The Transcendence of Transcendence: Commentary on “Sacrifices”

[NOTE: This was written on the 4th of August, this year. I am only posting it now at the request of one of my friends]


Me, I exist — suspended in a realized void — suspended from my own dread — different from all other being and such that the various events that reach all other being and not me cruelly throw this me out of a total existence”.[1] I exist different from all other states of being other than myself, and thus this difference between myself and all other states of being means that those events which take place within those other states of being do not take place within the state of being myself. This difference between all other states of being and myself throws me out of the state of being totally existent. For, I cannot be in the state of being totally existent. I can only be in the state of being myself. But, therefore I cannot be in the state of partially existent either, and this is one of the conditions of my improbability.

“But at the same time, I consider my coming into the world — which depended on the birth and on the conjunction of a given man and woman, then on the moment of their conjunction”.[2] I consider the difference fundamental to the existence of myself, but I also consider the formation of myself into an existent being, which depended on fundamental events.

“There exists, in fact, a unique moment in relation to the possibility of me — and thus the infinite improbability of this coming into the world appears”.[3] But while I consider this formation of myself into an existent being, I also consider the moment upon which it is contingent, and thus I consider its radical contingency, revealing the infinite improbability dof my coming into being.

“For if the tiniest difference had occurred in the course of the successive events of which I am the result, in the place of this me, integrally avid to be me, there would have been ‘an other’”.[4] The radical improbability of my existence is revealed to me because if anything in the path of my coming into being was different, I would not be, but another in my place would be.

“The immense realized void is this infinite improbability and across it I, as imperative existence, play, because a simple presence suspended above such an immensity is comparable to the exercise of a dominion, as if the void in whose midst I am demands that I be me and the dread of this me”.[5] The realized void that my existence, and thus, myself is suspended in is the radical infinite improbability of myself. But I play in this suspension into the void, because this insertion of myself into the void of my infinite improbability is an act of the determination of me as existing. Thus, my existence is imperative, that is, demanded by my radically infinite improbability, that is, by the realized void I am suspended into.

“The immediate exigency of nothingness would thus imply not undifferentiated being but the painful improbability of the unique me”.[6] The demand of the realized void does not imply the absence of difference which comes from my difference from all other states of being, but rather, it suggests the infinite improbability of myself which is different from all other states of being. The demand of the realized void, of nothingness, is where we find my infinite improbability. But it is also where we find the demand of my unique existence as myself.

“The empirical knowledge of the structure this me has in common with the other mes has become an absurdity in this void where my dominion manifests itself, for the very essence of the me that I am consists in the fact that no other conceivable existence can replace it; the total improbability of my coming into the world poses, in an imperative mode, a total heterogeneity”.[7] The absurdity in any empirical knowledge of myself is that the structure of my being is very similar to the structure of other beings. This is absurd because my very essence, which is the me that I am, that is, my existence is different from all others. I am simultaneously different from all other beings yet so similar, I have so much in common with them, and this is absurd. And this absurdity translates into a total improbability of my existence, which is nonetheless imperative, that is, demanded by the void. And my existence is totally heterogeneous, that is, (non-logically) different from all other things. My existence is impure, that is, guilty.

A fortiori a historical representation of the formation of me (considered as a part of everything that is an object of knowledge) and of its imperative or impersonal modes dissipates, and this allows only the subsistence of the violence and the avidity for the dominion of the me over the void in which it is suspended; at will, even in its prison, the me that I am realizes everything that preceded it or surrounds it, whether it exists as life or as simple being, as a void submitted to its anxious dominion”.[8] The void’s demand for my coming into being and the historical representation of this demand is lost, and with this loss, the violence of the void’s demand of my coming into being is only maintained, and thus, the demand itself is maintained. Thus, with the demand for my existence simultaneously lost and maintained, at my very will, I bring all things that existed before me, and that exist with me in the present, into existence. This is to say, I realize all things that have been and are, at my very will. The me that does this willing of all things, does this irrespective of its complexity, or lack thereof. All those things which have been and are is the void which has submitted to the will of the state of being which is me.

