and my cock stubbornly rigid. the combat was launched with b rio. his b ody was lifted by a sort of spiraling j et.

and I stared at her to let her know that I understood. "Can't you see I want to sit on the plate. neither of us could keep from fidgeting. I took away the dish and made her sit. Little by little . and she sat there. peering at it in absorbed interest. b ut she grabbed it away from me with a categorical "no" and returned it to the stone seat. Apparently. We grimaced. the sun's radiance sucked us into an unreality that fitted our malaise-the wordless and powerless desire to explode and kick up our asses. b ut she refused. since Simone had demanded seats in the sun. the combat went on j ust as drearily as before. and to top it off.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye say that the fight had become boring. followed." Sir Edmond said to Simone in a light British accent. which parched our throats as it bore down upon us. a black-haired creature. we were trapped in something like an immense vapor of light and muggy heat. I told her I would like to fuck her again b efore Granero returned to fight the fourth bull. I leaned over and whispered to Simone. From that moment on. All she could do was hold the dish in her lap . I ought to 62 . and there was no p ossib ility of quenching our desires. as she childishly put it. in the disem­ b owlments of horses. which exasperated her. "Idiot!" she replied. It really was totally out of the question for Simone to lift her dress and place her bare behind in the dish of raw balls. "sit down. like the globe of an eye : they had j ust been removed from the first b ull. b ut also in an unwonted quandary. by "loss and noise. because our eyes were blinded and because we were thirsty. and all these people watching! " "That's absolutely out o f the question. We were so far gone that even Granero's return could not p ull us out of that stupefying absorption ." I rej oined. our senses ruffled. 63 of a pearly whiteness. asking what had gotten into her. despite everything. keenly involved . and this state of malaise was contagious enough to affect Sir Edmond. Simone was already kneeling before the plate ." At the same tim e . unpugna­ cious b ulls were facing matadors who didn't know what to do next. " namely the cataract of bowels. faintly bloodshot. that I rem embered the dish of milk. Sir Edmond and I were growing annoyed at being the focus of our neighbors' attention j ust when the bullfight was slackening. We three had managed to share in the morose dissolution that leaves no harmony between the various spasms of the body. I picked up the dish to let her sit down . she wanted to do something b ut didn't know how to go about it. the b ull opposite him was distrustful and seemed unre­ sponsive . "Here are the raw balls. into whose b ody Granero had plunged his sword. and that this renewed desire was unsettling m e . Besides.

In j ust a few seconds: first. almost at once. under a blinding sun . the horns struck the balus­ trade three times at full speed. to my dismay. tied to death and to a sort of urinary liquefaction of the sky. the white ball of the b ull. who was lifted up from the stone seat only to be flung back with a bleeding nose . the other. one horn plunged into the right eye and through the head . uncovered her long white thighs up to her moist vulva. Simone bit into one of the raw balls. a human eye. finally. One. A shriek of unmeasured horror coin­ cided with a b rief orgasm for Simone. I CHAPTER E LEVEN Under the Sun of Seville Thus. not because they weren't actually related . men instantly rushed over to haul away Granero's body. the right eye dangling from the head . This coincidence. yet so uneasily vivid that I 65 64 . had spurted from Granero's head with the same force as a b undle of innards from a b elly. with a blood-red face and a suffocating lewdness. waving his scarlet cloth . had b een thrust into the "pink and dark" c unt that Simone had bared in the crowd. Simone. but because my attention was so absent as to remain absolutely dissociated. then Granero advanced towards the bull. two globes of equal size and consis­ tency had suddenly been propelled in opposite directions at once. at the third blow. into which she slowly and surely fitted the second pale globule­ Granero was thrown back by the b ull and wedged against the balustrade . first b rought us back to Marcelle in a moment that was so brief and almost insubstantial.GEORGES BATAILLE The events that followed were without tran­ sition or connection .

