Synopses & Reviews
Since the publication in France of his Oeuvres Complètes
in the mid-1970s, the breadth of Bataille's writing and influence has become increasingly apparent across the disciplines in, for example, the fields of literature, art, art history, philosophy, critical theory, sociology, economics, and anthropology. He is now held by many to be one of the most profound thinkers of the century, the enormous ramifications of whose work have yet to be fully grasped.
In response to this growing interest, The Bataille Reader includes key texts from the broad spectrum of Bataille's work, from the early essays interrogating surrealism and cultural politics in the 1930s, down to texts from The Accursed Share (1949, translated 1988), a major engagement in post-Marxist economic theory generally regarded as being his most important work. Generous coverage is given to Bataille's speculations, also of the 1930s, on the limits of being, experience and identity, as well as to his post-war engagements with existentialism, Marxism, and Hegelianism. The major texts are interspersed with some of the brilliantly punctual essays Bataille produced throughout his career as a prolific essayist, reviewer and originator of highly-influential journals, such as Documents, Acephale and Critique. Clearly introduced and comprehensively annotated by the editors, this book provides the best single-volume coverage of Bataille's work available.
Since the publication in France of his Oeuvres Completes in the mid-1970s, the breadth of Bataille's writing and influence has become increasingly apparent across the disciplines in, for example, the fields of literature, art, art history, philosophy, critical theory, sociology, economics, and anthropology.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -347) and index.
About the Author
Fred Botting and Scott Wilson both teach in the Department of English at Lancaster University. They are co-editors of George Bataille: A Critical Reader (1997). Fred Bottings publications include Gothic (1996). Scott Wilson is the author of Cultural Materialism: Theory and Practice (Blackwell Publishers, 1995).
Table of Contents
Introduction: From Experience to Economy.
Part I: Inner Experience: .
4. The Torment.
9. Autobiographical Note.
Part II: Heterology:.
10. Program (Relative to Acéphale).
11. The Psychological Structure of Fascism.
12. The Use-Value of D. A. F. de Sade.
13. Base Materialism and Gnosticism.
Part III: General Economy:.
14. The Notion of Expenditure.
15. The Meaning of General Economy.
16. Laws of General Economy.
17. The Gift of Rivalry.
18. Sacrifice, the Festival and the Principles of the Sacred World.
Part IV: Eroticism:.
19. Mme Edwarda.
20. Preface to the History of Eroticism.
22. The Festival, or the Transgression of Prohibitions.
23. The Phaedra Complex.
24. Desire Horrified at Losing and at Losing Oneself.
25. The Object of Desire and the Totality of the Real.
26. Epilogue to the History of Eroticism.
Part V: Sovereignty:.
27. To Whom.
28. Hegel, Death and Sacrifice.
29. Letter to X.
30. Knowledge of Sovereignty.
31. The Schema of Sovereignty.
32. Un-knowing and its Consequences.
33. Un-knowing and Rebellion.
34. On Nietzsche: The Will to Chance.