Blue of Noon — by Georges Bataille

Set against the backdrop of Europe's slide into Fascism, Blue of Noon is a blackly compelling account of depravity and violence. As its narrator lurches despairingly from city to city in a surreal sexual and mental nightmare of squalor, sadism and drunken encounters, his internal collapse mirrors the fighting and marching on the streets outside. Exploring the dark forces beneath the surface of civilization, this is a novel torn between identifying with history's victims and being seduced by the monstrous glamour of its terrible victors, and is one of the twentieth century's great nihilist works.

Set against the backdrop of Europe’s slide into Fascism, Blue of Noon is a blackly compelling account of depravity and violence. As its narrator lurches despairingly from city to city in a surreal sexual and mental nightmare of squalor, sadism and drunken encounters, his internal collapse mirrors the fighting and marching on the streets outside. Exploring the dark forces beneath the surface of civilization, this is a novel torn between identifying with history’s victims and being seduced by the monstrous glamour of its terrible victors, and is one of the twentieth century’s great nihilist works.

Georges Bataille (1897-1962), French essayist and novelist, was born in Billom, France. He converted to Catholicism, then later to Marxism, and was interested in psychoanalysis and mysticism, forming a secret society dedicated to glorifying human sacrifice. Leading a simple life as the curator of a municipal library, Bataille was involved on the fringes of Surrealism, founding the Surrealist magazine Documents in 1929, and editing the literary review Critique from 1946 until his death. Among his other works are the novels Blue of Noon (1957) and My Mother (1966), and the essays Eroticism (1957) and Literature and Evil (1957). According to the New stateman this is his, ‘masterpiece … [a] brilliant, exquisitely fetishistic tale of sexual agitaion’

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