“The fact of supposing the existence of a possible and even necessary point of view that demands the inaccuracy of such a revelation (this supposition is implied by the recourse to expression) in no way invalidates the immediate reality of the experience lived by the imperative presence in the world of me; this lived experience equally constitutes an inevitable point of view, a direction of being required by the eagerness of its own movement”.[9] The presupposition of a perspective that denies my imperative existence does nothing to challenge the fact of my experience of my immediate existence, for my presence is imperative because it is of the world which is of me. The perspective of my experience of my immediate existence is that myself, or my perspective, is another perspective that is demanded by the realized void’s thirst for my willing of existence.


“A choice between opposing representations must be linked to the inconceivable solution to the problem of that which exists: what exists as profound existence liberated from the forms of appearance? Most often the hasty and ill-considered answer is given as if the question what is there that is imperative? (what is the moral value) and not what exists? has been posed. In other cases — where philosophy is deprived of its object — the no less hasty response is only the perfect and partial avoidance (and not the destruction) of the problem, if matter is represented as profound existence”.[10] The opposing representations of the question of “What exists outside of appearance?” which are without any careful consideration of the question are twofold. Either, one, the problem is taken out of cosmology and thrown into ethics, and the question becomes “what is moral? What should exist? What ought to exist?” or, two, the question is not represented at all, and is ignored.

“But from this it is possible to see — within the relatively clear given limits, beyond which doubt itself disappears with the other possibilities — that, while the meanings of all positive judgements on profound existence are not distinguishable from fundamental value judgements, thought remains free on the other hand to constitute the me as a foundation of all value without confusing this me (the value) with profound existence, and even without inscribing it within the framework of a reality that is manifest but hidden from plain sight”.[11] While it is true that any description of profound existence is no different than any prescription of what existence should be (this is the normativity of cosmology similar to the normativity of epistemology which Nietzsche pointed out), the person who thinks of these descriptions and prescriptions, which is the me, the state of being myself, is the basis for all prescriptions and is no way apart of the descriptions of existence. Thus, the state of being myself that I am is not inscribed within existence. Is this not just a representation of my infinitely improbable difference?

“The me, completely other due to its constitutive improbability, has been rejected in the course of the normal search for ‘that which exists’ as the arbitrary but eminent image of nonexistence; it is as illusion that it responds to the extreme demands of life. In other words, the me, as an impasse outside of ‘that which exists’ — and in which are found reunited, without any way out, all the extreme values of life — even though it is constituted in the presence of reality, does not belong in any way to this reality which it transcends”.[12] As stated earlier, if anything was different in my path to coming into being, there would not have been me but an other. In fact, the me that I am is so improbable that I am other. The state of being that is myself, as was stated earlier, is excluded from the answer to the question of “what exists?”. What I am is a fiction. I am a “necessary” illusion. Life requires the fiction of the subject, the ego, the me, etc. in order to survive. Bataille here sounds very much like Nietzsche, who, in The Will to Power, also sees the subject as life’s fiction. The me (the subject that I am) is transcendent in this way. It is a transcendent projection, not at all real.

“It neutralizes itself (ceases to be completely other) insofar as it ceases to be aware of the total improbability of its coming into the world, and consequently of its fundamental lack of relations with the world (to the extent that it is explicitly known — represented as the interdependence and chronological succession of objects — the world, as the integral development of that which exists, must in fact appear necessary or probable)”.[13] Because of the fact that the me that I am is a transcendent project, it has no relation to existence (the world). And because of this, the me ceases to have difference from all that is in the world or present at hand. In other words, the me ceases to be other, that is, different because it is related to nothing, there can be no relation of difference. It also, therefore, ceases to have awareness about its infinite improbabilty.

“In an arbitrary order where each element of self-awareness escapes from the world (absorbed in the convulsive projection of the me), to the extent that philosophy, renouncing all hope of logical construction, arrives at — as at an end — a representation of relations defined as improbable (and which are only the middle terms of ultimate improbability), it is possible to represent the me in tears, or anxious; it can equally be thrown, in the case of a painful erotic choice, in the direction of a me other than itself but also other than any other. And thus the me can increase, as far as the eye can see, its painful awareness of its own escape out of the world — but it is only at the boundary of death that laceration, which constitutes the very nature of the immensely free me, transcending ‘that which exists,’ is revealed with violence”.[14] Because I am nothing more than a projection that is self-awareness abstracted from existence, I can be represented as a being that is anxious. Thus, I must be anxious for something, or rather for someone. And thus, I can be thrown into another (this is the fusion of bodies found in eroticism). This fluid collision (fusion) is that point at which life assents unto death, eroticism, and this freedom only shows me how far I am from existence. I transcend transcendence in this movement. Thus, It is when self-consciousness escapes from existence, which is enmeshed in the projective transcendence of the me, that it is possible to represent myself as torn, that is, lacerated. Therefore, the me that is myself goes beyond itself, as it goes beyond existence, beyond the dominated void (this movement of going beyond oneself is transcending transcendence). Thus, the movement of self-consciousness escaping from existence is the movement of the me towards the limit of death. The me that I am, in immanence, is free and liberated when it is lacerated.

