Satisfied that the photograph has been censored

Thousand cuts

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.

6 thoughts on “Satisfied that the photograph has been censored

  1. jahsonic

    Thanks Clo, I believe we have discussed the series of Thousand Cuts. It was the first photo I willfully removed from I would never ever dream of showing pictures like this to children. The engravings you just showed me are more aestheticized and do not present the same problem, thanks for the link.

    Would you like to go see La sconosciuta with me during the upcoming holidays? Or perhaps Atonement?

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