This book by the philosophical theorist and member of the Surrealist movement Georges Bataille takes us on a nihilistic journey through sexual depravity and ecstasy during the rise of Fascism before the second world war. In the words of Will Self, in the Introduction, Blue of Noon is a novel that is as driven as a car whose driver has lost control. Troppmann the protagonist drinks to severe excess, womanises and is on the verge of despair. His wife Dirty who is introduced in the first chapter thoroughly drunk in the Savoy hotel in London is in an even more disgusting state than Troppmann and together they are driving each other to the brink. His wife separates from him and moves to Brighton leaving Troppmann to lead a dishevelled life of depravity and alcoholic excess in Paris. He visits Lazare a young communist whose ideology he finds as repugnant as her looks. Visiting friends in a nightclub he seduces Xenie by stabbing her in the thigh with a fork. He calls upon Xenie to visit him when he falls ill and scares her half to death whilst trying to seduce her. He visits Barcelona just as the General Strike is called and summons Xenie to him as well as his wife. Xenie gets caught up in the shooting and is terrified. Troppmann is reunited with his wife and together they make mad passionate love in the earth above a graveyard. This story is of one man's madness and depravity with allegories for the coming war. A rewarding read of nihilism at its worst.
This report prepared by John Marcel