Indeed. " "So what?" replied Simone. you ought to go round this ch urch all by yourself. We were dumbstruck: not only was she guffawing her head off. And if he j erked off. Sir Edmond took a heady delight in satisfy­ ing the whims of "the simplest and most angelic creature ever to walk the earth . "This is a very interesting place. "it's the church of Don J uan . for this was the only way to keep from having my penis endlessly immersed in her fur. Five minutes later. geraniums and rose laurels. We avoided orgasms and we went sight-seeing. A lavish abundance of flowers in the streets. Simone reappeared at the threshold of the church. Simone walked about naked under a white dress that was flimsy enough to hint at the red garter-belt underneath . and she went in by herself while we waited in the street. even at her beaver. it aroused her curiosity. I often saw the cocks stand up in trousers. A few moments later. Needless to say. a stairway. "Stay here with me. But we did take advantage of any opportunities when we were out. with a dreadful muscular contraction. and our promenade would con­ tinue almost aimlessly. where we found an even more liquefying heat and light than in Madrid . and the instant we found it. and. not for caution's sake. Usually. " "What an awful idea!" Nevertheless. Sir Edmond would follow at a distance in order to surprise us: he would turn p urple. An empty 66 . however awful the idea. I would p ull my steaming member from its stable." he said one day in regard to a church. deserted alleys in the evenings-we walked until we found the right place. Sim one. of course .GEO RGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye museum room. a garden path lined with high b ushes. "And you. everything in this city contributed to making her radiate such sensu­ ality that when we passed through the torrid streets. b ut because he never did anything unless standing isolated and almost utterly steady. I would open the girls' b ody by lifting one of her legs and shoving my cock to the bottom of her cunt in one swoop . an open church. b ut she 67 stepped forward like a sleepwalker as though about to touch her at eye level. Simone was in such a foul mood that she told Sir Edmond she wouldn't spend another day in Madrid . he would do it discreetly. everything was promptly back to normal. b ut he never came over. she was very anxious to see Seville because of its reputation as a city of pleasure. We would leave one convenient place with never any goal b ut to find another like it. Furthermore . in certain positions." Sir Edmond said to me. we virtually never stopped having sex. though with blinding obsessions in the hour after Granero's death . helped to put our senses on edge . " and so the next day he accompanied us to Seville .

And that put her so much on edge that she t01 d me to tuck my penis away immediately or she 69 couldn't speak or stop laughing. who . Yet in all these things. we're laughing right over the tomb of Don Juan !" And laughing even harder. so that. partly by contagion . Simone had lightly pissed down her legs . At either side of the entrance door hung two famous canvases by the painter Valde s Leal . the involved and contorted decora­ tions conj ured up India. "Can't you explain ? By the bye . the walls were plastered but encum ­ bered with religious gewgaws more or less gilded. "All I can do is go into the church . " he said. stuck to her body. She sat down before me. filtering through curtains of a bright red. Quite the contrary: the whole place was sumptuous and sensuous. a bit calmer. where Sir Edmond and I vainly looked for the comical sight that the girl had been unable to explain . It was the tomb of the church's founder. one of the eye sockets was being gnawed through by a rat. being wet. In our mirth. But now our wild laughter b urst out again tenfold. the play of shadows and light from the red curtains. the line of her hair." said Simone ." We b urst into a large space. "it'll dry. I began laughing as hard as she . partly because of the intense light. the guides claimed. and all I could do was caress her neck. The ceiling was of carved woodwork. or her shoulders with my cock. " said Simone. pictures of decomposing corpses: interestingly.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye dows. he had himself buried under the doorstep so that the faithful would trudge over his corpse when entering or leaving th eir ha un t. and since the cloth was now fully transparent. and a tiny trickle of water had landed on the brass. the coolness and a strong pungent aroma of blossoming oleander. plus the dress sticking to Simone's beaver­ everything was urging me to b urst loose and bare that wet cunt on the floor. "I want to see them leave. there was nothing funny to be found. The entire back wall was covered from floor to raf­ ters by an altar and a giant Baroque retable of gilded wood. was Don Juan : after repenting. The room was relatively cool . and the whole altar at first seemed very mysterious and j ust right for sex. with deep shadows and golden glows. when I spied a pair of silk shoes at a confessional: the feet of a penitent female. We noted a further effect of her accident: the thin dress. and so did Sir Edmond to a certain extent. he pointed at a large church brass at our feet. "Bloody girl . and the light came from win68 . transparent cretonne. a dark patch between the red rib­ bons of her garter belt. not far from the confessional. Simone's attractive belly and thighs were revealed with par­ ticular lewdness.

very handsome. would rub it till I shot my load . a very beau­ tiful young b runette stepped out of the confes­ sional . The priest. There was something so truly unexpected ab out the whole thing that I desper­ ately squeezed my legs together to keep from laughing. and he would probably have van­ ished in turn without seeing anything if Simone. at b est in the open air. her hands folded.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye wanted to confess. when she wanted to fan her wet thighs and she uncrossed them and lifted her dress. this time a blond priest. with a long thin face and the pale eyes of a saint. and he remained on the threshhold of the b ooth . "You'll see. to my great surprise . indi­ cated the confessional with a distant gesture and reentered his tabernacle . His arms were crossed on his chest. After a rather long wait. The priest thus moved in the same direction as the woman . I had to sit down and merely look at Simone's nakedness through the soaked cloth . her face pale and enrap­ tured: with her head thrown back and her eyes white and vacant." she said . softly closing the door without a word. still gliding in his ecstasy. she slowly eased across the room like an opera ghost. when the door of the confessional opened: someone else emerged. had not brought him up sharply. gazing at a fixed point on the ceiling as though a celestial apparition were about to help him levitate . That was why I patiently waited for the key to the puzzle. Something unbelievable had occurred to her: she greeted the visionary courteously and said she 70 71 . very young.

