Georges Bataille: Core Cultural Theorist


Paul Hegarty

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    Note on References

    In the main body of the book, all texts are referred to by their title, or by a shortened title when appropriate. Further details are to be found in the bibliography. All texts by Bataille are referred to by their English title, and every reference is accompanied by its location in Bataille's complete works (Œuvres complètes [OC]). In order to facilitate cross-referencing, full details of all works (in French and in English) by Bataille that are cited in this book can be consulted in the bibliography. Where there is an existing translation, it is referred to. If not, the translations, of titles and of quotations, are my own.


    Thanks of course to family, friends and colleagues. Particular thanks go to Graham Allen, Ben Andrews, Larry Brown, Anne Frémiot, Martin Halliwell, Colin Harrison, Mike Hawkins, Michael Hoar, Fiona Kearney, Neil Leach, Dave Murray, Keith Reader, Jean-Xavier Ridon, Jon Simons, Judith Still, Clare Whatling, Matt Whitman. I would also like to acknowledge the work of those who have already worked extensively on Bataille, and to whom I have not really had space to do justice, in the text: Julian Pefanis, Michèle Richman, Denis Hollier, Michael Richardson, Georges Didi-Huberman, Nick Land, Francis Marmande.

  • End: Silence

    Lastly, silence. Throughout his texts, Bataille circles around death, the erotic, laughter, drunkenness, sacrifice, waste, expenditure, dirt, horror – but as well as all of these, there is silence – perhaps the last of the attempts to define the absence, that which is outside of ‘me’ that structures us as individual subjects. He writes that our humanity consists of a ‘middle term’, comprising eroticism, sacrifice and so on, and this is the ‘nucleus of violent silence’ that makes us (‘Attraction and Repulsion II’, 114; OC II, 319). There is silence that spreads from corpses, literally, as we keep silent near them, and ‘metaphysically’, in that they are silence, our silence (118–19; 326). Silence, like death, is not something simply waiting for us, or that was always there – it is something that is ‘always already’ there, that arrives as a function of life, of language. Silence is to language what nudity is to clothes – not separate, but absolutely linked. Nudity and silence can only exist after their annulment in clothes or words, and will then be seen as the primordial condition.

    Silence is not the final truth – it is the place where truth is undone. Inner Experience makes several references to the attempt to attain silence, which in some ways is inner experience (29; OC V, 41–2). But silence, like sovereignty or death, is not a place that can be inhabited. It is the instant of non-being, or absence of awareness. If this is where your philosophy is leading you, then writing it is a problem, but the writing indicates the absence it cannot be (‘Méthode de méditation’; OC V, 199). At such points Bataille most resembles Beckett, even to the expression of futility meaning that you cannot even give up ‘why continue’, he asks, ‘but I continue’ (Inner Experience, 33; OC V, 45 trans. mod.).

    Bataille does not himself see this link, and although he admires Beckett, he estimates that Beckett only has anything to say about the ‘human condition’ by accident (‘Molloy’, OC, XII, 86). For Bataille, Beckett is not as profound as Blanchot, who conveys the silence that lies in and around words (‘La littérature française en 1952’, OC XII, 239. Blanchot is dealt with in terms of this writing out of silence in ‘Silence et littérature’, OC XII, 173–8). Bataille feels a great deal of affinity with Blanchot's writings, but seems not to have really paid attention to Beckett, whose writings, in addition to suggesting some form of ontological silence, are full of the ridiculous, the low, the dirty – all much vaunted by Bataille elsewhere.

