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by Allan Stoekl,Georges Bataille

Download Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939 fb2, epub

ISBN: 0816612838
Author: Allan Stoekl,Georges Bataille
Language: English
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press; 1st edition (June 20, 1985)
Pages: 271
Category: Essays & Correspondence
Subcategory: Literature
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 377
Size Fb2: 1741 kb
Size ePub: 1260 kb
Size Djvu: 1482 kb
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These (relatively early) writings will be of keen interest to those seriously studying Bataille, and particularly the development of his thought.

Customers who bought this item also bought. These (relatively early) writings will be of keen interest to those seriously studying Bataille, and particularly the development of his thought.

Volume 14. Georges Bataille Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939. A. S. Introduction Allan Stoekl. i. Georges Bataille was born in 1897 and died in 1962; thus he was the contemporary of Andre Breton (1896-1966) and Louis Aragon (1897-1982), among others

Volume 14. Visions of Excess Selected Writings, 1927-1939. Georges Bataille was born in 1897 and died in 1962; thus he was the contemporary of Andre Breton (1896-1966) and Louis Aragon (1897-1982), among others. Raised in and around Reims, Bataille experienced a difficult childhood at the hands of a paralyzed and blind, syphilitic father.

Georges Bataille was a French poet, novelist, and philosopher. He was born in Billon, Puy-de-Dome, in central France on September 10, 1897. His father was already blind and paralyzed from syphilis when Bataille was born. In 1915, Bataille's father died, his mind destroyed by his illness. The death marked his son for life. While working at the Bibliotheque National in Paris during the 1920s, Bataille underwent psychoanalysis and became involved with some of the intellectuals in the Surrealist movement, from whom he learned the concept of incongruous imagery in art.

Verstraete’s book is perhaps especially interesting for the ways in which its exploration of the feminine sublime intersect with recent work on both Byron and Joyce that revolves around the issue of gender

Stoekl, Carl R, Lovitt and Donald M. Leslie, Jr. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1985 ), p. 118. Verstraete’s book is perhaps especially interesting for the ways in which its exploration of the feminine sublime intersect with recent work on both Byron and Joyce that revolves around the issue of gender. While I agree with much of what Verstraete has to say, and find her book fascinating, my focus is not so much on the sublime per se as on the ordinary and the everyday, on the capacity of the non-dramatic negativity of the fragmentary work to disclose things as they are.

Other readers will always be interested in your opinion of the books you've read. Whether you've loved the book or not, if you give your honest and detailed thoughts then people will find new books that are right for them. 1. Postures of the Mind: Essays on Mind and Morals.

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Visions of Excess: Selected Writings 1927-1939, Allan Stoekl, Carl R. Lovitt, and Donald M. Leslie, J. 1985 . Michel Surya, Georges Bataille: an intellectual biography, 2002; Georges Bataille, Choix de lettres (Paris: NRF), 1997. 1985, University of Minnesota Press. Erotism: Death and Sensuality, Mary Dalwood, 1986, City Lights Books. Story of the Eye, Joachim Neugroschel, 1987, City Lights Books. Volume I: Consumption, Robert Hurley, 1988, Zone Books. Amine Benabdallah, "Georges Bataille et le fascisme: Vers une approche psychanalytique du concept d'Homo Sacer".

Selected Writings, 1927-1939. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Published by the University of Minnesota Press, 2037 University Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis MN 55414 Printed in the United States of America. Second printing, 1986.

Georges Bataille, in Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939. Georges Bataille hungry and immortal and infinite this world of ours seems a house of leaves Visions of Excess: Selected Writings 1927-1939 The Labyrinth nonfiction prose mysterium tremendum et fascinans the nameless black of a name x. 9 notes.

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.


To understand Bataille, it pays in any case to have read some Nietzsche, Marx, Hegel and Freud, since he draws a lot from these. Visions of Excess has a simply premise from Nietzsche, that when we are unhappy we lose all moderation and go into excess. Another Nietzschean premise is that those who a psychologically rich can afford to go into excess more than those who are psychologically impoverished. So it is that Bataille tries to appeal to a particular segment of society -- those who have been made to feel unhappy by their lack of power in relation to society's hierarchical structure, but who are nonetheless intrinsically rich enough, within themselves, to express a different kind of spirituality than those who are on top.

VISIONS OF EXCESS contains short meditations, some of them pornographic, but all of them in relation to the structure of psychology I have described. He sees society as a body, with the lower parts being more important than generally assumed. He likes the idea of a body without a head. He also likes the idea of challenging oneself with greater and greater forms of evil. This is a Nietzschean conception, that incorporating more evil into the consciousness expands the psyche in a beneficial way.

As Bataille points out in his short essay, there would have to be two "suns" for us, if we were to process the story of Icarus in accordance with what most people believe (falsely) about the nature of reality. Our priests throughout the ages have taught us to bifurcate reality, so that loss, decline and deterioration do not seem to be part of the essence of humanity at all.

The climbing to the height is one thing, and it is understood as a representation of one kind of reality. Let us call it will to power and ascendence through the ranks of homogeneity.

Then there is the cry of alarm, the melted wings and the terrifying falling, away, away from the sun. This registers to our socially conditioned minds as a state of heterogeneity. It registers as discordance, as formlessness. We are alarmed because we implicitly believe the possibility of continuing to ascend to heaven to be infinite. We relegate all fallen heroes to the parade of shame which is populated by those whom we consider to typify those elements of disruption and shame (the heterogeneous) who have no place in well-ordered society.