pounce upon the impious girl. I was able to touch her. I still have not confessed the worst sin of all . moving her legs apart. the left part of her face was pressed against the grille near the priest's head. her fingers rummaging deep in the fur. her limbs tensed. Simone 72 ." More seconds of whispering inside. While she confessed her sins. sure hand." And indeed. I bared her cunt for an instant. I softly drew up at the side to try and see what was happening: Simone really was j erking off. I assumed this sordid creature was going to b urst from his booth.Story of the Eye spoke on and on through the tiny grilled window. priest. At that moment. keeping one knee on the prayer stool. Simone stood up and spread one thigh before the eye of the window while jerk­ ing off with a quick. I can show you." cried Simone. she shifted one foot to the floor. b ut nothing of the sort happened: the booth remained closed. "The worst sin of all is very simply that I'm j erking off while talking to you. I was exchanging sharply interrogative looks with Sir Edmond when things began to grow clear: Simone was slowly scratching her thigh. At times she even seemed to be jerking off. ·1 I I . and she was exposing more and more of her legs over her stock­ ings while still m urmuring her confession . " A few seconds o f silence. I waited. and finally almost aloud: "If you don't believe me. banging away at the confessional. and that was all. her thighs splayed. I distinctly heard her say: "Father. extremely anxious to see the outcome of such an unexpected action . "Okay. I was even getting ready to knock the dreadful phantom down and treat him to a few kicks . i One can readily imagine my stupor at watching Simone kneel down by the cabinet of the lugubrious confessor. "what are you doing in your 73 I CHAPTER TWELVE Simone's Confession and Sir Edmond's Mass . and flagellate her.

"Senores. The wretched Don Aminado gaped at this recepta­ cle of consecrated h osts on the floor. The Englishman returned a few moments later. b ut he didn't interfere with Simone. his face livid and drenched with sweat. but breathed heavily: we put him in a large wooden armchair with architectural decorations. when the enigmatic Englishman resolutely strode to the confessional and. too?" But the confessional kept its peace. Sir Edm ond realized it was the key to the tabernacle. his cock dangling. "Well. Sir Edmond rummaged through the closets until he finally lit upon a large chalice. pink and hard: all he did was throw back his head with a grimace . Simone slapped the sacerdotal pig. � 74 . deco­ rated with a quantity of angels as naked as cupids. I was spellbound with admira­ tion. Inside. the visionary. and his hand­ some moronic face. " the wretch sniveled. Then she j erked and sucked the pig while I urinated in his nostrils. after edging Sim one aside as del­ icately as could b e . already contorted b ecause Simone was flagellating his cock with her teeth and tongue. " he answered. Sir Edm ond. His fly was open . carefully inspected the room where we had found refuge. After barricading the door." replied Sir Edmond with a categorical intonation . We stripped off all his clothes. For my part.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye Simone asked him : "What's your name?" "Don Aminado. carrying a ciborium of twisted gold. was now fully gasping and panting. " "No. then I'll open . yanked the larva out of its hole by its wrist. contemplating the scene with his characteristic hard-lab our face . From the expression of dread on the p riest's face. "you must think I'm a hypocrite . " And Simone pulled out the door. who shoved the bestiality into her mouth and took long sucks on it. We p romptly carried him to the vestry. "What is that key for?" he asked Don Aminado. was mopping a sweat-bathed brow. and I didn't know what else to do. I fucked Simone in the ass while she violently sucked his cock. to top off this cold exaltation . and a hiss escaped through his teeth. standing there with a lowered head. he didn't resist. his teeth to the ground. Meanwhile. and flung it brutally at our feet: the vile p riest lay there like a cadaver. She p ulled up the filthy black skirt so that the long cock stuck out. which gave the pig another hard-on . not uttering a cry. He glimpsed a tiny key hanging from a nail in the woodwork. whereupon he asked us to 75 shack there ? Jerking off. Sir Edmond and I were immobile in our stupor. The girl groped for his cock under the cassock: he didn't turn a hair. and Simone crouched down and pissed on them like a bitch. Finally.