    Writing can take us to silence: Sade's violence is seen as a way of silencing language, discourse (OC X, 706n.), as violence prevents discourse, is the stopping of discourse, is difficult to process as discourse. But this violent silence relies on the writing that it tries to stop. Baudelaire is seen as achieving ‘a perfect silence of the will’ (Literature and Evil, 59; OC IX, 209), giving himself over to sovereign poetry where meaning is at risk. Manet, in his art, manages to bring into play ‘the silence of art’ (Manet, 58; OC IX, 135), through the progressive removal of content and narrative. Violence in the real world takes us out of language, but it is not certain that we can ever leave language:

    Since language is by definition the expression of civilised man, violence is silent […] if language is to be extricated from this impasse [as civilization is not the opposite of violence], we must declare that violence belongs to humanity as a whole and is speechless [sans voix], and that thus humanity as a whole lies by omission and language itself is founded on this lie. (Eroticism, 186; OC X, 185)

    This omission cannot be corrected: mere is no place away from the lie, as silence is impossible (as Beckett and Blanchot also write). It is important to recall this on those occasions when Bataille seems to be signalling a way out through silence, however fleeting this opportunity seems. Silence is the impossible space of sovereignty, and this impossibility is itself silent about the silence within it, a silence reinforced by the verbiage of discourse in which silence is not.

    Eroticism is the site par excellence of the ‘violent silence’, and is the moment of communication where we are ‘literally’ beyond ourselves (264; 257–8) and silence, death and eroticism are ‘against philosophy’ (276; 270). Philosophy is exceeded in the writing of silence; individual, discontinuous being is replaced by an emptied nothing: the nothing of Bataille is not an ultimate something, the one thing which is – it is that which is not. The community which is absence of community ‘fills up the depths like a wind that empties them’ (‘Take It or Leave It’, 96; OC XI, 131 trans. mod.). Talking of silence – it could be death, eroticism, sacrifice – Bataille offers us nothing, a potlatch, an excessive gift that challenges us to pay it back:

    I have been trying to talk a language that equals zero, a language that equals nothing at all, a language which returns to silence. I am not talking about nothingness, which sometimes looks to me like a pretext for adding a specialised chapter onto speech; I am talking about the suppression of whatever language may add to the world. I realise that this suppression cannot be rigorously applied. Anyway the point is not to bring in another sort of duty. But I owe it to myself to put you on guard against an unfortunate use of what I have said. From this point anything that does not take us out of the world […] would betray my purpose. (Eroticism, 264; OC X, 258)


    Bataille's texts in English are listed in alphabetical order, along with their location in the Œuvres complètes (OC). The French texts referred to in this book are listed in the order in which they occur in OC. The order in which texts appear in OC approximates the order in which they were written.

