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Ecce HomoThe Male-Body-in-Pain as Redemptive Figure$
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Kent L. Brintnall

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226074696

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226074719.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 March 2020

Prelude

Prelude

Chapter:
(p.1) Prelude
Source:
Ecce Homo
Author(s):

Kent L. Brintnall

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226074719.003.0001

This book begins by focusing on the concluding paragraphs of the final chapter of Georges Bataille's last book, which reflected on photographs of a Chinese man undergoing lingchi, a form of public execution accomplished by severing limbs and ripping flesh from the victim's body. The text records that “this photograph had a decisive role in [Bataille's] life.” According to Bataille, it reveals an intimate connection between religious and erotic experiences, an ecstatic rupture both blissful and horrific. In a recent study of the practice of lingchi in China and representations of lingchi in European scholarship, the authors fault Bataille for imposing a “mask of ecstatic suffering” that burdens the tortured person, consequently concealing him.

Keywords:   lingchi, Georges Bataille, public execution, ecstatic rupture, ecstatic suffering

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