b ut at the same time she stripped naked before him and I finger-fucked her. She. And as for the wine they p ut in the chalice. are nothing other than Christ's sperm in the form of small white biscuits . snif­ fing the unleavened wafers. faintly agitated by a slight quiver through his body. he continued guz­ zling tragically and reveling in it. "It's time to piss. "the euch­ aristic hosts in the cib orium .GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye And she struck his face again with the chal­ ice . Don Aminado noisily poured his urine into the chalice. Again Simone sucked and jerked him . and here the chalice where they put white wine ." he explained to Simone. abandon the wretch for an instant. he spurted his come on the hosts in the ciborium. but they are obViously mistaken . If they really thought it was the blood. which Simone held in front of him while j erking him off. "The hosts. With a demented gesture. "That's not all. the two of us marched over to Don Aminado. " The lucidity of this logic was s o convincing that Simone and I required no further explanation . but since they employ only white wine . as you see . was so imperious that the thing went off with barely any hitch . which Simone held under his thick cock. his b ody erect. "Look. drink. she gave him a hard shake . he bashed the sacred chamber-pot against a wall. who was still inert in his armchair. "And now. After bringing his senses to a height of fury with Sir Edmond's help and mine. the ecclesias­ tics say it is the blood of Christ. they are showing that at the b ottom of their hearts they are quite aware that this is urine . with open thighs. Simone b egan by slamm ing the base of the chalice against his skull. " "They smell like com e . The paralyzed wretch drank with a well-nigh filthy ecstasy at one long gluttonous draft. and yelling like a pig b eing slaughtered. " continued Sir Edmond." commanded Sir Edmond. which provoked his ignoble rattles. they would use red wine. armed with the chalice and I with the cib o­ rium . "Precisely. which j olted him and left him utterly dazed." 76 77 . Sir Edmond's gaze. " said Simone. Then she resumed sucking him. " she said in a voice that brooked no reply. fixed on the stunned eyes of the young cleric. Four robust arms lifted him up and .

too. animated by the same determination . .Story of the Eye monster leaped up and drew back. . with an incredible excitement and leVity. Sir Edmond. into the floor with rage and shame. . You are going to have the pleasure of being martyred while fucking this girl . "you're "Wretches . . He audibly sighed: "Oh miserable sacrileges . . " Edmond said to him sedately. But you three . him . . . Something like an absurd j oy began to open his mouth. . Sir Edmond nudged him with his foot. . eyes. The priest lay there with a limp cock. . . " And other incomprehensible laments. " he uttered in a voice that was suddenly feeble and yet tore out like a sob . arms over his naked chest and finally gazed at us with ecstatic eyes." "But you are forgetting that is your j izm . observed Sir Edmond. . "Get on your feet. "First I am going to tell you a story. him in all its horror. " Don Aminado threatened in a choking voice. . the 78 . " A b izarre hope of p urifi­ cation had come to the wretch. garrotte . you think I am going to let you wait that long? � CHAPTER THIRTEEN The Legs of the Fly First!" The imbecile gaped dumbstruck at the Eng­ lish man : an extremely silly expression darted across his handsome face . such ludicrous fury that we b urst out laughing. "You know that men who are hanged or garrotted have such stiff cocks the instant their respiration is cut off. ej aculate. A ferocious grimace . " "Poor fool. first. " 79 He dropped the swine and he crashed to the floor. . . "Martyrdom . Now that his balls were drained. a cornered beast. "Martyrdom .

who stood 81 And when the horrified priest rose to defend himself. All at once . The Englishman . the Englishman brutally knocked him down . Next.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye of j oy. pinioned his arms behind his back while I gagged him and bound his legs with a belt. But no matter. gripping his arms from behind in a stranglehold. I kept the man's head immobile between my thighs. fully immobilized b ody. because of a strange inward paralysis ultimately caused by my love for the girl and the death of the unspeakable creature . scrutinizing the purplish face with the keenest interest. her cunt next to his flabby cock. Simone lay on the floor. her thigh still smeared by the dead man's sperm which had trickled from her vulva. twisting his arm . Curiously. disabled the priest's legs in his own . she squeezed so resolutely that an even more violent thrill shot through her victim . "Now. The girl took her head in her hands and shook it. collapsing backwards in a tempest 80 . she even sponged the sweat off the forehead and obstinately waved away a fly buzzing in a sunbeam and endlessly flitting back to alight on the face . and the cock stood on end. Simone uttered a soft cry. the insect had perched on the corpse's eye and was agitating its long nightmarish legs on the strange orb . slipping under his vic­ tim . "squeeze his throat. I suppose if anyone had come along. while she continued to squeeze the throat. trem­ b ling. the pipe j ust behind the Adam's apple : a strong. and she felt the come shooting inside her cunt." Simone removed her dress and squatted on the belly of this singular martyr. Simone gradually emerged from her stupor and sought protection with Sir Edmond. then she seemed to plunge into an abyss of reflections. She straddled the naked cadaver again . b ut all I could do was squeeze her in my arms and kiss her mouth. a dreadful shudder ran through that mute. Something bizarre and quite baf­ fling had happened : this time . " said Sir Edmond to Simone . "mount this little padre . I took it into my hands and had no trouble fitting it into Simone's vulva." continued Sir Edmond. Sir Edmond and I wouldn't have given him much time to b e scandalized. Kneeling in back. atop a b ody whose m uscles were cracking in our formida­ ble strangleholds. At last. gradual pressure. we weren't the least bit worried about what might happen . Sir Edmond. "And now. her belly up. I stretched out at her side to rape and fuck her in turn . Now she let go. I have n ever been so content. I didn't even stop Simone from pushing me aside and going to view her work. The utterly intoxicated girl kept wrenching the big cock in and out with her b uttocks. " Simone squeezed.