    Bataille: In English
    L'Abbé C (London: Marion Boyars, 1983) (OC III, 233–365)
    The Absence of Myth: Writings on Surrealism, ed. MichaelRichardson (London and New York: Verso, 1994)
    ‘The Absence of Myth’, in The Absence of Myth, 48 (OC XI, 236)
    The Accursed Share [vol. I] (New York: Zone, 1991) (OC VII, 17–179)
    The Accursed Share, vols II (The History of Eroticism) and III (Sovereignty) (New York: Zone, 1991) (OC VIII, 7–165 and 243–456 respectively)
    ‘Architecture’, in Leach (ed.), Rethinking Architecture, 21 (OC I, 171–2)
    ‘Attraction and Repulsion I: Tropisms, Sexuality, Laughter and Tears’, in Hollier (ed.), The College of Sociology, 103–12 (OC II, 307–18)
    ‘Attraction and Repulsion II: Social Structure’, in Hollier (ed.), The College of Sociology, 113–24 (OC II, 319–33)
    The Blue of Noon (London: Paladin, 1988) (OC III, 377–487)
    ‘The College of Sociology’, in Hollier (ed.), The College of Sociology, 333–41 (OC II, 364–74)
    ‘Concerning the Accounts Given by the Residents of Hiroshima’, in CathyCaruth (ed.), Trauma: Explorations in Memory, 221–35 (OC XI, 172–87)
    ‘The Critique of the Foundations of Hegelian Dialectic’, in Visions of Excess, 105–15 (OC I, 277–90)
    The Dead Man see My Mother …
    Eroticism (London and New York: Calder and Boyars, 1987) (OC X, 7–270)
    ‘Eye’, in Visions of Excess, 15–17 (OC I, 187–9)
    ‘Formless’, in Visions of Excess, 31 (OC I, 217)
    Guilty (Venice, CA: Lapis Press, 1988) (OC V, 235–392)
    ‘Hegel, Death and Sacrifice’, Yale French Studies, 78 (1990) (OC XII, 326–45)
    The Impossible (San Francisco: City Lights, 1991) (OC III, 97–223)
    Inner Experience (New York: SUNY Press, 1988) (OC V, 7–189)
    ‘The Jésuve’, in Visions of Excess, 73–8 (OC II, 13–20)
    Literature and Evil (London: Calder and Boyars, 1973) (OC IX, 171–316)
    ‘The Lugubrious Game’, in Visions of Excess, 24–30 (OC I, 211–16)
    Madame Edwarda see My Mother …
    Manet (London: Macmillan, 1983) (OC IX, 103–67)
    ‘Materialism’, in Visions of Excess, 15–16 (OC I, 179–80)
    ‘Museum’, in Leach (ed.), Rethinking Architecture, 22–3 (OC I, 239–40)
    My Mother/Madame Edwarda/The Dead Man (London: Marion Boyars, 1989) (OC IV, 175–276; OC III, 7–31; OC IV, 37–51)
    ‘Nietzsche and the Fascists’ in Visions of Excess, 182–96 (OC I, 447–65)
    ‘Nietzschean Chronicle’ in Visions of Excess, 202–12 (OC I, 477–90)
    ‘The Notion of Expenditure’, in Visions of Excess, 116–29 (OC I, 302–20)
    ‘Notre Dame de Rheims’, in Hollier (ed.), Against Architecture, 15–19 (OC I, 611–16)
    ‘The Obelisk’, in Visions of Excess, 213–22 (OC I, 501–13)
    ‘The “Old Mole” and the Prefix Sur in the Words Surhomme and Surrealist’, in Visions of Excess, 32–44 (OC II, 93–109)
    On Nietzsche (London: Athlone, 1992) (OC VI, 7–205)
    ‘The Pineal Eye’, in Visions of Excess, 79–90 (OC II, 21–35)
    ‘Popular Front in the Street’, in Visions of Excess, 161–8 (OC I, 402–12)
    ‘The Practice of Joy Before Death’, in Visions of Excess, 235–9 (OC I, 552–8)
    Prehistoric Painting: Lascaux or the Birth of Art (London: Macmillan, 1980) (OC IX, 7–101)
    ‘The Psychological Structure of Fascism’, in Visions of Excess, 137–60 (OC I, 339–71)
    ‘The Sacred’, in Visions of Excess, 240–5 (OC I, 559–63)
    ‘Sacred Sociology and the Relationships between “Society”, “Organism”, and “Being”’, in Hollier (ed.), The College of Sociology, 73–84 (OC II, 291–302)
    ‘Sacrifices’, in Visions of Excess, 130–6 (OC I, 89–96)
    ‘Sacrificial Mutilation and the Severed Ear of Van Gogh’, in Visions of Excess, 61–72 (OC I, 258–70)
    ‘Slaughterhouse’, in Leach (ed.), Rethinking Architecture, 22 (OC I, 205)
    ‘Solar Anus’, in Visions of Excess, 5–9 (OC I, 79–86)
    ‘The Sorcerer's Apprentice’, in Visions of Excess, 223–34 (OC I, 523–37)
