by Bataille, Georges (1992)
A poetic, philosophical, and political account of Nietzsches importance to Bataille, and of Batailles experience in Nazi-occupied France.Georges Bataille wrote On Nietzsche in the final months of the Nazi occupation of France in order to cleanse the German philosopher of the stain of Nazism. More than merely a treatise on Nietzsche, the book is as much a work of ethics in which thought is put to the test of experience and experience pushed to its limits. At once personal and political, it was written as an act of war, its publication contingent upon the German retreat. The result is a poetic and philosophicaland occasionally harrowingrecord of life during wartime.Following Inner Experience and Guilty, On Nietzsche is the third volume of Batailles Summa Atheologica. Haunted by the recognition that existence cannot be at once autonomous and viable, herein the author yearns for community from the depths of personal isolation and transforms Nietzsches will to power into his own will to chance.This new translation includes Memorandum, a selection of 280 passages from Nietzsches works edited and introduced by Bataille. Originally published separately, Bataille planned to include the text in future editions of On Nietzsche. This edition also features the full notes and annotations from the French edition of Batailles Oeuvres Complètes, as well as an incisive introductory essay by Stuart Kendall that situates the work historically, biographically, and philosophically.
[quoting Ecce Homo I can '/ ",all efforts, there's no trace o[struggle in my life, and I'm the opposite of heroic natures. My experience knows nothing at all about what it means to "will" a thing or work at it ambitiously or relate to some goal or realization of desire. -Ecce Homo]So that ordinarily, mystical statts are conditioned by a search for salvation. It appears that the summits link between a mystical state and impoverished existence. with fear and greed expressed as values of decline. is in a sense superficial and very likely to be deeply fallacious. This doesn't make it any less what is the case. Solitary ascetics pursue an end whose means is ecstasy-and ascetics work for their salvation like merchants buying and selling with profit in mind or like workers sweating for their wages. If workers or merchants had wealth for the asking, without worries about a future. without fearing death or destruction. they'd leave their workplace or business without further ado and seek out whatever dangerous pleasures presented themselves. A5 for ascetics: by falling into common human misery, they become possessed by a possibility of undertaking the lengthy work of deliverance. Ascetic practices are human precisely insofar as they aren't much different from surveying work. To be sure, the greatest difficulty in the end is to take cognizance of that limitation. Without the bait of salvation (or something like it), who could ever discover the mystical way? People must have agreed among themselves (or among others), that this or that is advisable in view of this or that result, this or that gain. Without these crude artifices they wouldn't have committed themselves to the behaviour that marks out decline (the infinite sadness, the ridiculous seriousness required by effort!). Isn't it obvious? As soon as I say-oh why give a damn about some future!-then and there I break into infinite laughter. At the same moment, though, I've lost the reason to make efforts. (p.35)
KeywordsNietzsche, Bataille, German, Political Theory, War, Nazism, National Socialism, Wartime
ThemesOn Nietzsche, Bataille Citations
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