Dedication

[NOTE: This was written sometime during the summer. It is what the dedication page of my book would have said]

In both options I had this epigraph:

How sweet terror is, not a single line, or a ray of morning sunlight fails to contain the sweetness of anguish.

– Georges Bataille, À perte de vue

No one is really touched emotionally unless there’s some disturbance involved.

– Georges Bataille, À perte de vue

When I feel such pangs of lust, I know best what I am.

– Georges Bataille, Guilty

I don’t want your love unless you know I am repulsive, and love me even as you know it.

– Georges Bataille, My Mother

I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction.

– Georges Bataille, Violent Silence

Option 1:

To my closest friend, Georges Albert Maurice Victor Bataille,

you have given me thousands of hours of awe, tears, joy, self-reflection, puzzlement, friendship, ecstasy, anguish, personal growth, and more. I can not even begin to imagine what those hundreds of sleepless nights would be like without you. I cry as I write this because you have kept me from suicidal madness and destitution. I cry as I write this because your kindness is overwhelming. I can never repay you for all you have given to me without return. This book is not the counter-gift to the gift you have given me, it is the history of our friendship.

To start, I want to give the greatest of thanks to Christian, who without prompting me to join our debate team in 7th grade, I would not have written this. I want to also thank him for his friendship, that without, I probably wouldn’t have survived my freshman year of high school. Secondly, I want to thank Tripp for pushing me further and further in my intellectual pursuits by constantly engaging with my thought. I thank him for his friendship as well. I want to also note that I list these aforementioned two specifically because of their actions. Christian and I were very good friends for a good part of elementary school and all of middle school, and during the summer of 2019, we even shared a dorm room for a couple of weeks at a camp for competitive debate we went to together. At some point in ninth grade, which started in 2019 for me (the school year was 2019–2020), he, to use his words, “cut me off” due to his priorities. Now, I was sort of hurt by this, but I instead used the spare time that I now had to get into theory, and never really thought of it until he apologized to me. I never told him I felt hurt, and we still talked, we just didn’t hang out or anything like that. He apologized to me in 2021, about a year, more or less, after it happened. Nothing prompted this apology. It was out of nowhere. This action of his caused me to cry out of the intensity of an indescribable emotion. This action of Christian’s is the kindest action anyone has and maybe even will do to me in my life. Tripp has been my friend since the start of 2021 and has never wronged me. He has only helped me. He has shown a unique kindness that I doubt to receive from anyone else. Thirdly, I want to thank Andrew Nover because he never stopped believing in me. Lastly, I want to say that there are many others who I want to thank for their kindness, friendship, care, support, love, etc. It does not matter if we have grown apart or if we are no longer friends. Either way, I still want to thank you. And if you think I have you in mind when I write this, I do.

Option 2:

I want to dedicate this book to two people.

The first, Christian , who without prompting me to join our debate team with him in 7th grade, I would not have written this. I want to thank him for his friendship, as without it, I probably wouldn’t have survived my freshman year of high school. I want to thank him for all the laughs, cries, and moments of friendship that we have thus far shared together. Out of all the memories we share, there is one which I will never forget: that one September night in 2019, we were on a call talking about how a lack of objective morality led to nihilism, and at that moment, we both realized what the death of God really meant — at that moment, I felt my first feeling of power, I became an atheologian.

The second, Georges Bataille, was the one who saved me from suicidal madness after my latest ex-girlfriend left me. Without his works, I would have taken my life by now. Bataille has revealed to me the truth that is death and thus the truth of life therefore too. I want to thank Bataille for all the moments of ecstasy, joy, awe, terror, and despair he has made me feel. He will forever be my greatest friend. What he describes through a multitude of terms, but best known by the term ‘inner experience,’ is neither an experience nor interior. Rather, it is the movement of my very being going beyond itself. That is to say, inner experience is fundamentally a negation. With my last two exes, I, in ecstatic communication, went beyond myself. Orgies of negation ensued. In the context of Nietzsche, this moment of inner experience is nothing more than the experience of the eternal return. Thus, it is really Nietzsche who saved me from suicide twice. But, let us not forget that Bataille is Nietzsche, and I am Bataille! THUS, I AM NIETZSCHE!

The joyous despair of Dionysian pessimism makes one shout “AMOR FATI,” which means ‘love of fate.’ But what is our fate if not death? Amor fati is not just the love of one’s life but the love of one’s death. It is the total affirmation of negation which is itself a negation. The eternal return is not of the affirmative as many Nietzsche scholars would argue. On the contrary, the eternal return is of the negative. In the moment of the eternal return, I am ecstatically annihilated. This is the message of Friedrich Nietzsche which we receive as if we were contracting a disease.

Amor fati, that is, and forever will be my contagious message.

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Evan Jack

How sweet terror is, not a single line, or a ray of morning sunlight fails to contain the sweetness of anguish. - Georges Bataille