Sunday, 22 March 2009

Writing week, day five: GEORGES BATAILLE

To a greater or lesser extent, everyone depends on stories, on novels, to discover the manifest truth in life. Only such stories, read sometimes in a trance, have the power to confront a person with his fate. This is why we must keep passionately striving after what constitutes a story: how should we orient our efforts to renew or, rather, to perpetuate the novel?
Many minds are no doubt preoccupied with various techniques that will compensate for the surfeit of familiar forms. But what is the point in this – assuming that we wish to find out what a novel might be – unless first of all a ground is ascertained and clearly delineated? A story that reveals the possibilities of life is not necessarily an appeal; but it does appeal to a moment of fury without which its author would remain blind to these possibilities, which are of excess. Of this I am sure: only an intolerable, impossible ordeal can give an author the means of achieving that wide-ranging vision that readers weary of the narrow limitations imposed by convention are waiting for.
How can we linger over books to which their authors have manifestly not been driven?

Extract from the author’s foreword (1957), Blue of Noon

Georges Bataille Wikipedia page

Article on the Hayward Gallery's Undercover Surrealism exhibition: LINK

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