Daily and naive clinical cases of sexual awakening – or a renewed wakefulness to sexuality- but also to eroticism, lead us to revisit with adolescents what would be a red thread, monumental and eclectic, of George Bataille’s work, the dialectic of the forbidden and transgression. Without the transgression resulting from a deeply buried original drive force that is neither a moral or immoral instinct, life becomes inexistent; without prohibitions, the world collapses. Eroticism, which is shared pleasure, exchange and reciprocity, should be considered within a framework of rules, prohibitions even, which would model an instinctual life; not without a certain amount of anguish omnipresent throughout the author’s work, a certain “malaise, secret of the greatest pleasures”.
“My mother”, a posthumous novel (published in 1966, four years after George Bataille’s death), is the story of a mother's relationship with her son, Pierre, 17, the day after his father's death, violent, alcoholic, hated. Debauchery, perdition, orgy, perversion of the mother (and Pierre?), unavowable incestuous desire, sexual relations experienced in a quasi-psychotic mode so much “it is true that on two occasions at least we have allowed the delirium to bind us more deeply And more indefensibly than carnal union could have done.” For Bataille, this is the example of eroticization pushed to its extreme, the non “passage a l’acte” in a tormented and maddening chastity.
And of course, there is laughter, another keystone of the work of Georges Bataille since its beginnings around 1922; a revelation, an irony, a shaking, "a knowledge of the depths of the worlds," a suspended time in which the word can not express emotion, an outside world which not far from denying death, recalls and affirms it, and at the same time absolves (here incestuous desire).
The almost unspeakable childhood of Georges Bataille with a blind father and neuro-syphilitic dementia, abandoned in his paralytic chair by the family during the capture of Rouen by the Germans in 1914, found dead in 1915; a probably melancholic mother with at least two known suicide attempts; an adolescence marked by the encounter with and then the renunciation with religion; those are as many prisms through which one can read and understand “My mother.”