There is a certain point in Icarus' journey when upwards starts to become downwards. What was ecstasy becomes grief. To a compartmentalising mind, there can be no association between the spiritual (or psychological) pathway towards ecstasy and the one which leads to grief. They are two different pathways, with two different results. Thus, the bifurcation of the mind, which demands two suns, for Icarus's falling to the Earth is also a falling into the sun, to be burnt alive by human demands that prohibit a failure of any sort.

Bataille's insight is that loss can also be a gain, a thrill, a mode of ecstasy, for it is part of life: Indeed, there is only one "sun" (one realm of human experience), and Icarus is falling into it.
Wide ranging collection of essays. G Bataille includes, but doesn't dwell on, the unusual, hidden, or taboo in these analyses. This was my introduction to Bataille, a 20th century figure that I had heard compared to Nietzsche, and I was not disappointed. "The Labryinth" is a 6 page essay that is included in this collection, I immediately fell in love with the Labryinth - it is both abstract and cogent. A sense of brilliance and madness colors a lot of these writings.
This indispensable collection of writings by Georges Bataille will shock and amaze. The body of work herein is an ego-crushing outpouring of raw humanity. Highly Recommended!
Georges Albert Maurice Victor Bataille (1897–1962) was a French philosopher, novelist, and literary critic (and a librarian by profession); he wrote many books, including The Accursed Share: an Essay on General Economy, Vol. 1: Consumption,The Accursed Share, Vols. 2 and 3: The History of Eroticism and Sovereignty,On Nietzsche,The Impossible,The Tears of Eros, etc.

He begins as essay with the statement, “It is known that civilized man is characterized by an often inexplicable acuity of horror. The fear of insects is no doubt one of the most singular and most developed of these horrors as is, one is surprised to note, the fear of the eye. It seems impossible, in fact, to judge the eye using any word other than SEDUCTIVE, since nothing is more attractive in the bodies of the animals and men. But extreme seductiveness is probably at the boundary of horror.” (Pg. 17)

He states in another essay, “I admit that I have, in respect to mystical philosophies, only an unambiguous interest, analogous in practice to that of an uninfatuated psychiatrist toward his patients; it seems to me rather pointless to put one’s trust in tendencies that meeting without resistance, lead to the most pitiful dishonesty and bankruptcy. But it is difficult today to remain indifferent even to partly falsified solutions brought, at the beginning of the Christian era, to problems that do not appear noticeably different from our own (which are those of a society whose original principles have become, in a very precise sense, the DEAD LETTER of a society that must put itself in question and overturn itself in order to rediscover motives of force and violent agitation.” (Pg. 46)

He observes, “Even today I do not hesitate to write that these first considerations on the positions of plants, animals, and men in a planetary system, far from appearing uniquely absurd to me, can be given as the basis for all considerations on human nature. And it is in fact from these that I undertake a certain preliminary exposition, whose meticulous elaboration is recent. In my opinion it is extremely curious to note that, in the course of the progressive erection that goes from the quadruped to homo erectus, the aspect of ignominy grows to the point of reaching horrifying proportions---from the pretty lemur, still almost horizontal, and scarcely baroque, to the gorilla. From there, on the contrary, primate evolution moves in the direction of a beauty whose appearance is more and more noble.” (Pg. 75)

He notes, “The behavior of Sade’s admirers resembles that of primitive subjects in relation to their king, whom they adore and loathe, and whom they cover with honors and narrowly confine. In the most favorable cases, the author of Justine is in fact thus treated as any give FOREIGN BODY… he is only an object of transports of exaltation to the extent that these transports facilitate his excretion (his peremptory expulsion). The life and works of D.A.F. de Sade would thus have no other use value than the common use value of excrement; in other words, for the most part, one most often only loves the rapid (and violent) pleasure of voiding this matter and no longer seeing it.” (Pg. 92)

Part III begins with the statement, “Men act in order to be. This must not be misunderstood in the negative sense of conservation (conserving in order not to be thrown out of existence by death), but in the positive sense of a tragic an incessant combat for a satisfaction that is almost beyond reach. From incoherent agitation to crushing sleep, from chatter to turning inward, from overwhelming love to hardening hate, existence sometimes weakens and sometimes accomplishes ‘being.’ And not only do states have a variable intensity, but different beings ‘are’ unequally. A dog that runs and barks seems ‘to be’ more than a mute and clinging sponge, the sponge more than the water in which it lives, an influential man more than a vacant passerby.” (Pg. 171)

He asserts, “It is time to abandon the world of the civilized and its light. It is too late to be reasonable and educated---which has led to a life without appeal. Secretly or not, it is necessary to become completely different, or to cease being. The world to which we have belonged offers nothing of love outside of each individual insufficiency: its existence is linked to utility. A world that cannot be loved to the point of death---in the same way that a man loves a woman---represents only self-interest and the obligation to work. If it is compared to worlds gone by, it is hideous, and appears as the most failed of all.” (Pg. 179)

These (relatively early) writings will be of keen interest to those seriously studying Bataille, and particularly the development of his thought.
Bataille remains for me a thinker who is almost always interesting but rarely coherent. His fiction is brilliantly conceived and revolutionary, but this collection of essays ranges from the inspired to the merely fragmentary. Although by his own admission, Bataille was not interested in forging a positive philosophy to replace the systems of materialism or idealism, still there remains something strangely absent in Bataille's varied speculations on sacrifice, auto-mutilation, or the unforgettable 'pineal eye.' It is difficult to discern how literally he is to be taken. On the one hand, his excoriations of the Nazi's appropriation seems totally sincere and convincing, but his work on 'the solar [...]' is both juvenile and uninteresting. Granted, his essay on Sade is a brilliant and provocative analysis of the 'use value' of excrement, but this still remains a minor and confused work of thinking.

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