On George Bataille by Katie Brown

Georges Bataille (1897-1962) was a french philosopher and intellectual who lived and died in France. He worked throughout his life to reverse widespread perspectives on his fellow mental health sufferers, ascribing meaning to the disorder of their lives and compulsions in the hope of granting dignity and significance to their suffering. His work was not widely admired at the time, much like his main literary influence, the Marquis De Sade. He was described by Susan Sontag as ‘a broker in madness’ and he was kicked out of the surrealist and existential movements dominating the Parisian intellectual scenes of the time with Jean Paul Sartre describing him as a case that needed psychoanalysis. The second half of The Story of the Eye is an autobiographical essay titled Coincidences that confronts his childhood abuse and trauma with the character of Marcelle based closely on his mother. He lived a contradictory life on the margins, working in libraries while living the life of a dissolute libertine. His work served to influence many major writers and psychoanalysts to follow him. Jacques Lacan used Batailles analysis of sexual violence, that he deemed essential to sexuality, to develop his conept of Juissance, a shattering enjoyment that is ‘beyond the pleasure principle.’ 



Histoire de l'oeil - Georges Bataille - Jean Jacques Pauvert éditeur - 1967. Condition, Good. French.

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