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Visions of Excess

Selected Writings, 1927-1939

1985
Author:

Georges Bataille
Allan Stoekl, editor
Translated by Allan Stoekl, Carl R. Lovitt, and Donald M. Leslie Jr.
Introduction by Allan Stoekl

Visions of Excess

Challenges the notion of a “closed economy” predicated on utility, production, and rational consumption, and develops an alternative theory that takes into account the human tendency to lose, destroy, and waste.

Challenges the notion of a “closed economy” predicated on utility, production, and rational consumption, and develops an alternative theory that takes into account the human tendency to lose, destroy, and waste.

Georges Bataille is one of the most original and unsettling of those thinkers who, in the wake of Sade and Nietzsche, have confronted the possibility of thought in a world that has lost its myth of transcendence.

Peter Brooks, New York Times Book Review

Since the publication of Visions of Excess in 1985, there has been an explosion of interest in the work of Georges Bataille. The French surrealist continues to be important for his groundbreaking focus on the visceral, the erotic, and the relation of society to the primeval. This collection of prewar writings remains the volume in which Bataille’s positions are most clearly, forcefully, and obsessively put forward.

This book challenges the notion of a “closed economy” predicated on utility, production, and rational consumption, and develops an alternative theory that takes into account the human tendency to lose, destroy, and waste. This collection is indispensable for an understanding of the future as well as the past of current critical theory.

Visions of Excess

Georges Bataille (1897-1962), a librarian by profession, was founder of the French review Critique. He is the author of several books, including Story of the Eye, The Accused Share, Erotism, and The Absence of Myth.

Allan Stoekl is professor of French and comparative literature at Pennsylvania State University and author of Agonies of the Intellectual.

Visions of Excess

Georges Bataille is one of the most original and unsettling of those thinkers who, in the wake of Sade and Nietzsche, have confronted the possibility of thought in a world that has lost its myth of transcendence.

Peter Brooks, New York Times Book Review