By Georges Bataille, Harry Mathews
Set opposed to the backdrop of Europe's slide into Fascism, Blue of Noon is a blackly compelling account of depravity and violence. As its narrator lurches despairingly from urban to urban in a surreal sexual and psychological nightmare of squalor, sadism and drunken encounters, his inner cave in mirrors the struggling with and marching at the streets outdoors. Exploring the darkish forces underneath the outside of civilization, this can be a novel torn among picking with history's sufferers and being seduced by means of the significant glamour of its bad victors, and is among the 20th century's nice nihilist works.
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Additional resources for Blue of Noon
The impact of repression was also weakened by the tension which continued to exist between the various monarchist factions, in spite of their shared fear of social revolution. Memories of past conflicts, ideological divisions, personal rivalries and suspicion of the Prince-President’s ambitions ensured that the Party of Order remained divided. Bonapartism, although enjoying considerable popular support, gained little sympathy among the political elites. Yet, as the prospect of a démoc17 soc electoral victory in 1852 drew closer, as the ‘red spectre’ became ever more real and rumours of socialist plots were given greater credence, the willingness of notables to accept more extreme measures to preserve ‘order’ became increasingly pronounced.
A much remarked upon manifestation of this weakening of popular Legitimism was provided by the enthusiastic reception given to the imperial couple by parish priests and their flocks during their visit to Brittany in 1858. Mass electoral support for the regime was partly the result of official election management degenerating at times into coercion and the ability to make use of the social influence of local elites and of the clergy. In most departments, given the small number of bureaucrats, the government acted through the existing elites and inadvertently strengthened their local authority.
Even at this stage, however, prefects were increasingly anxious, especially about the cities in which supervision of the electorate was always so difficult. Much of the support for the regime, particularly from the elites, had always been conditional and far from wholehearted. It declined as the threat of a revolutionary upheaval diminished. The state prosecutor at Aix-en-Provence reported with regret, as early as 16 June 1855, that ‘if the government has few really dangerous enemies, the number of genuinely serious adherents upon whom it could count in a critical situation appears extremely restrained’.