Thursday, June 29, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Georges Bataille (1897 – 1962)


French writer.
Georges Bataille
Concern for this or that limited good can sometimes lead to the summit... But this occurs in a roundabout way. Moral ends ... are distinct from any excesses they occasion. States of glory and moments of sacredness surpass results intentionally sought.
Bataille quotes
The advance of intelligence diminished, as a secondary consequence, the “possible” in a realm which appeared foreign to intelligence: that of inner experience.
To say “diminished” is even to say too little. The development of intelligence leads to a drying up of life which, in return, has narrowed intelligence. It is only if I state this principle: “inner experience itself is authority” that I emerge from this impotence.
Bataille
Life is whole only when it isn’t subordinate to a specific object that exceeds it. In this way, the essence of entirety is freedom.




Bataille Georges quotes
An extreme, unconditional human yearning was expressed for the first time by Nietzsche independently of moral goals or of serving God. ... Ardor that doesn’t address a dramatically articulated moral obligation is a paradox. ... If we stop looking at states of ardor as simply preliminary to other and subsequent conditions grasped as beneficial, the state I propose seems a pure play of lightning, merely an empty consummation. Lacking any relation to material benefits such as power or the growth of the state (or of God or a Church or a party), this consuming can’t even be comprehended. ... I’ll have to face the same difficulties as Nietzsche—putting God and the good behind him, though all ablaze with the ardor possessed by those who lay down their lives for God or the good. ... I’ll admit that moral investigations that aim to surpass the good lead first of all to disorder.
Bataille Georges
The difficulty—that contestation must be done in the name of an authority—is resolved this: I contest in the name of contestation what experience itself is.
Georges Bataille quotes
We have in fact only two certainties in this world—that we are not everything and that we will die. To be conscious of not being everything, as one is of being mortal, is nothing. But if we are without a narcotic, an unbreathable void reveals itself. I wanted to be everything, so that falling into this void, I might summon my courage and say to myself: “I am ashamed of having wanted to be everything, for I see now that it was to sleep.” From that moment begins a singular experience. The mind moves in a strange world where anguish and ecstasy coexist.
Georges Bataille
Experience is, in fever and anguish, the putting into question (to the test) of that which a man knows of being. Should he in this fever have any apprehension whatsoever, he cannot say: “I have seen God, the absolute, or the depths of the universe”; he can only say “that which I have seen eludes understanding”—and God, the absolute, the depths of the universe are nothing if they are not categories of the understanding.

If I said decisively, “I have seen God,” that which I see would change. Instead of the inconceivable unknown—wildly free before me, leaving me wild and free before it—there would be a dead object and the thing of the theologian, to which the unknown would be subjugated.
Bataille Georges quotes
We can’t rely on anything. Except ourselves. Ludicrous responsibility devolves on us, overwhelms us. In every regard, right up the present, people always have relied on each other—or God.
Bataille
Extreme states of being, whether individual or collective, were once purposefully motivated. Some of those purposes no longer have meaning (expiation, salvation). The well-being of communities in so longer sought through means of doubtful effectiveness, but directly, through action. Under these conditions, extreme states of being fell into the domain of the arts, and not without a certain disadvantage. Literature (fiction) took the place of what had formerly been the spiritual life; poetry (the disorder of words) that of real states of trance. Art constituted a small free domain, outside action: to gain freedom it had to renounce the real world. This is a heavy price to pay, and most writers dream of recovering a lost reality. They must then pay in another sense, by renouncing freedom.
Bataille Georges
Existence as entirety remains beyond any one meaning—and it is the conscious presence of humanness in the world inasmuch as this is nonmeaning, having nothing to do other than be what it is, no longer able to go beyond itself or give itself some kind of meaning through action.
Georges Bataille
The analysis of laughter had opened to me points of contact between the fundamentals of a communal and disciplined emotional knowledge and those of discursive knowledge.




Georges Bataille quotes
Philosophy ... finds itself to be no longer anything but the heir to a fabulous mystical theology, but missing a God and wiping the slate clean.
Georges Bataille
We reach ecstasy by a contestation of knowledge. Were I to stop at ecstasy and grasp it, in the end I would define it.
Bataille quotes
If I give up the viewpoint of action, my perfect nakedness is revealed to me.
Bataille Georges
Anyone wanting slyly to avoid suffering identifies with the entirety of the universe, judges each thing as if he were it. In the same way, he imagines, at bottom, that he will never die. We receive these hazy illusions like a narcotic necessary to bear life. But what happens to us when, disintoxicated, we learn what we are? Lost among babblers in a night in which we can only hate the appearance of light which comes from babbling. The self-acknowledged suffering of the disintoxicated is the subject of this book.
Bataille Georges quotes
Entirety exists within me as exuberance ... in empty longing ... in ... the desire to burn with desire.
Georges Bataille
An intention that rejects what has no meaning in fact is a rejection of the entirety of being.
Georges Bataille quotes
In previous conditions, extreme states came under the jurisdiction of the arts... People substituted writing (fiction) for what was once spiritual life, poetry (chaotic words) for actual ecstasies. Art constitutes a minor free zone outside action, paying for its freedom by giving up the real world. A heavy price!
Georges Bataille
By inner experience I understand that which one usually calls mystical experience: the states of ecstasy, of rapture, at least of meditated emotion. But I am thinking less of confessional experience, to which one has had to adhere up to now, that of an experience laid bare, free of ties, even of an origin, of any confession whatever. This is why I don’t like the word mystical.
Bataille Georges
The total person is first disclosed ... in areas of life that are lived frivolously.


© 2009–2013Quotes Privacy Policy | Contact