He might be best known for sex and violence, but Lode Lauwaert shows that the Marquis du Sade sits at a crossroads of surprisingly disparate branches of western culture: abstract art, Tom and Jerry, gnosticism, Kant's moral philosophy, romanticism, scholasticism, stoicism and more. To explore these links, Lauwaert reads six interpretations of Sade in French postwar philosophy - looking specifically at Pierre Klossowski, Maurice Blanchot, Georges Bataille, Jacques Lacan, Roland Barthes and Gilles Deleuze. Lauwaert shows how these interpretations of de Sade can be read as a lively introduction to a postmodern way of thinking that is often considered inaccessible, but which dominated the French intellectual scene after the Second World War.
Georges Bataille (1897 - 1962) was a philosopher, writer, and literary critic whose work has had a significant impact across disciplines as diverse as philosophy, sociology, economics, art history and literary criticism, as well as influencing key figures in post-modernist and post-structuralist philosophy such as Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault. In recent years, the number of works published on Georges Bataille, as well as the variety of contexts in which his work is invoked, has markedly increased. In Georges Bataille: Key Concepts an international team of contributors provide an accessible introduction to and survey of Bataille's thought. The editors’ introduction provides an overview of Bataille’s work, while the chapters in the first section cover the social, political, artistic and philosophical contexts that shaped his thought. In the second part, each chapter engages with a key theme in Bataille’s philosophy, including: art, eroticism, evil, inner experience, heterology, religion, sacrifice, and sovereignty. The final chapter addresses Bataille’s literary writings. Georges Bataille: Key Concepts is an invaluable guide for students from across the Humanities and Social Sciences, coming to Bataille’s work for the first time. Contributors: Giulia Agostini, Elisabeth Arnould-Bloomfield, Tiina Arppe, Marcus Coelen, Simonetta Falasca-Zamponi, Patrick ffrench, Marina Galletti, Nadine Hartmann, Mark Hewson, Andrew Hussey, Stuart Kendall, Claire Nioche, Gerhard Poppenberg, and Michèle Richman.
In this comprehensive and engaging study Georges Bataille’s central ideas – the sacred, community and eroticism – are explored in detail. Bataille’s project to understand social bonds and energies at their most fundamental level and to re-energise society by challenging individualism is argued to be of continuing relevance to sociological thought. Bataille’s infamous Collège de Sociologie is placed in the intellectual context of Durkheimian and Maussian sociology. Social effervescence, gift exchange, and the dual, ambivalent and volatile nature of the sacred emerge as the central threads of Bataille’s thought, ideas which challenge both capitalist hegemony and the reductive notion of society as exclusively normative and repressive. The study concludes by applying Bataille’s ideas to contemporary issues including de-secularisation and the rise of religious fundamentalism, the vicarious experience of transgressive violence, and finally, to consumerism and the violence of globalisation. The study seeks to reposition Bataille as a key figure in sociological theory.
Georges Bataille's influence upon 20th-century philosophy is hard to overstate. His writing has transfixed his readers for decades – exerting a powerful influence upon Foucault, Blanchot and Derrida amongst many others. Today, Bataille continues to be an important reference for many of today's leading theorists such as Giorgio Agamben, Roberto Esposito, Jean-Luc Nancy and Adrianna Caverero. His work is a unique and enigmatic combination of mystical phenomenology, politics, anthropology and economic theory – sometimes adopting the form of literature, sometimes that of ontology. This is the first book to take Bataille's ambitious and unfinished Accursed Share project as its thematic guide, with individual contributors isolating themes, concepts or sections from within the three volumes and taking them in different directions. Therefore, as well as providing readings of Bataille's key concepts, such as animality, sovereignty, catastrophe and the sacred, this collection aims to explore new terrain and new theoretical problems.Georges Bataille and Contemporary Thought acts simultaneously as a companion to Bataille's three-volume secular theodicy and as a laboratory for new syntheses within his thought.
According to traditional accounts, the history of tragedy is itself tragic: following a miraculous birth in fifth-century Athens and a brilliant resurgence in the early modern period, tragic drama then falls into a marked decline. While disputing the notion that tragedy has died, this wide-ranging study argues that it faces an unprecedented challenge in modern times from an unexpected quarter: political economy. Since Aristotle, tragedy has been seen as uniquely exhibiting the importance of action for human happiness. Beginning with Adam Smith, however, political economy has claimed that the source of happiness is primarily production. Eclipse of Action examines the tense relations between action and production, doing and making, in playwrights from Aeschylus, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Milton to Beckett, Arthur Miller, and Sarah Kane. Richard Halpern places these figures in conversation with works by Aristotle, Smith, Hegel, Marx, Hannah Arendt, Georges Bataille, and others in order to trace the long history of the ways in which economic thought and tragic drama interact.
