Blue of Noon
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Le Bleu du Ciel (Eng: Blue of Noon) is a novella of erotic fiction written in 1935 by French author Georges Bataille. Its theme is anti-fascism. Harry Matthews translated it into English in 1978 for Marion Boyars Publishers. It features a scene of necrophilia as a metaphor for warmongering. Todorov in The Fantastic compares a story by Théophile Gautier on necrophilia with Georges Bataille's frank account in realistic terms of a necrophiliac near-encounter in Le Bleu du Ciel.
- "There is a qualitative difference between the personal possibilities of a nineteenth-century author and those of a contemporary author. We may recall the devious means a Gautier had to employ in order to describe his character's necrophilia, the whole ambiguous business of vampirism." -- page 159
Henri Troppmann is living in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War of the mid-thirties, and its closing phases. He is torn between two different women. One of them, Xenie, is a Marxist Jew and political activist, who is preparing herself for prospective torture and martyrdom at the hand of General Francisco Franco's troops if she is captured. "Dirty" (or Dorothea, modeled after Colette Peignot) is an incontinent, unkempt alcoholic who repeatedly has sex with Troppmann. Troppmann has to choose between the abject Dirty and her associations of sex, disease, excrement and decay, and the politically engaged Xenie, and her ethical values of commitment, resistance and endurance. While seeing Xenie beneath a tree, Troppmann realises that he respects her for her social conscience, but also views her as a rat, but chooses Dirty instead. The two copulate within a bone-strewn graveyard, and spy a group of Hitler Youth from Nazi Germany who appear to be visiting Spain. Troppmann and Dirty have a vision of the youth's fanaticism as prelude to their probable deaths on future World War II battlefields. However, both leave for Germany the next day.
- Georges Bataille: Le Bleu du Ciel: Roman: Paris: J.Pauvert: 1967.