and after lying down on her back and raising her legs and ass. For an instant. He removed a pair of fine scissors from his wallet. rolling it. the eye was trapped between our "Put it in my ass. and I fucked her hard while Sir Edmond played with the eye. I had let S ir Edmond undress me. " "What d o you mean?" "Listen. my entire cock van­ ished at one lunge into the hairy crevice. "Okay. I want it!" Sir Edmond was always poker-faced except when he turned purple . while his right hand snipped the obstinate liga­ ments. it zoomed out like a pit squooshed from a cherry. motionless. and the sensation is so bizarre that it has something of a rooster's horrible crowing." I urged her. Nor did he bat an eyelash now. " she said. completely distraught. then nimbly inserted the fingers of his left hand into the socket and drew out the eye. But all at once. She made me come over to the corpse: she knelt down and completely opened the eye that the fly had perched on. Sir Edmond. his back to the wall. But finally. rubbing her cheek gently on his shoulder. In the meantime . in between the contortions of our bodies. he presented the small whitish eyeball in a hand reddened with blood . Simone gazed at the absurdity and finally 82 83 . so extraordinarily gentle. "what are you getting at?" "I want to play with this eye . The caress of the eye over the skin is so utterly. "Do you see the eye ?" she asked me. knelt down." she concluded in all simplicity. Next. Sir Edmond . and dropped on the thin belly of the corpse. extremely disturbed. we could hear the fly flitting over the corpse. b ut the blood did shoot to his face . " "I shall do anything you like. grabbed the b eautiful eyeball from the hands of the tall Engnavels. "Well?" "It's an egg.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye took it in her hand. And Sir Edmond delicately glided the eye between her b uttocks." he replied. and instantly amused herself by fondling the depth of her thighs and inserting this apparently fluid obj ect. "you must give me this eye at once . so that I could pounce stark naked on the crunching b ody of the girl . Simone left me. she tried to keep the eye there simply by squeezing her b uttocks together. Simone meanwhile amused herself by slip­ ping the eye into the profound crevice of her ass. "I want you to do something. on the skin of our bellies and b reasts. tear it out at once. "Sir Edmond. an inch or so from the cock. " Simone shouted." she finally let it out. yet she had no qualms.

we rented a car and left Seville . the Eng­ lishman purchased a yacht. at Gibraltar. especially towards noon . . a country of yellow earth and yellow sky. ridiculous black hat with yellow flowers and a long cloth dress like a noble girl from the provinces. we kept disappearing all through AndalUSia. where each day. under the reddish eyes of Sir Edmond. while Simone lay on her side. on the ground and in the blazing sun . I raped a likewise transformed Simone. as for Simone. erectile with horror. in Simone 's hairy vag­ ina. I drew her thighs apart. In this way. to my eyes an immense chamber­ pot flooded with sunlight. On the fourth day. he and I dressed as Spanish priests. who was walking between us in the cos­ tume of a Seville seminarist. and Simone was bedi­ zened in a huge . and we set sail towards new adventures with a crew of Negroes. in the midst of the fur. and manfully puffing on b ig cigars . and with a staid and regular pressure from her hands. I held the thighs open while Simone was convulsed by the urinary spasm . 84 85 . . And then she promptly drew me over. lishman . she looked more angelic than ever. Now I stood up and .GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye wearing the small hairy felt hats and priestly cloaks. In this get-up. Streaks of come in the steaming hair helped give that dreamy vision a dis­ astrous sadness. gazing at me through tears of urine . . clutching my neck between her arms and smashing her lips on mine so forcefully that I cli­ maxed without touching her and my come shot all over her fur. and found myself facing something I imagine I had been waiting for in the same way that a guillotine waits for a neck to slice. and the burning urine streamed out from under the eye down to the thighs below . she slid it into her slobbery flesh. Huge valises allowed us to change our personalities at every leg of the j ourney in order to outwit the police investigation . Sir Edmond evinced a humorous ingenuity in these circumstances: thus we marched down the main street of the small town of Ronda. I even felt as if my eyes were bulging from my head. Two hours later. Sir Edmond and I were sporting false black beards. as a new character. I saw the wan blue eye of Marcelle.

