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The Bataille Reader

Fred Botting (Editor), Scott Wilson (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-631-19958-8 September 1997 Wiley-Blackwell 368 Pages


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.

Introduction: From Experience to Economy.

Part I: Inner Experience: .

1. Chance.

2. Guilt.

3. Laughter.

4. The Torment.

5. Christ.

6. Love.

7. Life.

8. Poetry.

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.

21. Death.

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.



"Bataille: A Critical Reader is a careful selection of some of the best and most interesting critical work on this elusive and often obscure thinker." University of Sussex

  • Selects work by a major seminal figure in the evolution of French theory.

  • Offers key coverage across the enormous breadth of Bataille's work.

  • Affords an ideal moment in the centenary year of Bataille's birth to review his achievement.