Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Ecce MonstrumGeorges Bataille and the Sacrifice of Form$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jeremy Biles

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780823227785

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823227785.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use (for details see www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 17 December 2018

Ecstatic and Intolerable: The Provocations of Friendship

Ecstatic and Intolerable: The Provocations of Friendship

(p.9) One Ecstatic and Intolerable: The Provocations of Friendship
Ecce Monstrum

Jeremy Biles

Fordham University Press

In poor health, Georges Bataille, with the assistance of his friend J. M. Lo Duca, wrote the text that would accompany the images he had collected and arranged with scrupulous care during the previous two years. Among the dozens of images comprised in this book are four photos of a man undergoing the punitive process known as the lingchi, translated as “death by a thousand cuts” or the “hundred pieces”. This mode of torture and execution entails the dismemberment and evisceration of its victim. It is worth inquiring into the question mark that punctuates Bataille's description of the victim in this photo as “ecstatic” and “intolerable”. Despite the inability to decide upon the victim's inner state—which is, of course, unknowable—the horror of the photo gives rise to an ecstatic experience, for it is in the “violence of the image” that Bataille discerns “an infinite capacity for reversal” between antinomies, a revelation of the “fundamental connection” between “divine ecstasy and its opposite, extreme horror”.

Keywords:   Lo Duca, divine ecstasy, reversal, violence, lingchi, extreme horror, torture

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .