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Modern Classics Literature And Evil (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – International Edition, July 31, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Bataille is one of the most important writers of the twentieth century -- Michel Foucault Bataille intellectualizes the erotic, as he eroticizes the intellect ... reading him can be a disturbing kind of game The New York Times

About the Author

Georges Bataille, French essayist and novelist, was born in 1897. He converted to Catholicism, then to Marxism, and was interested in psychoanalysis and mysticism. As curator of the municipal library in Orleans, he led a relatively simple life, although he became involved, usually on the fringes, with the surrealist movement. He founded the literary review Critique in 1946, which he edited until his death in 1962, and was also a founder of the review Documents, which published many of the leading surrealist writers. His writing is a mixture of poetry and philosophy, fantasy and history, and his first novel, Story of the Eye, was written under the pseudonym of Lord Auch. Bataille's other works include the novels Blue of Noon, L'Abbé C and My Mother, and the volumes of essays Eroticism and Literature and Evil.
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Modern Classics
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classic (July 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141195576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141195575
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,377,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
In standardly written stories, conflict is not a convenience as much as it is a necessary component. What are stories, then, but places where authors create needless or unnecessary conflicts for their characters to overcome so as to either progress the plot or develop the personality traits of said protagonists? As such, aren't all stories, in a sense, evil? After all, could a story that didn't include a sense of conflict actually entertain? Furthermore, could a story, absent of evil, actually engage an audience for hours on end?

Think of a story that did not have any conflict in it whatsoever: a place or setting where all people lived in a state of peace. Admittedly, it is a difficult thing to do. For, in such a peaceful setting, where conflict does not occur, there is no story. In order for an author to create a story, they would first have to disrupt this sense of peace. They would then need to implement an oppressive form of power (an antagonistic entity), calling for the creation of conflict between characters, which could then be resolved through the shaping of some type of narrative structure. In a sense, creating a story (more importantly, one with a plot) is the act of putting power conflicts in the place of calm and peaceful settings.

Though many postmodern writers (and other writers still interested in experimentation) have attempted to create seemingly plot-less stories that do not rely on the creation of conflict, it is currently rare to see authors' stories be centered around peaceful settings. And those stories that are, are generally not ones that are going to be seen as entertaining in the eyes of an audience.
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