Eroticism — by Georges Bataille

A philosopher, essayist, novelist, pornographer and fervent Catholic who came to regard the brothels of Paris as his true 'churches', Georges Bataille ranks among the boldest and most disturbing of twentieth-century thinkers. In this influential study he links the underlying sexual basis of religion to death, offering a dazzling array of insights into incest, prostitution, marriage, murder, sadism, sacrifice and violence, as well as including comments on Freud, Sade and Saint Theresa. Everywhere, Eroticism argues, sex is surrounded by taboos, which we must continually transgress in order to overcome the sense of isolation that faces us all.

A philosopher, essayist, novelist, pornographer and fervent Catholic who came to regard the brothels of Paris as his true ‘churches’, Georges Bataille ranks among the boldest and most disturbing of twentieth-century thinkers. In this influential study he links the underlying sexual basis of religion to death, offering a dazzling array of insights into incest, prostitution, marriage, murder, sadism, sacrifice and violence, as well as including comments on Freud, Sade and Saint Theresa. Everywhere, Eroticism argues, sex is surrounded by taboos, which we must continually transgress in order to overcome the sense of isolation that faces us all.

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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