    The Story of the Eye (London: Penguin, 1979) (OC I, 9–78)
    ‘Take It or Leave It’, in The Absence of Myth, 96 (OC XI, 130–1)
    The Tears of Eros (San Francisco: City Lights, 1989) (OC X, 572–626)
    Theory of Religion (New York: Zone, 1992) (OC VII, 281–361)
    The Trial of Gilles de Rais (Los Angeles: Amok, 1991) (OC X, 271–571)
    ‘The Use Value of D.A.F. de Sade (An Open Letter to My Current Comrades)’, in Visions of Excess, 91–102 (OC II, 54–69)
    Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927–1939, ed. AllanStoekl (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1985)
    Bataille: In French
    L'Histoire de l'œil, OC I, 9–78
    ‘L'anus solaire’, OC I, 79–86
    ‘Sacrifices’, OC I, 89–96
    ‘L'Amérique disparue’, OC I, 152–8
    ‘Architecture’, OC I, 171–2
    ‘Matérialisme’, OC I, 179–80
    ‘Œil’, OC I, 187–9
    ‘Abattoir’, OC I, 205
    ‘Le “Jeu lugubre”’, OC I, 211–16
    ‘Informe’, OC I, 217
    ‘Musée’, OC I, 239–40
    ‘L'art primitif’, OC I, 247–54
    ‘Joan Miró: peintures récentes’, OC I, 255
    ‘La mutilation sacrificielle et l'oreille coupée de Van Gogh’, OC I, 258–70
    ‘L'esprit moderne et le jeu des transpositions’, OC I, 271–4
    ‘La critique des fondements de la dialectique hégélienne’, OC I, 277–90
    ‘La notion de dépense’, OC I, 302–20
    ‘Le problème de l'État’, OC I, 332–6
    ‘La structure psychologique de fascisme’, OC I, 339–71
    ‘Contre-attaque: Union de Lutte des Intellectuels Révolutionnaires’, OC I, 379–83
    ‘Contre-attaque: appel à l'action’, OC I, 395–7
    ‘A ceux qui n'ont pas oublie la guerre du droit et de la liberte’, OC I, 399–401
    ‘Front Populaire dans la rue’, OC I, 402–12
    ‘Vers la révolution réelle’, OC I, 413–28
    ‘Nietzsche et les fascistes’, OC I, 447–65
    ‘Chronique nietzschéene’, OC I, 477–90
    ‘Van Gogh Promèthée, OC I, 497–500
    ‘L'obélisque’, OC I, 501–13
    ‘L'apprenti sorcier’, OC I, 523–37
    ‘La pratique de la joie devant la mort’, OC I, 552–8
    ‘Le sacré’, OC I, 559–63
    ‘Notre Dame de Rheims’, OC I, 611–16
    ‘Le Jésuve’, OC II, 13–20
    ‘L'œil pinéal’, OC II, 21–35
    ‘Dossier de l'œil pinéal’, OC 11, 13–47
    ‘La valeur d'usage de D.A.F. de Sade (lettre ouverte à mes camarades actuels)’, OC II, 54–69
    ‘La “vieille taupe” et le préfixe sur dans les mots surhomme et surrealiste’, OC II, 93–109
    ‘Dossier de la polémique avec André Breton’, OC II, 51–109
    ‘Dossier “hétérologie”’, OC II, 165–202
    ‘[Note sur le système actuel de répression]’, OC II, 134–6
    ‘[Le paradoxe de l'utilité absolue]’, OC II, 147–52
    ‘En effet la vie humaine …’, OC II, 163–4
    ‘La polarité humaine’, OC II, 167
    ‘L'abjection et les formes misérables’, OC II, 217–21
    ‘En attendant la grève générate’, OC II, 253–63
    ‘17 janvier 1938’, OC II, 281–7
    ‘Rapports entre “société”, “organisme”, “ětre”’, OC II, 291–302
    ‘22 janvier 1938’, OC II, 307–18
    ‘5 février 1938’, OC II, 319–33
    ‘Le Collège de Sociologie’, OC II, 364–74
    ‘Les guerres sont pour le moment les plus forts stimulants de l'imagination’, OC II 392–9
    Madame Edwarda, OC III, 7–31
    Le Petit, OC III, 33–69
    L'Impossible, OC III, 97–223
    L'Abbé C (OC III, 233–365)
    Le Bleu du ciel, OC III, 377–487
    ‘La Mort’, OC IV, 37–51
    La Tombe de Louis XXX, OC IV, 151–68
    Ma Mère, OC IV, 175–276
    L'Expérience intérieure, OC V, 7–189
    ‘Méthode de méditation’, OC V, 191–228
    Le Coupable, OC V, 235–392
    Sur Nietzsche, OC VI, 7–205
    La Part maudite, OC VII, 17–179
    La Limite de l'utile, OC VII, 181–280
    Théorie de la religion, OC VII, 281–361
    ‘Le mal dans le platonisme et dans le sadisme’, OC VII, 365–80
    ‘La religion surréaliste’, OC VII, 381–405
    ‘Schéma d'une histoire des religions’, OC VII, 406–42
