In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

n o t e s introduction 1. ‘‘Nous sommes farouchement religieux.’’ Georges Bataille, ‘‘The Sacred Conspiracy,’’ in Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927–1939, ed. Allan Stoekl, trans. Allan Stoekl, Carl R. Lovitt, and Donald M. Leslie, Jr. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1985), 179. 2. Bataille, ‘‘The Sacred Conspiracy,’’ 181. 3. Most English translations of Bataille render l’homme as ‘‘man,’’ as in the case of the above citation. To avoid unnecessary complication, in this book I will generally also use the masculine designation. However, I recognize that this is a problem that deserves further scrutiny. This is especially true regarding the figure of the acéphale, which, while not precisely male, is nevertheless markedly masculine. Moreover, the headless monster, whose genitals are replaced by a skull, is sometimes read as a castrated figure. Bataille, whose writings persistently interrogate genres and the generic, whether through analysis or, more often, in practice, was likely attuned to the gendering problems implied by the masculine designation and graphic renderings of the acéphale. 4. Didier Ottinger describes the acéphale as ‘‘the figured apology of contradiction and duality’’ in ‘‘Masson, Bataille: In the Night of the Labyrinth,’’ in André Masson: The 1930s, ed. William Jeffett (St. Petersburg, Fla.: Salvador Dali Museum, 1999), 57. Bataille biographer Michel Surya characterizes the acéphale as ‘‘no longer entirely a man or entirely a God; perhaps more than anything he is both. He is surely . . . a hybrid monster, a happy monster.’’ Georges Bataille: An Intellectual Biography, trans. Krzysztof Fijalkowski and Michael Richardson (London: Verso, 2002), 236. 5. Marie-Hélène Huet offers a brief account of the two etymological traditions of the word ‘‘monster’’ in Monstrous Imagination (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993), 6. 6. Georges Bataille, ‘‘Joy in the Face of Death,’’ in The College of Sociology (1937–1939), ed. Denis Hollier, trans. Betsy Wing (Minneaplois: University of Minnesota Press, 1988), 325. PAGE 171 171 ................. 16666$ NOTE 10-02-07 14:19:54 PS 172 Notes to Pages 4–10 7. Georges Bataille, Erotism: Death and Sensuality, trans. Mary Dalwood (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1962), 16. 8. Georges Didi-Huberman uses a variation of this phrase in a passage in La ressemblance informe ou le gai savoir visuel selon Georges Bataille (Paris: Macula, 1995). Discussing the relationship between form, formlessness, and matter in Bataille, he claims that ‘‘La matière selon Bataille pourrait être, alors, considéré strictement comme ce dont l’informe est le symptôme: ce qui dans la forme sacrifie la forme,’’ 273 (emphasis in original). Though his study of form bears similarities to the present study, my use of the phrase ‘‘sacrifice of form’’ has little to do with his discussion of matter as ‘‘that which, in form, sacrifices form.’’ 9. See Bataille’s minuscule but influential essay ‘‘Informe’’ (Formless) in Visions of Excess, 31. The term ‘‘formless’’ has become the topic of much interest in the re-theorizing of surrealism over the last two decades. Art historian Rosalind Krauss has been the foremost figure in employing Bataille’s thought, and in particular his notion of formlessness, to evolve a Bataillean account of surrealism . In the present project, I both extend and diverge from her work on Bataille and the formless. See especially Rosalind Krauss, The Optical Unconscious (Cambridge : MIT Press, 1993), 149–95, and Krauss and Yve-Alain Bois, Formless: A User’s Guide (New York: Zone Books, 1997). 10. See Bataille, Méthode de méditation, in Oeuvres complètes V (Paris: Gallimard , 1947), 191–234. An English translation of Bataille’s ‘‘Method of Mediation ’’ also appears in The Unfinished System of Nonknowledge, ed. Stuart Kendall, trans. Michelle Kendall and Stuart Kendall (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001), 77. 11. Bataille adopts the term ‘‘hyperchristianity’’ from Nietzsche. I argue, however, that despite his lifelong obsession with Nietzsche, Bataille embraces a vision of Simone Weil that provides a dramatic instantiation of the hyperchristianity that he evokes in his pursuit of ‘‘inner experience.’’ 12. See Bataille’s essay ‘‘The Practice of Joy before Death,’’ in Visions of Excess, 235–39. 1. ecstatic and intolerable: the provocations of friendship 1. Georges Bataille, The Tears of Eros, trans. Peter Connor (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1989), 204–7. 2. Bataille, The Tears of Eros, 205. 3. Georges Bataille, ‘‘Autobiographical Note,’’ in My Mother, Madame Edwarda , The Dead Man, trans. Austryn Wainhouse (New York: Marion Boyars, 1995), 218. 4. Bataille, The Tears of Eros, 206. 5. In...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.