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By Georges Bataille, Harry Mathews

ISBN-10: 0241215390

ISBN-13: 9780241215395

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 battling and marching at the streets outdoor. Exploring the darkish forces underneath the outside of civilization, it is a novel torn among making a choice on with history's sufferers and being seduced by means of the vast glamour of its negative victors, and is without doubt one of the 20th century's nice nihilist works.

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Long before the days of railroads, the canal and river systems rendered it relatively easy to move heavy freight from one end to the other of the country, giving a great impetus toward national unity not enjoyed by lands more dependent for communications on carts and packhorses: and even now in the days of railroads the river barge has been a serious competitor to the freight train. Making the circuit of the French coasts one finds a succession of important rivers, and along the banks of each thereof lie numerous famous cities and millions of prosperous people.

Warm thanks also are due to my colleagues Dean Guy S. Ford and Professors M. W. Tyler and A. C. Krey, of the History Department of this university, for careful reading of the manuscript, and for many valuable suggestions and corrections. W. S. D. The University of Minnesota Minneapolis, Minn. CHAPTER I. " This statement was all the more true on the eve of the Great War in 1914. To understand the history of any country, however, it is absolutely necessary to understand something of its geography, and geographical factors have influenced the history of France certainly as much as that of any great nation of the Old World save possibly in the case of England.

Usually they dwelt in tribes each under its elected or hereditary chief, with his Druids for advisers or spiritual masters, and his body of warriors who chose or confirmed him and then fought his battles. Below the warriors was a less honorable company of the servile men and of the women who performed the inglorious works of peace, tilled the fields, pounded the grain, and reared the children, while their lords lolled on their bearskins, drank much home-brewed liquor or choicer wines from Greek traders, gambled, quarreled, hunted, and waited a summons to battle.

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Blue of Noon by Georges Bataille, Harry Mathews

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