Death by a Thousand Cuts is certainly one of the most gruesome photographs in the history of visual culture. I first encountered the photo online and later when I purchased Georges Bataille’s The Tears of Eros (currently available from City Lights). The version above is from the Dutch booklet Kaarten (1967, published by Born N.V.) an excellent little study by Drs. P on his postcards with a full bibligraphy on contemporary books on collecting postcards which even mentions Ado Kyrou’s treaty of the subject, L’age d’or de la carte postale (1966) which I have in my collection.
What is particular of this postcard is its obvious censorship. And actually, for once I’m really satisfied that the photograph has been censored, because I would not like to show it to you in its original version. The notes to the postcard read “Ling-chi” or “One thousand cuts”, the barbarous death penalty for a parricide in China. Published by Karl Lewis, no. 102, Honmura Road, Yokohama, Japan.