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Lincoln Wright
Lincoln Wright

Georges Batailles Story Of The Eye 14

Amos Vogel: "Das Leben als Subversive Kunst", Catalog: Viennale 2004, October 15-27, 2004 (pdf)"Notes on the Recent History of a Self-Sustained Exhibition Scene for Experimental Forms of Cinema in North America", 23rd Annual Black Maria Film and Video Festival catalog, January 30, 2004 Liner notes, Yoshitaro Nomura's Zero Focus, Home Vision DVD, 2004 (amz)

georges batailles story of the eye 14

Take Six: Best of 2004 Comments, The Village Voice, December 28, 2004Take Six: Best of 2004 Lone Gunmen, The Village Voice, December 28, 2004Take Six: Best of 2004 Critics Poll, The Village Voice, December 28, 2004The Year in Avant-Garde, The Village Voice, December 28, 2004Jessica Yu: In the Realms of the Unreal, The Village Voice, December 21, 2004JPEX: Japanese Experimental Film and Video, 1955-Now, The Village Voice, December 7, 2004"That '70s Now: Filmmakers Draw Lessons for Today from American Radical History", The Village Voice, November 30th, 2004Ulrich Seidl: Jesus, You Know / John Deery: Conspiracy of Silence, The Village Voice, November 29th, 2004Richard Rich: Muhammad: The Last Prophet, The Village Voice, November 16th, 2004MOMA: "Premieres", The Village Voice, November 16th, 2004Michael Armstrong: Mark of the Devil, The Village Voice, October 19, 2004New York Film Festival's "Views from the Avant-Garde", The Village Voice, October 12, 2004"Jean-Marie Straub / Danièle Huilliet: Selected Films", The Village Voice, October 12, 2004Jonathan Caouette: Tarnation, The Village Voice, October 4, 2004Brigitte Cornand: The Whisper of the Whistling Water, The Village Voice, September 28, 2004Bruce La Bruce: The Raspberry Reich / Andrew Repasky McElhinney: Georges Bataille's Story of the Eye, The Village Voice, September 21, 2004Avi Lews: The Take / Chris Smith, Dan Ollman, & Sarah Price: The Yes Men, The Village Voice, September 21, 2004Bruce Weber: A Letter to True, The Village Voice, September 8-14, 2004Marc de Beaufort: The Private Archives of Pablo Escobar, The Village Voice, September 8-14, 2004Yoshitaro Nomura: Zero Focus, Home Vision Entertainment, Fall 2004"They Came from Toho: Gozilla and the Kaiju Eiga", The Village Voice, August 24, 2004El Fisgón: How to Succeed at Globalization, The Village Voice, August 24, 2004Edward Said: From Oslo to Iraq and the Road Map / Francis Fukuyama: State-Building, The Village Voice, August 24, 2004Joe Camp: Benji: Off the Leash!, The Village Voice, August 17, 2004Howl! 2nd Annual Festival of East Village Arts, The Village Voice, August 17, 2004"Media Cool: indie filmmakers look for drama and spectacle at the Republican National Convention", The Village Voice, August 17, 2004Paul W. S. Anderson: Alien vs. Predator, The Village Voice, August 13, 2004Stan Brakhage: The Mammals of Victoria & The God Of Day Had Come Down Upon Him, The Village Voice, August 11-17, 2004"Hardcore Curriculum" Film Studies Takes on Porn, Exploitation, and other fringe fare, The Village Voice, Education Supplement, Fall 2004Robert Greenwald: Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, The Village Voice, August 3, 2004Saul Levine, The Village Voice, July 20, 2004Robert Kane Pappas: Orwell Rolls in his Grave, The Village Voice, July 19, 2004New York Video Festival 2004, The Village Voice, July 13, 2004Bart Everly: Let's Get Frank, The Village Voice, July 12, 2004"Master of Hallucination: Ray Harryhausen Animates His Own Life", Cinema Scope, Summer 2004The Big Ones: Michael Moore, Fahrenheit 9/11 and the Birth of the Activist Blockbuster, The Village Voice, July 6, 2004"Paradise (Lost): Los Angeles on Film" at AMMI & "California Dreaming" at the Whitney, The Village Voice, July 6, 2004Tracy + The Plastics, Sound Collector Audio Review, No. 5, July, Net Art News, June 16, 2004 David Caffrey: Grand Theft Parsons, The Village Voice, June 15, 2004Todd Verow: Anonymous, The Village Voice, June 15, 2004David L. Robb: Operation Hollywood: How the Pentagon Shapes and Censors the Movies, The Village Voice, June 8, 2004Yvonne Rainer, The Village Voice, June 7, 2004Joshua Schachter:, Net Art News, May 31, 2004R. Trojan: Carlos Castaneda: Enigma of a Sorceror, The Village Voice, May 28, 2004Marco Filiberti: Adored: Diary of a Male Porn Star, The Village Voice, May 18, 2004 Mani Ratnam: Yuva, The Village Voice, May 24, 2004Ray Harryhausen, The Village Voice, May 3, 2004Tribeca Film Festival: Mania Akbari's Crystal and Bahman Ghobadi's War is Over!, The Village Voice, April 27, 2004Alexander Galloway: Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralization, The Village Voice, Education Supplement, Spring 2004, April 12, 2004Kevin Bray : Walking Tall, The Village Voice, March 30, 2004Whitney Biennial 2004, The Village Voice, March 17-23, 2004Jon Moritsugu & Craig Baldwin, The Village Voice, March 10-16, 2004Sarah Jacobson, 1971-2004, The Village Voice, February 25 - March 2, 2004Louis Crompton: Homosexuality and Civilization, Graham Robb: Strangers, James McCourt: Queer Street, The Village VoiceC. Jay Cox: Latter Days, The Village Voice, January 28 - February 3, 2004"Missionary Positioning: Indie Mormon Cinema Attempts a Mainstream Conversion", The Village Voice, January 16, 2004RedvsBlue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles, The Village Voice, December 31, 2003 - January 6, 2004