This fascinating book applies social theorist Georges Bataille’s revolutionary thinking to psychotherapy, offering clinicians a new and valuable context for practicing therapy. In adding Bataille’s ideas to several different psychotherapeutic modalities, this book makes the notoriously obscure thinker more accessible while testing the validity of his far-reaching work in the treatment room. Through an in-depth examination of several clinical case studies, the book demonstrates how to balance an understanding of the social and historical contexts of participants with a therapeutic approach that offers empathy for individual distress. It also explains how Bataille’s innovative approach can be applied to work with couples, groups, institutions, and even one of Freud’s classic case studies. Both the content and form of each chapter demonstrate the therapeutic value of a reflexive, critical approach to one’s practice and exemplify how to write about it. Offering an unprecedented opportunity to imagine how Bataille’s own interest in psychoanalysis and clinical psychology might have developed, this book will be of interest to both practitioners in the field and scholars of continental philosophy and social theory.
When media translate the world to the world: twentieth-century utopian projects including Edward Steichen's “Family of Man,” Jacques Cousteau's underwater films, and Buckminster Fuller's geoscope. janine
Despite Georges Bataille’s acknowledged influence on major poststructuralist thinkers—including Foucault, Derrida, Kristeva, Lacan, Baudrillard, and Barthes—and his prominence in literary, cultural, and social theory, rarely has he been taken up by scholars of religion, even as issues of the sacred were central to his thinking. Bringing together established scholars and emerging voices, Negative Ecstasies engages Bataille from the perspective of religious studies and theology, forging links with feminist and queer theory, economics, secularism, psychoanalysis, fat studies, and ethics. As these essays demonstrate, Bataille’s work bears significance to contemporary questions in the academy and vital issues in the world. We continue to ignore him at our peril.
Ecology has become one of the most urgent and lively fields in both the humanities and sciences. In a dramatic widening of scope beyond its original concern with the coexistence of living organisms within a natural environment, it is now recognized that there are ecologies of mind, information, sensation, perception, power, participation, media, behavior, belonging, values, the social, the political... a thousand ecologies. This proliferation is not simply a metaphorical extension of the figurative potential of natural ecology: rather, it reflects the thoroughgoing imbrication of natural and technological elements in the constitution of the contemporary environments we inhabit, the rise of a cybernetic natural state, with its corresponding mode of power. Hence this ecology of ecologies initiates and demands that we go beyond the specificity of any particular ecology: a general thinking of ecology which may also constitute an ecological transformation of thought itself is required. In this ambitious and radical new volume of writings, some of the most exciting contemporary thinkers in the field take on the task of revealing and theorizing the extent of the ecologization of existence as the effect of our contemporary sociotechnological condition: together, they bring out the complexity and urgency of the challenge of ecological thought-one we cannot avoid if we want to ask and indeed have a chance of affecting what forms of life, agency, modes of existence, human or otherwise, will participate-and how-in this planet's future.
"This collection brings together an internationally known and interdisciplinary group of scholars, including a major new essay by Laruelle himself. Together they use non-philosophy to cross the boundaries between philosophy and performance"--
Weird Mysticism identifies and evaluates a new category of theoretical inquiry by showing the influence of speculative writing on three intersecting critical categories: horror fiction, apophatic mysticism, and philosophical pessimism. Exploring the work of Thomas Ligotti, Georges Bataille, and E. M. Cioran, Baumgartner argues that these “weird mystics” employ an innovative mode of negative writing that seeks to merge new conceptions of reality. While exploring perennial questions about “the absolute,” the Outside, and other philosophical concepts, these authors push the limits of representation, experimenting with literary form, genre-bending, and aphoristic discourse. As their works reveal, the category of weird mysticism both conjoins and obscures the link between traditional mysticism and philosophical horror fiction, with weirdness itself being the central magnet that draws the seemingly disparate realms of horror fiction, philosophy, and mysticism together. Highlighting the theoretical stakes of the horror genre, Baumgartner’s study reveals how the mystical potentially recuperates the limits of philosophical thinking, enabling reflection on—and possibly challenging—the limits of human understanding.