I I I Part Two COINCIDENCES I ' .• .

accompanied by several perfectly chaste girls 89 . and since they appeared indirectly to bring out the meaning of what I have writte n .While composing this partly imaginary tale. I decided one evening to go to the ruins that same night. Thus. the second. the things I can be or do personally. ani­ mated chiefly by a desire to forget. I would like to describe them. At the time. I was twenty-one . and I chanced upon two astonishing pic­ tures: the first was a street in the practically unknown village from which my fam ily comes. I began writing with no precise goal. and did so immedi­ ately. connected to those ruins. at first. at least for the time being. vacationing in the village that summer. I promptly recalled an episode in my life . I thought that the character speaking in the first person had no relation to me. But then one day I was looking through an American maga­ zine filled with photographs of European land­ scapes. the nearby ruins of a medieval fortified castle on a crag in the mountain . I was struck by several coincidences.

precis ely the two image s that probably most upset me had sprun g from the darkest corne r of my memo ry-an d in a scarcely recogn izable shape -as soon as I gave myself over to lewd dreams . We had started climbing the rocky mountain with its utterly romantic wall . a gratui tous inven tion. even though I was certain from the very beginning that it was all a hoax. b ut the mome nt I reach ed this death scene . After walking for some one and half hours. If I devise d the busine ss about snipping out the priest 's eye . and so it took me a few seconds before I could hurl some threats. which she wanted to examine in all liberty. I myself felt a sudden terror. j ust as the sheeted ghost had appeared at the left. The openi ng of the priest 's eye was not. I amuse d mysel f by introd ucing the descri ption of a tragic b ullfight that I had actu­ ally witn essed. I was totally taken aback. and she shared my feelings. : 1 l . which were unintelligible to the phantom. when . who had biked up with another boy. I was in love with one of the girls. I drew no conne c­ tion betwe en the two episod es until I did a precis e descri ption of the inj ury inflict ed on Manu el Grane ro (a real person ) by the b ull. it was becau se I had seen a b ull's horn tear out a matad or's eye . I would soon have cause for even greater astonishment. and I realized there was a perfect coinci­ dence of images tied to analogous upheavals . yet we had never spoken to one another because she believed she had a religious calling. as I had believed. It was so extraordinary that one girl and my mother fell back together. as a chaperone . realizi ng the kinshi p betwe en the story and my own life . an image that had most likely led a very profou nd life . I had j ust finished the sheet episode in the story. when a white and thoroughly luminous ghost leapt forth from a deep cavity in the rocks and barred our way. Still . I and . which stifled my voice . especially the inci­ sion in the priest's socket and the plucking of his eye. and the others let out piercing shrieks. I had alread y thoug ht out all the detail s of the scene in the Seville vestry. I have rarely been as dumbfounded as at 90 But no sooner did I realize this (I had j ust 91 . and I didn 't let him out of my sight until I recognized my older b rother.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye the apparition of the false phantom . he had suc­ ceeded in scaring us by popping out under the sudden ray of an acetylene lantern . to a differe nt person . I was very aston ished at having unkno w­ ingly substi tuted a perfectly obsce ne image for a vision appar ently devoid of any sexual implication . I was merel y transfering. my mother. and I noticed that I kept seeing the sheet at the left. Oddly en ough . Indeed . The day I found th e photograph in the mag­ azine. The phan ­ tom did flee the moment he saw me striding towards him . Wearing a sheet. we arrived at the foot of the castle around ten or eleven in a rather gloomy night. Thus.

unable to endure them without an explosion or aberration . and he was already blind when he conceived m e . but it was not in the same form as now. not long after my b irth . . for me. Never having seen the skinned balls of a bull. my father was suffering from general paralysis. he did it into a small container at his armchair. shifting under the lids. for instance the erratic nature of a blind man's isolated laugh­ ter. instead . eggs and eyes. under a b lanket. In any case . with a completely stupefying expression of abandon and aberration in a world that he alone could see and that aroused his vaguely sardonic and absent laugh (I would have liked to recall everything here at once. but nevertheless. the most scandalous. who is a doctor. the completely obscene ones. and this hap­ pened particularly when he pissed. But the weirdest thing was certainly the way he looked while pissing. When I was b orn . However. He was unable to go and urinate in the toilet like most people. Yet when I finished reading to him .e. I thus learned that h uman or animal balls are egg-shaped and look the same as an eyeball . the image of those white eyes from that time was directly linked. precisely those on which the conscious floats indefinitely. and since he had to urinate very often . if you will. and so forth) .i GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye scene composition . since he was blind. upon locating this breaking point of the conscious or. I was in love with my father. he was un­ embarrassed ab out doing it in front of me. ever-gaping eyes that flanked an eagle nose and those h uge eyes went almost entirely b lan when he pissed. and that was how they were depicted in th e first draft. his pupils very frequently p ointed up into space . Since he could not see anything. I ventured to explain such extraordinary relations by assuming a profound region of my mind. This time . who are n love with their mothers. his sinister disease confined him to an armchair. i. and he promptly read aloud a detailed description in an anatomical textbook. The entire Story of the Eye was woven in my mind out of two ancient and closely associated obsessions. my friend remarked that I had absolutely no idea of what the glands I was writing about were really like . the favorite place of sexual deviation . which . How­ ever the very contrary of most male bab ies. I read the description to him. I assumed they were the same bright red color as the erect cock of the animal . Now the following was connected to his paralysis and blindness. certain quite different personal memories were quickly associated with some har­ rowing images that had emerged during an ob 92 i k 93 . to the image of eggs. Furthermore . where certain images coincide. he usually placed askew. he had huge. the elementary ones. and that explains the almost regular appearance of urine every time eyes finished portraying the b ullfight of May 7 ) than I visited a friend of mine. I had previously regarded the balls of the b ull as independent of that cycle .