    L'Histoire de l'érotisme (La Part maudite, vol. II), OC VIII, 7–165
    La Souveraineté (La Part maudite, vol. III), OC VIII, 243–456
    Lascaux ou la naissance de l'art, OC EX, 7–101
    Manet, OC EX, 103–67
    La Littérature et le Mal, OC IX, 171–316
    ‘Dossier de Lascaux, OC IX, 317–76
    L'Érotisme, OC X, 7–270
    Le Procès de Gilles de Rais, OC X, 271–571
    Les Larmes d'Eros, OC X, 573–626
    ‘Nietzsche est-il fasciste?’, OC XI, 9–11
    ‘La littérature est-elle utile?’, OC XI, 12–13
    ‘Les peintures politiques de Picasso’, OC XI, 24–7
    ‘A propos d'assoupissements’, OC XI, 31–3
    ‘A prendre ou à laisser’, OC XI, 130–1
    ‘A propos des récits d'habitants d'Hiroshima’, OC XI, 172–87
    ‘Du rapport entre le divin et le mal’, OC XI, 198–207
    ‘Sartre’, OC XI, 226–8
    ‘L'absence de mythe’, OC XI, 236
    ‘Lettre à Merleau-Ponty’, OC XI, 251–2
    ‘Réflexions sur le bourreau et le victime’, OC XI, 262–7
    ‘De l'existentialisme au primat de l'économie’, OC XI, 279–306
    ‘Le mensonge politique’, OC XI, 332–8
    ‘Nietzsche – William Blake’, OC XI, 422–31
    ‘Caprice et machinerie d'État à Stalingrad’, OC XI, 472–9
    ‘L'art, exercice de cruauté’, OC XI, 480–6
    ‘Molloy’, OC XII, 85–94
    ‘Silence et littérature’, OC XII, 173–8
    ‘La littérature française en 1952’, OC XII, 237–40
    ‘Hegel, la mort et le sacrifice’, OC XII, 326–45
    Choix de Lettres, 1917–1962 (Paris: Gallimard, 1997)
    Works by other Writers
    TheodorAdorno, Hegel: Three Studies (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1993)
    TheodorAdorno, Negative Dialectics (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul1973)
    AlainArnaud and GisèleExcoffon-Lafarge, Bataille (Paris: Le Seuil, 1978)
    AntoninArtaud, The Theatre and its Double (London: Calder, 1993)
    RolandBarthes, ‘The Metaphor of the Eye’, in Bataille, The Story of the Eye, 119–27
    JeanBaudrillard, The Mirror of Production (St Louis: Telos, 1975)
    JeanBaudrillard, Symbolic Exchange and Death (London: Sage, 1993)
    JeanBaudrillard, ‘When Bataille Attacked the Metaphysical Principle of Economy’, Canadian Journal of Political and Social Theory, 11 (3), (1987), 57–62
    WalterBenjamin, ‘The Work of Art in the Era of Mechanical Reproduction’, in Illuminations (London: Fontana, 1973), 211–44
    GeoffBennington, ‘Introduction to Economics I: Because the World Is Round’, in Gill (ed.), Bataille: Writing the Sacred, 46–57
    MauriceBlanchot, The Infinite Conversation (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1992)
    MauriceBlanchot, The Unavowable Community (Barrytown, NY: Station Hill Press, 1988)
    LeslieBoldt-Irons (ed.), On Bataille: Critical Essays (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1995)
    MurrayBookchin et al., Deep Ecology and Anarchism (London: Freedom Press, 1993)
    AndréBreton, Manifestoes of Surrealism (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1972)
    ElisabethBronfen, Over Her Dead Body: Death, Femininity and the Aesthetic (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1992)
    JudithButler, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of ‘Sex’ (London: Routledge, 1993)
    JudithButler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (London: Routledge, 1989)
    RogerCaillois, L'Homme et le sacré,
    third edition
    (Paris: Gallimard, 1950)
    CathyCaruth (ed.), Trauma: Explorations in Memory (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1995)
    HélèneCixous and CatherineClément, The Newly Born Woman (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1986)
    JamesClifford, The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth Century Ethnography, Literature and Art (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988)
    SimonCritchley, Very Little, Almost Nothing: Death, Literature, Philosophy (London: Routledge, 1997)
