Since the publication in France of his "Oeuvres Completes" in the
mid-1970s, the breadth of Bataille's writing and influence has
become increasingly apparent across the disciplines in, for
example, the fields of literature, art, art history, philosophy,
critical theory, sociology, economics, and anthropology. He is now
held by many to be one of the most profound thinkers of the
century, the enormous ramifications of whose work have yet to be
In response to this growing interest, "The Bataille Reader"
includes key texts from the broad spectrum of Bataille's work, from
the early essays interrogating surrealism and cultural politics in
the 1930s, down to texts from "The Accursed Share" (1949,
translated 1988), a major engagement in post-Marxist economic
theory generally regarded as being his most important work.
Generous coverage is given to Bataille's speculations, also of the
1930s, on the limits of being, experience and identity, as well as
to his post-war engagements with existentialism, Marxism, and
Hegelianism. The major texts are interspersed with some of the
brilliantly punctual essays Bataille produced throughout his career
as a prolific essayist, reviewer and originator of
highly-influential journals, such as "Documents, Acephale" and
"Critique." Clearly introduced and comprehensively annotated by the
editors, this book provides the best single-volume coverage of
Bataille's work available.
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