…he does not write masterpieces, he writes against them…”
…….– Georges Bataille
from Bataille’s essay The Human Face:
It was only until the first years of the nineteenth century that the extravagance of involuntary contradiction and of senile paradox had free rein; since then white men and women have, as we know, tenaciously persisted in their efforts to regain, at last, a human face. Those wasp-waisted corsets scattered throughout provincial attics are now the prey of moths and flies, the hunting grounds of spiders. As to the tiny cushions which long served to emphasize those forms of extreme plumpness, they now haunt only the ghastly brains of those greybeards, expiring daily beneath their weird grey bowlers, who still dream of flabby torsos strangled in the obsessive play of lace and whalebone. And within the image of the earth’s globe seen trampled underfoot by a dazzling American film star in a bathing suit, we may catch the sound, muffled but heady nonetheless, of a cock’s crow. And why blush at that sudden fascination? Why not admit that our few remaining heady dreams are traced by the swift bodies of young American girls? Thus if anything can still draw sobs for all that has just vanished, it is no longer a great singer’s beauty, but mere perversity, sordid and deluded. To us, so many strange, merely half-monstrous individuals seem to persist in empty animation, like the jingle of the music box, in innocent vice, libidinous heat, lyrical fumes. So that despite all antithetical obsession, there is absolutely no thought of dispensing with this hateful ugliness, and we will yet catch ourselves some day, eyes suddenly dimmed and brimming with inadmissible tears, running absurdly towards some provincial haunted house, nastier than flies, more vicious, more rank than a hairdresser’s shop.