On Reading Bataille 1

Like I said before, this is going to be a blog of clippy posts for a while, but I’ve come across something that is interesting that I want to talk about.

I’m reading Sensible Ecstasy by Amy Hollywood, and she makes the interesting argument that we need to read Bataille’s writing against itself. By that, I mean that Habermas and Sartre criticize the paradox of Bataille’s thrust: he uses technical, scientific language while also claiming that we need to move toward NOTHING, toward an experience that is interior and isolated (which we can then create community from.)

But Hollywood suggests that we read the paradox against itself. We need to realize that the science language is a mask that we need to overthrow; we need to feel out the meaning underneath, and know that it gets us nowhere.

And I think there’s something to that. It’s a kind of reverse Sade, who wrote in absolute erotic excess in order to make out a more scientific, philosophical point. In my work, I think we can see Acid Temple Ball doing something similar–though Rudahl denies it, as would Bataille, the excess of the novel points to a dissolution of the subject. It destabilizes the subject in both time and space.

The problem is finding a politics of that novel. Where does it take us? Do we mimic it? Or do we take it is, invest desires in those characters, and sacrifice them by ending the reading?

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