Surely, one of the aspects that held Bataille back from achieving the appreciation he deserved was the sexual explicitness of his writingoften published under pseudonyms. His work was integrated into the Surrealist movement spearheaded by Andre Breton in the 1930s. The pornographic element was seen as an appropriate means of subverting rational thought for the Surrealists. However, Bataille soon found himself banned from the group and personally attacked by Breton in his second volume of the Manifestoes of Surrealism. As time moved on and the writers listed above began to write more about Bataille and his work, it became obvious what an important contribution Bataille's work was to semiotics, history, sexuality, fiction, and philosophy.

[3] It may come as no surprise that the text from which I intend to extract the bulk of my theorizing is Bataille's short novel, The Story of The Eye. Bataille's debut was first published in 1928, under the pseudonym Lord Auch. The book is emblematic of Bataille's multivalent compositional style. The text may be read as Pornography, Horror, Surrealism, or quite easily a combination of all three. The story is comprised of three characters and chronicles their debauched escapades involving everything from violent orgies to murder and rape. One of the three, the female Simone, develops a fetish for eggs. She likes to drop them in the toilet and urinate on them as well as sit on them. This fetish eventually extends to the eyeball and reaches its apex during the murder of a priest at the end of the book. Throughout the text, Bataille allows for many examples that draw a comparison between eyes and eggs. "It was after such dreams that Simone would ask me to bed her down on blankets by the toilet and fix her wide eyes on the white eggs" (37, italics are the author's own). What results from Simone's (Bataille's) fetishising of the eyeball is the construction of a system of coding that has its beginning in, not the eyeball exactly, but rather what Roland Barthes terms the globularan undefined, circular shape. My discussion of the globular, thus has its origins in Barthes' influential essay on Bataille, however, I am concerned with removing Barthes' theory from its psychoanalytical base.

[5] Despite this inevitable entropy of the system, it is the multivalent manner of the object that will allow cross-gender identification (which I will go into further later) for the viewer of the films I am discussing. There is another system of coding at work that is concerned with urine, blood, milk, and ejaculate, but it is not pertinent to my discussion. Barthes, whose influential essay on Bataille's story also comments on the question of metaphor and how it operates within a system of coding, suggests the "fundamental form subsists through the movement of a nomenclature, like that of a topological space; for here each inflection is a new name that utters a new usage" (240). The code remains pure throughout its metamorphosis and Barthes is quite lucid about this idea in his analysis. However, Barthes' work is not without its problems. As I will note in discussing Fulci's film, Freud's theories of the phallus not only plague Horror film theory, but Barthes' essay as well.

[6] Freudian/Lacanian theory has been more often integrated into the critical discourse of the Horror film than almost any other approach. It seems only appropriate to attribute the knife of the "stalk-and-slash" genre to the male sexual organ, and to read the bloody death of the female victim as an exhibition of rape and male orgasm. While analysis such as the one above may be common, this is not to say there has not been some innovation in the way critics have used Freud in discussing the Horror film. Barbara Creed presents a re-telling of the Little Hans story that provided Freud with his concept of the castrated woman. In Creed's reading, it is not the woman who is castrated, but rather who presents the threat of castration. In the opening to the second part of her book, The Monstrous Feminine, Creed iterates, "Freud argued that woman terrifies because she is castrated. I will argue that woman also terrifies because man endows her with imaginary powers of castration" (87). (ii) While I applaud Creed's valuable work on the Horror film, I feel we can only reach deeper into the Horror film by collapsing all gender and sex binaries and through this create a purely fleshy and polymorphic tapestry to scan the surface of, in order to reach the pure essence of the Horror film.


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