Georges Bataille links eroticism and shame  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

For Georges Bataille, eroticism emerges during the decisive passage from animality to humanity. In Erotism: Death and Sensuality he writes:

Traces of work appear in the Lower Paleolithic era and the earliest burial we know of goes back to the Middle Paleolithic. Of course we are talking about eras which lasted hundreds of thousands of years according to our present calculation; these interminable millenia correspond with man's slow shaking-off of his original animal nature. He emerged from it by working, by understanding his own mortality and by moving imperceptibly from unashamed sexuality to sexuality with shame, which gave birth to eroticism... --Erotism: Death and Sensuality
En vérité, il s'agit de temps qui durèrent des centaines de milliers d'années : ces interminables millénaires correspondent à la mue dans laquelle l'homme se dégagea de l'animalité première. II en sortit en travaillant, en comprenant qu'il mourait et en glissant de la sexualité sans honte a la sexualité honteuse, dont l'érotisme découla




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