I must add a final con­ nection I made in regard to Marcelle. Thus Marcelle is also a fourteen-year-old girl who once sat opposite me for a quarter of an h our at the Cafe des deux Magots in Paris . who came imm ediat ely. suddenly lost her mind too. My fathe r kept endl essly and eloqu ently imag ining the most outra geou s and generally the happ iest even ts. and I did not arrive at it until the very end. The absurd ideas of damnation and catastrophe that seized control of her irritated me even more because I was forced to look after her continually. I wen t so far as to strike her. when he shrie ked in a stent orian voice : "Doctor. whic h in a split seco nd anni hilat ed the dem orali zing effects of a strict upbringin g. he some time s left shit on his pants) was not nearly so disagreeable to me as I thought. left me with some thing like a 94 of manic-depressive insanity ( melancholy) . whic h are cons idere d amo ng the wors t pain s known to man . violently 95 mother subjected her in front ofme. She was in such a b ad state that one n ight I removed some candlesticks with marble bases from my roo m . no less essen tial kinship between the gene ral natu re of my story and a parti cular fact. by vehe men t word s that the syph ilitic was literally howl ing in his room : he had sudd enly gone mad . It was one of the most disconcerting. whenever I lost patience . After perc eiving this kinship between dis­ tinct elem ents. then at least exaggerated . I adop ted the attitudes and opin ions most radically oppo sed to those of that supre mely naus eatin g creature . Furth ermo re . unconscious and unwilled: the necessity of finding an equivalent to that sentence in any situation I happen to be in . I still want to tell about some memories that ultimately fastened a few episodes to unmistakable facts. at the end of a vile scene to which her or eggs occur in the story. One night . Such a statement would actually b e . smel ly state to which his total disab leme nt often redu ced him (for insta nce. Then again . let me know when you'r e done fucking my wife ! " For me. She spent several months in a crisis . and this largely explains Story of the Eye. in all thing s. The doct or had withdrawn to the next room with my moth er and I had rema ined with the blind luna tic.GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye steady obligation . I was afraid she m ight kill me while I slept. my moth er and I. Soon after my father's attack of l unacy. my mother. On the other hand. It is impossible for me to say positively that Marcelle is basically identical with my mother. that utterance . the filthy . I was abou t fourt een when my affec tion for my fathe r turne d into a deep and unco nscio us hatre d. I was led to disco ver a furth er. if not false . To complete this survey of the high summits of my personal obscenity. I began vaguely enj oying his cons tant shrie ks at the lightning pain s caus ed by the tabe s. Nonetheless. I went for the doct or. we were awakened .

I am as happy as ever with the fulmi97 96 . through the darkness. to my eyes. my mother disappeared while our backs were turned . a rather crazy p iece of writing. e. Running without stopping. wintery water was not very deep anyway. I at last found myself face to face with her: she was drenched up to her belt. wherever she might have tried to drown herself.e: a small b ook. along a creek. I myself went looking for her. how sad it is! ) . she disappeared again . . The manuscript of w. they managed to revive her. A short time later. we hunted her for a long time and finally found her hanged in the attic. However. I had written a book entitled w.GEORGES BATAILLE twisting her wrists to try and bring her to her senses. w. at first glance . On the other hand. I never linger over such memories. was as lugubrious as Story of the Eye was j uvenile. was b urnt but that was n o loss. A year before Story of the Eye. and the icy. this time at night. across swamps. not for my debauchery.e. solely b ecause during that deformation they acquired the lewdest of meanings. the skirt was pissing the creek water. for they have long since lost any emotional significance for me. considering my p resent sadness: it was a shriek of horror (horror at myself. but she had come out on her own . There was no way I could restore them to life except by transforming them and making them unrecognizable. b ut for the philosopher's head in which since then . . endlessly. One day.