    GillesDeleuze, Coldness and Cruelty, in Deleuze/Sacher-Masoch, Masochism (New York: Zone, 1989)
    Paulde Man, ‘The Rhetoric of Blindness: Jacques Derrida's Reading of Rousseau’, in Blindness and Insight, Essays in the Rhetoric of Contemporary Criticism, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983), 102–41
    JacquesDerrida, ‘Economimesis’, Diacritics, 11 (1981), 3–25
    JacquesDerrida, Ecriture et la difference (Paris: Le Seuil, 1967)
    JacquesDerrida, ‘From Restricted to General Economy: A Hegelianism without Reserve’, in Writing and Difference (London: Routledge, 1978), 251–77
    JacquesDerrida, Given Time I. Counterfeit Money (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992)
    JacquesDerrida, Of Grammatology (Baltimore, MD and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976)
    JacquesDerrida, ‘Parergon’, in The Truth in Painting (Chicago and London: Chicago University Press, 1987), 15–147
    JacquesDerrida, ‘The Pit and the Pyramid: Introduction to Hegel's Semiology’, in Margins of Philosophy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), 69–108
    JacquesDerrida, ‘White Mythology’, in Margins of Philosophy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), 209–71 Sade, The 120 Days of Sodom (London: Arrow, 1991)
    Bernardinhode Sahagun, General History of the Things of New Spain, Book 2, The Ceremonies (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1982)
    GeorgesDidi-Huberman, La Ressemblance informe, ou le gai savoir visuel selon Georges Bataille (Paris: Macula, 1995)
    MaryDouglas, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (London: Routledge, 1991)
    EmileDurkheim, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1915)
    EmileDurkheim, The Rules of Sociological Method (London: Macmillan, 1982)
    EmileDurkheim and MarcelMauss, On Some Forms of Primitive Classification: Contribution to the Study of Collective Representations (London: Cohen and West, 1969)
    AndreaDworkin, Pornography: Men Possessing Women (London: Women's Press, 1981)
    Bret EastonEllis, American Psycho (New York: Random House, 1991)
    FriedrichEngels, The Condition of the Working Class in England (London: Penguin, 1987)
    E.E.Evans-Pritchard, ‘Introduction’, in Mauss, The Gift, v–x
    HalFoster, The Return of the Real (Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press, 1996)
    MichelFoucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (London: Penguin, 1991)
    MichelFoucault, The History of Sexuality, vol. I (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1990)
    MichelFoucault, ‘The Order of Discourse’, in RobertYoung (ed.), Untying the Text: A Post-Structuralist Reader (Boston and London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1981), 48–78
    MichelFoucault, ‘Preface to Transgression’, in Language, Counter-Memory and Practice (New York: Cornell University Press, 1977), 29–52
    SigmundFreud, ‘Beyond the Pleasure Principle’, in
    Standard Edition
    , vol. XVIII (London: Hogarth Press, 1955), 7–64
    SigmundFreud, Totem and Taboo (
    Standard Edition
    , vol. XIII) (London: Hogarth Press, 1958), 1–162
    RodolpheGasché, The Tain of the Mirror: Derrida and the Philosophy of Reflection (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986)
    Carolyn BaileyGill (ed.), Bataille: Writing the Sacred (London: Routledge, 1995)
    RenéGirard, The Scapegoat (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989)
    RenéGirard, Violence and the Sacred (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977)
    SueGolding, ‘Solar Clitoris’, Parallax 4: Kojève's Paris/Now Bataille (February 1997), 137–49
    ClementGreenberg, Art and Culture (Boston: Beacon Press, 1961)
