Chapter

<span class="smallCaps">The Transgressive and the Erotic</span>

in Imaginative Horizons

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780226118734
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226118758 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226118758.003.0006
The Transgressive and the Erotic

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Transgression is not the negation of a prohibition, a taboo; it goes beyond that prohibition and completes it. Prohibition and transgression form an ensemble which defines social life. This chapter revolves around Billy-George who was a cross-dresser. Billy-George's life seems rather more a story than a life. Billy-George stresses the violence of his illness and hospital experiences in such a way that, whatever their reality, they become the narrative ground of his story-life. Bataille's understanding of the erotic rests on its association with death and sacrifice. Life is characterized by discontinuity; death—a dissolution of particularized being—by continuity. The whole business of eroticism is to destroy the self-contained character of the participators as they are in their normal lives. Erotic relations are always violent.

Keywords: transgression; prohibition; erotic; death; sacrifice

Chapter.  10365 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology

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