Few stars have risen in the intellectual firmament as rapidly as that of Georges Bataille. When his The Story of the Eye was published in English translation in 1977,1 few people would have imagined that within ten years its author would have become one of the most talked about thinkers of the age. That The Story of the Eye should have been published by Marion Boyers, a publisher specialising in important foreign-language authors with a restricted audience, seemed appropriate. In 1982, however, the story was reprinted in paperback by Penguin, something that offered a clear sign that a writer had ‘arrived’. Since then translations of his work have come thick and fast.