Reading: Visions of Excess: Pynchon and Bataille

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Visions of Excess: Pynchon and Bataille

Author:

Mark Robberds

Macquarie University
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Abstract

In Georges Bataille's Story of the Eye, the two protagonists conclude their escalating series of transgressions with the murder of a priest, the narrative effectively ending with the subsequent removal of the corpse's eye. A similar incident occurs in Pynchon's first novel, V., when a group of Maltese children discovers a priest trapped in the ruins of a bombed building. The children remove several of the priest's body parts, including one of the eyes. The rudimentary elements of this coincidence–that in both Bataille's and Pynchon's stories the moral character of the priest is dubious, and that in both cases the murder/ mutilation is carried out by children–warrant investigation. Beyond these primary concurrences, however, Pynchon and Bataille share a much broader intertextual space.
How to Cite: Robberds, M., (1997). Visions of Excess: Pynchon and Bataille. Pynchon Notes. (40-41), pp.19–27. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/pn.161
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Published on 22 Sep 1997.
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