The Divine Annihilation of 100 Suns

04/22/2021

My head wants to slide off my neck. Or better, my mind wants to annihilate itself with the power of 100 Suns. This would be a divine annihilation, for in Giordano Bruno’s ontology, God is reflected by the Sun.

Bataille breaks down not only the exercise of producing theory but also that which is produced by the aforementioned exercise: theory is what he ultimately breaks down via the rebellious nature of his work. This is also where Paul Mann, author of The Theory-Death of the Avant-Garde and Masocriticism, which are two great books I suggest you all read, comes into play. Mann takes a sort of meta-position to theory. He explains to us in his essay on Bataille, found in Masocriticism, that Bataille is the alibi for all of theory to continue and that we will just have to wait for theory to be confronted by the work of Bataille. It is in this way that I think we could say that Bataille has the same role as God does in Bataille’s relation to theory. So to explain my last sentence, where to start?

Bataille sees God as existing in His presence-in-absence. It is a void in which all things circulate around. This is why objects when they are sacrificed (in the Bataillean sense) exit circulation as it is the moment when the sacrificer and the sacrificed meet a limit where we assume the position of God as we also sacrifice God in the act of sacrifice. The reason the sacrificer returns to discontinuity is because he is the one who sacrifices, whereas the sacrificed is obviously well sacrificed. Bataille’s oeuvre functions in the same way in relation to theory. Bataille’s theory is an auto-sacrificial, or masocritical (though I don’t like to use this term because I don’t necessarily agree with the entirety of Mann’s analysis of Bataille found in Masocriticism), void in which theory circulates around. This leaves us with the question of how did theory exist before Bataille? Though this question isn’t a problem because we are just looking at the now, let’s try to answer it anyway. Theory has had an other which is not Bataille and came before him, though I would argue that Bataille picks up this excluded other and radicalizes it: myth.

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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