While I'm on the topic of Bataille and the labyrinth, his use of the image is of some interest. Recent scholars have identified the Minotaur as a solar personification worshiped by the Cretans during their control of the Aegean, which the Greeks were forced to pay tribute to. The myth of the slaying of the Minotaur, by this logic, was propaganda for the Greeks winning independence from Crete, having a secondary and more lasting implication of Daedelus' civilizing craftsmanship, the ascent of law, specialization, and bureaucracy over animality, though the Minotaur was not necessarily a less evolved creature but the product of Pasiphaë disguising herself as a cow to copulate with a bull, a costume André Masson, a close friend of both Bataille and Breton, chose to forget while composing his 1938 rendition of the event (left, below) though he remembers her horns in a crayon sketch (right, below):
Though Picasso said "If all the ways I have been along were marked on a map and joined up with a line, it might represent a minotaur," his Minotaur phase began after he did the cover for the first issue of Minotaur in 1933, which the Swiss publisher Albert Skira signed Breton onto after developing the concept with Bataille. Breton and Bataille's rivalry crystallized in Breton's attack on him 1929's Second Surrealist Manifesto, which Bataille was quick to see the merits of. The two contributed pieces to Minotaur and arranged a rapprochement in 1935 to collaborate on the magazine Countre-Attaque*, at a time when leftists were united against Fascist riots in Paris amid Hitler's Chancellorship to the North leading to the most animated protests since the Commune and Léon Blum becoming Prime Minister. Previous to this, Picasso was keen to play both ends to win over the Paris avant-garde, seeking to maintain Breton's critical support while Bataille ran a special Picasso issue of his Documents in 1930. For Minotaur, Breton wrote his first major essay on Picasso in 1933.
Having Bataille compare you to Icarus was high praise, meaning you had taken one for the team, which he reserved for the Surrealists in response to the Second Manifesto ("The transformation of Icarian reflexes into a pathetic-comic and gratuitous literature is doubtless surrealism's more striking characteristic") and for Picasso ("what ruptures the highest elevation.. is only noticeable in the paintings of Picasso"), both in essays in or around 1930. Bataille's 1927 Surrealist-influenced prose poem The Solar Anus, begins "It is clear the world is purely parodic.. all things would be visibly connected if one could discover at a single glance and in its totality the tracings of Ariadne's thread** leading thought into its own labyrinth.. when I scream I AM THE SUN an integral erection results, because the verb to be is the vehicle of amorous frenzy," published with Masson's illustrations in 1931, a year after the Picasso essay "the bull himself is also an image of the sun, but only with his throat slit***." In 1935-6's "The Labyrinth" "THE UNIVERSAL resembles a bull.. sometimes hurled by the rage of ruin into the void ceaselessly opened before it by a skeletal torero" identifiying the bullfight as a labyrinth concurrent with Picasso's etching the Minotauromachia, which appears to depict Marie-Thérèse Walter as a wounded, skeletal torera attached to a horse and also the bearer of the light that the bull hurls itself at. Juan Larrea remembered "hearing from (Picasso's) own lips as an obiter dictum that in pictures from a certain period of his artistic development, the horse generally represents a woman who played an exceptionally important part in his life."
at characteristic length as a poetic tension between the servile and the sovereign, the latter being similar to the independent Cogito, Sein, and/or Pure Immanence (pick one).
Claude Cahun participated in, before leaving it with Breton the following year over uneasiness about Bataille's political positions
** "till Theseus, son
of Aegeus, slew him and retraced his way,
finding the path by Ariadne's thread.." Ovid, Metamorphosis
*** "Sun slit throat"