Comparative spaces and seeing seduction and horror in bataille
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
Purdue University Press
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In his article, "Comparative Spaces and Seeing Seduction and Horror in Bataille," Benton Jay Komins explores Bataille's preoccupation with "seeing": The eye holds a preeminently ambiguous position in Georges Bataille's universe of enucleated priests and scatological window scenes. Komins' comparative examination presents several aspects of Bataille's eyes: Existing between fascination and revulsion, this most Bataillean organ moves between subjective vision and objective blindness. The eye both captures and is captured in episodes of seductive horror. Through the denigration of vision, Bataille's dethroned eye exceeds the confines of visuality. Bataille develops an extraordinary notion of ocularity -- as a metaphor, action, and traumatic fixation - in his novels, autobiographical notes, and critical writing. His compelling eyes surface between written genres and lived experience, that is to say, in the comparative space between the phantasmatic and the social, inviting psychological and historical analysis.