New York: Marion Boyars, 1985. 1st US Edition. Octavo, publisher's green textured paper-covered boards, spine gilt, original green dust jacket lettered in white.
"Literature is not innocent. It is guilty and should admit itself so." First US edition of prominent French intellectual and eroticist Georges Bataille’s writings on literature. Originally published in France in 1957 (and in the UK in 1973), Bataille’s collection of eight essays explores the nature of good and evil in literature through profiles on authors and their works, including Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal, and the writings of de Sade, Kafka, and Sartre. Through his extensive analyses, Bataille posits that it is the responsibility of the writer to portray evil (rather than advocate for evil) in order to elicit a response in the reader that will ideally lead to an individual interrogation of the immemorial dichotomy. Translated from the French by English historian Alastair Hamilton. Some underlining and marginal checkmarks in red ink to first two essays. Owner signature to front flyleaf. Light foxing and faint dampstaining to verso of unclipped dust jacket. Near fine. Item #2413