Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939
by Bataille, Georges (1985)
Since the publication of Visions of Excess in 1985, there has been an explosion of interest in the work of Georges Bataille. The French surrealist continues to be important for his groundbreaking focus on the visceral, the erotic, and the relation of society to the primeval. This collection of prewar writings remains the volume in which Batailles’s positions are most clearly, forcefully, and obsessively put forward.This book challenges the notion of a “closed economy” predicated on utility, production, and rational consumption, and develops an alternative theory that takes into account the human tendency to lose, destroy, and waste. This collection is indispensible for an understanding of the future as well as the past of current critical theory.Georges Bataille (1897-1962), a librarian by profession, was founder of the French review Critique. He is the author of several books, including Story of the Eye, The Accused Share, Erotism, and The Absence of Myth.
Simple and strong life, which has not yet been destroyed by functional servility, is possible only to the extent that it has ceased to subordinate itself to some particular project, such as acting, depicting, or measuring; it depends on the image of destiny , on the seductive and dangerous myth with which it feels itself to be in silent solidarity. A human being is dissociated when he devotes himself to a useful labor, which has no sense by itself; he can only find the plenitude of total life when seduced. (p.228)
KeywordsBataille, Surrealism, French, Critical Theory, Excess, Twentieth Century, Philosophy
ThemesVisions of Excess, Bataille Citations
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