Georges Bataille
December 7, 2004 10:34 AM   Subscribe

Georges Bataille. Librarian, surrealist, archivist, writer of works on subjects ranging from economics to the erotic. Father of the notion of transgression as a positive force. Frequently name checked and sometimes very confusing. And at this festive time of year, we may also remember his ideas on the gift.
posted by stinkycheese (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Bataille was a cheap, obscurantist scatophile.
posted by felix betachat at 10:46 AM on December 7, 2004 [1 favorite]

Hey, that reminds me: aren't they making a movie version of the Story of the Eye? Can't wait...
posted by DenOfSizer at 11:02 AM on December 7, 2004

The critical exploration of The Eye is brilliant and leaves out but one thing: the book is a total bore.
posted by Postroad at 12:04 PM on December 7, 2004

My favorite Bataille story is that he saved Walter Benjamin's archive of the Arcades Project, a great and wonderful book, from the Nazis during WW2. He did this by taking the notebooks and simply placing them on a shelf in the National Library in France. Perhaps he had read enough Poe to know that no one ever looks in the really obvious places.
posted by OmieWise at 12:19 PM on December 7, 2004

When I first came across Bataille (early youth) I was..., well, shocked. But soon his writings became an early way of realizing how limiting conventionality is.
Bataille's Wars is an interesting read I recently came across in Critique of Anthropology. (Great to see this FPP)
posted by carmina at 1:38 PM on December 7, 2004

I don't know if I'd go as far as to say he's a "cheap, obscurantist scatophile," but I definitely have some problems with him. In his book On Nietzsche (a thouroughly un-Nietzschean book with its obsession with guilt among other things) he talks about his fear (and it seems his obsession) of going insane - but then he has the nerve to be extremely condescending in his description of Antonin Artaud. The only redeeming thing about his work is his economic stuff (ie The Accursed Share). The rest of his stuff though is really unessential IMHO.
posted by Frankieist at 6:19 PM on December 7, 2004

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