    ElizabethGrosz, Volatile Bodies (Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1989)
    JürgenHabermas, ‘The French Path to Postmodernity’, New German Critique, 33 (Fall 1984), 79–102
    G.W.F.Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977)
    MartinHeidegger, Being and Time (Oxford: Blackwell, 1962)
    MartinHeidegger, Nietzsche, vol. IV: Nihilism (San Francisco, Harper and Row, 1982)
    DenisHollier (ed.), Against Architecture: The Writings of Georges Bataille (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1989)
    DenisHollier (ed.), The College of Sociology, 1937–1939 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988)
    DenisHollier (ed.), Georges Bataille, après tout (Paris: Belin, 1995)
    DenisHollier, ‘The Use-Value of the Impossible’, in Gill (ed.), Bataille: Writing the Sacred, 133–53
    HenriHubert and MarcelMauss, Sacrifice: Its Nature and Function (London: Cohen and West, 1964)
    LuceIrigaray, The Irigaray Reader, ed. MargaretWhitford (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991)
    LuceIrigaray, Speculum of the Other Woman (New York: Cornell University Press, 1985)
    AileenKelly, Mikhail Bakunin: A Study in the Psychology and Politics of Utopianism (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1987)
    PierreKlossowski, Sade My Neighbour (London: Quartet, 1992)
    SarahKofman, Nietzsche and Metaphor (London: Athlone, 1993)
    AlexandreKojève, Introduction a la lecture de Hegel (Paris: Gallimard, 1947)
    AlexandreKojève, Introduction to the Reading of Hegel (New York: Basic Books, 1969)
    RosalindKrauss and Yves-AlainBois, Formless: A User's Guide (New York: Zone, 1997)
    JuliaKristeva, Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982)
    JuliaKristeva, Tales of Love (New York: Columbia University Press, 1987)
    NickLand, The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism (London: Routledge, 1992)
    Laure (Colette Peignot), Laure: The Collected Writings (San Francisco: City Lights, 1995)
    NeilLeach (ed.), Rethinking Architecture (London: Routledge, 1997)
    AnnieLeclerc, Parole de femme, extract in TorilMoi (ed.), French Feminist Thought: A Reader (Cambridge, MA and Oxford: Blackwell, 1987), 73–9
    ClaudeLévi-Strauss, ‘Introduction à l'œuvre de Marcel Mauss’, in M.Mauss, Sociologie et anthropologie (Paris: PUF, 1985), ix–lii
    FrancisMarmande, Georges Bataille politique (Lyon: Presses Universitaires de Lyon, 1985)
    MarcelMauss, The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966)
    MarcelMauss, Sociologie et anthropologie (Paris: PUF, 1985), ix–lii
    ArneNaess, Ecology, Community and Lifestyle (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989)
    Jean-LucNancy, The Inoperative Community (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991)
    FriedrichNietzsche, The Twilight of the Idols and The Antichrist (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1989)
    FriedrichNietzsche, On The Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo (New York: Vintage, 1968)
    FriedrichNietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1961)
    JulianPefanis, Heterology and the Postmodern: Bataille, Baudrillard and Lyotard (Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, 1991)
    PaulineRéage, The Story of O (London: Corgi, 1994)
    MichaelRichardson, Georges Bataille (London: Routledge, 1994)
    MichèleRichman, Reading Georges Bataille: Beyond the Gift (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982)
    GillianRose, Mourning Becomes the Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996)
    Jean-JacquesRousseau, The Social Contract and Discourses (London: Dent, 1913)
    MarshallSahlins, Stone Age Economics (London: Tavistock, 1974)
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