"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson

Friday, December 17, 2010

"Correspondence" by Georges Bataille and Michel Leiris (Translated by Liz Heron)

A very interesting book that is not only a selected correspondence between the titans of kink and intellectual thought - Georges Bataille and Michel Leiris - but also some memoir writing from each writer about the other - in a sense. Bataille's journal is more personal and emotionally forward - where Leiris is cool and kind of logical. 

But the beauty of the book is the history of their friendship. In the 30's there were issues that looks like it will tear their relationship apart - but over time, it seemed to be forgotten. One of many many arguments and counter-arguments in the world of Andre Breton and his Surrealist group. 

And again, the book is not a straight ahead collection of letters between the two writers, there is also a very thoughtful afterword by Bernard Noel as well as countless footnotes focusing on various (some obscure) names that come in their correspondence. Well-researched and of course totally fascinating look into the passionate viewpoints of Bataille and Leiris.

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