Madame Edwarda and Dead in the Water: Tales from the Crypt (Volume II) By Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle

by on Feb.17, 2013

Tales from the Crypt: Volume II
By Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle

“C’mon R.I.P. her to shreds!” (Blondie)


SPOILER WARNING!!! Red Alert! Go to DEFCON ONE! If you haven’t read Madame Edwarda (Georges Bataille) do it now. Those ten tormented pages will unhinge your mind. For I am posed now to disclose its source in a triple XXX exclusive, never before unveiled by any body’s corpse.

I revere Edwarda for its punch, a Round 1 knockout. Though nothing can diminish such audacity and power, my insight, which ensues, might telegraph that blow.

Madame Edwarda, published variously under Pierre Angélique*/Georges Bataille from 1941 to 1956. Translated by Austryn Wainhouse.

“I guess what you want is to see the old rag and ruin,” she said.

She was seated, she held one leg stuck up in the air, to open her crack yet wider she used fingers to draw the folds of skin apart. And so Madame Edwarda’s “old rag and ruin” loured at me, hairy and pink, just as full of life as some loathsome squid. “Why,” I stammered in a subdued tone, “why are you doing that?” You can see for yourself,” she said, “I’m GOD!” I’m going crazy—” “Oh no you don’t. You’ve got to see, look . . .”

“Oh, listen, fellow! The fun I’ve had . . .”

En Rade (Dead in the Water) by Joris-Karl Huysmans, 1887

Infinitely less (in)famous, yet this proves it was first! We know Huysman’s Au Rebours/Against Nature, doubtless too his satanist La Bas. Breton acclaimed En Rade, alerting readers to its atrociousness Anno Domini 1927.

Given moment, mayhem & milieu, plus the two Surrealist Manifestos soon flayed by Bataille’s Un Cadavre, blood-gutting Breton†; such spotlighting could not evade “P. Angelique.”

Unstoppable force meets immovable object. Fuck don’t mean soft focus. Verily his rendezvous, while formidable, turned formative, as well.

Observe Edwarda stars as harlot prime beneath the arch of St Denis, gateway still today (tonight . . .) to a game streetwalkers’ lewd pavane. Huysman’s “Truth” disports atop another stone hewn Paris wonder, Saint-Sulpice, where she displays her worn out wares from its splayed bell towers.

“OMG! Wotta fuggin’ woman!” Sprawled athwart the spires of Saint Sulpice—meowing as her cats paw heels rap against its sides, O you sordid whore, laugh, cackle; jeer! Spread jaws. Open knees. Between ‘em bleeds a patch of weeds, poxy as the padding in any sodden pallet. This abominable slut can only be TRUTH . . .

“Flaccid, parched, crass and (ugh) egregiously marred, thus men pig-stick her for years. Isn’t Truth the lowest prostitute of mind, Crack whore of our souls? Belial knows but from the jump how she debauched all comers: artists, popes, chowder-heads; kings. Truth’s the town doorknob: everyone gets a turn.

“Supernatural—we aver, earthy—they avow, she sews conviction ‘cross spring’s meadow for spirits pure and void; flatters each according to his temperament, age, pet peeves and predilections, offering herself in ass-cocked postures to their lust for certitude.

“Yuck!” thinks, Jack, “I am so done with that. She’s rotten to the core.”

*Stone Angel
† Bataille called Breton “the castrated lion.”

Translation mine. See Becalmed, Joris-Karl Huysmans, 1992, Atlas Press.

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