naked. like this Preface. bordering on naive folly. and is there any more desperate image for remorse? I gave the author of W C. bristling with lashes. A parodistic verse . for terror reveals its meaning. the pseudonym of Troppmann. But. Coincidences has a literal exactness: many people in the village of R. Such j oy. Solitary. The drawing was named The Eternal Return. when vexed . will forever remain beyond terror. (A few people. some of my friends did read WC. in the rainy night. The story is too lively to dwell upon . sticking out his bent leg. he would shorten it to "aux ch' . He would get out of his b lind paralytic's bed (my father being b oth b lind and paralytic at once).. and its horrible machine was the crossbeam .) What upset me m ore was: seeing my father shit a great number of times. Story of the Eye has another reminiscence of W C. a large eagle-nose. heard i n a sketch a t the Concert Mayol. the "lightning­ sharp pains" would make him howl like a beast. portico . reading Coincidences. how the corpse 's blood is sad in the depth of sound. To be God . the road to eternity passed through it. Coming from the horizon . instead of saying "aux chiottes!" [ to the shithouse ] .GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye of a tern pest. what maj esty is? The "eye of the conscience" and the "woods of j ustice" incarnate the eternal return. ill­ kempt. in his nightshirt and. The name Lord Auch [pronounced osh] refers to a habit of a friend of mine. A drawing for WC. it gazed from the lunette of a guillotine . which he futilely hugged in his arms. torn apart. divinely. At times. I j erked off naked. supplied the caption : God. on a field: red . which appears on the title page. gymnastic gallows. placing all that follows under the worst of signs. before me. being IMPOSSIBLE in tears: who knew. usually. My father having conceived m e when b lind 99 nating j oy of The Eye: nothing can wipe it away. by my mother's corpse. the face grimacing. at n ight. It was very hard for him to get out of b ed (I would help him) and settle on a chamber-pot. manuring with the maj esty 98 . solar. won dered whether it did not have the fictional character of the tale itself. solar. " Lord is English for God (in the Scrip­ tures) : Lord Auch is God relieving himself. showed an eye: the scaf­ fold's eye . moreover. every creature transfigured by such a place: God sinking into it rej uvenates the heavens. a cotton nightcap (he had a pointed gray beard. could confirm the material . and immense hollow eyes staring into space) .

rarely did I let a week go by without confessing my sins! In 1920.T GEORGES BATAILLE Story of the Eye I lived alone. When we learned he was dying. We left him with the housekeeper. No amount of anger could change my m ind: 100 101 . When my father wen t mad (a year b efore the war) after a hallucinating night. During puberty. i n Dad's blind smile ! [ Preface to Story of the Eye from Le Petit: 1943] (absolutely blind) . who were beside them­ selves. I know I am "blind. an un religious man. unable to bear the thought of it. I stopped believing in any­ thing but my future chances. My father. I had informed my parents ." at moments . We could now return : my mother. On November 6. my father died in abandonment. I was unreligious myself (my mother indifferent) . He died a few days before our arriv­ al. N o o n e on earth or i n heaven cared ab out my father's dying terror. went mad. M isery overwhelmed me. a few miles from the German lines. my mother sent me to the post office to dispatch a telegram . I changed again . We received occasional letters from my father. Like Oedipus. and until 1920. Late that year. My mother and I had abandoned him dur­ ing the German advance in August 1914. as always. What a "horrible pride . 1915 . I cannot tear out my eyes like Oedipus. I solved the riddle: no one divined it more deeply than I. But I went to a priest in August 1914. my mother recovered: she refused to let me go home to N. I b elieve he faced up to it. by way of the fields. Today. I remember being struck with a horrible pride en route . going out seldom. internal irony re­ plied: "So much horror makes you predestined" : a few months earlier. avoiding the center. my mother agreed to go with me. The Germans occupied the town . in a b ombarded town . I am man "abandoned" on the globe like my father at N . where I m ight have run into friends. asking for his children : we found a sealed coffin in the bedroom . one fine morning in December. Still. he j ust barely ranted and raved. then evacuated it. died refusing to see the priest." immeasurable . I was abandoning my father. My piety was merely an attempt at evasion : I wanted to escape my des­ tiny at any price. that I would never set foot in high school again .

this exaltation is beyond any imagining. It is by no means an erotic j oy. pro­ foundly. and. irremediable. � Outline of a Sequel to Story of the Eye (from the fourth edition. She is now thirty-five. Simone ends up in a torture camp. Nor is it masochistic. lost in the labor of agony. But by mistake . However. it is far more than that. she is indifferent to the blows. Beautiful when entering the camp. its basis is solitude and absence. Beautiful scene with a female torturer and the devotee .--­ I Story of the Eye She dies as though making love. exhorted by a cadaverous woman . 102 103 . But with no result. it surpasses everything. The torturer strikes her. Simone escapes temptation . b ut in the purity (chaste) and the imbecility of death : fever and agony transfigure her. indifferent to the words of the devotee. imbecility of unhappiness. Simone at the threshold of a conversion . tears. the devotee and Simone are b eaten to death . one more in the series of devotees of the Church of Seville. descriptions of torture . but old age is gradually taking over.--. 1 96 7) After fifteen years of more and more serious debauchery.

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