“In the coming of death, there appears a structure of the me that is entirely different from the ‘abstract me’ (discovered, not through an active reflection reacting against all opposing limits, but through a logical investigation giving itself the form of its object in advance). This specific structure of the me is also distinct from the moments of personal existence, locked away due to practical activity and neutralized in the logical appearances of ‘that which exists.’ The me accedes to its specificity and to its integral transcendence only in the form of the ‘me that dies.’”[15] There is the abstract me which is that me which is not yet in the state of being myself but still is I. This is to say, the abstract me is myself forming myself as an object before I become one in existence, before I come into being. But when the me that I am is in the face of death, it is the me that dies and the structure (the state of being) that is the me that dies has nothing to do with the existential objectification performed by the abstract me. I am not the me which experiences the immediate existence which is before myself either when I am the me that dies, due to the fact that the me which experiences my immediate existence which is before myself is not only neutralized, that is, not completely other, but also stuck within the prison that is practical action. The me that dies goes beyond the stage of action.

“But this revelation of the me that dies is not given each time simple death is revealed to dread. It supposes the imperative completion and sovereignty of being at the moment it is projected into the unreal time of death. It supposes at once the exigency and the limitless breakdown of imperative life, the consequence of pure seduction and the heroic form of the me; it thus attains the rending subversion of the god that dies.”[16] The dread revealed by death does not cause the me that I am to become the me that dies. For the me that I am to become the me that dies, the state of being that is myself must be completed and sovereign (going beyond itself (the transcendence of transcendence)) at that same time that the state of being that is myself is projected into death and the unreal time which accompanies it. To become the me that dies, I must have, simultaneously, the demand for the composition of life (the completion of being) and its decomposition (the sovereignty of being). This is also how god becomes the god that dies. But this is also how the me that dies subverts the god that dies.

“The death of god is produced not as metaphysical alteration (concerning the common denominator of being), but as the absorption of a life avid for imperative joy in the heavy animality of death. The filthy aspects of the torn-apart body guarantee the totality of disgust where life subsides.”[17] The death of god is not an event in which the common metaphysical conception of god dies. The death of god is the event that is the dissolution of the me in the joy of death, in the joy of immanence. The transcendent body which is lacerated, wherein the tearing of existence takes place, is the guarantee of the heterogeneity of the immanence that “life” dwells in. In other words, the transcendent projection implies that it is transcending “something.” It is in the very difference of transcendence from immanence that one finds transcendence being corroded, rotting, decomposing, etc.

“In this revelation of free, divine nature, the obstinate orientation of the avidity of life towards death (as it is given in every form of play or dream) no longer appears as a need for cancellation, but as the pure avidity to be me, death or the void being only the domain where — by its very breakdown — a dominion of the me, which must be represented as vertigo, infinitely raises itself up. This me, and this dominion, arrive at the purity of their desperate nature and thus realize the pure hope of the me that dies: it is the hope of a drunken man, pushing the boundaries of the dream beyond all conceivable limits.”[18] After the death of god, life is set toward death, and only death (though, this is not to say it was ever set toward something else (it wasn’t)). I thirst for death. In death, I am affirmed in that the demand for the me is infinitely raised up, as the void which demands the me is raised up. But let us not fool ourselves. Death is negation (decomposition; sovereignty). Death is also affirmation (composition; completion). But total affirmation is the negation of itself (life assenting unto death). Life lifts itself so much that it negates itself (production, accumulation, and growth ultimately lead to expenditure). Thus, Bataille is ultimately a thinker of negativity. This is also where the desire for dissolution comes in. The desire to cross all limits, including the limit that is the self, is found in life, but it is mistaken as the affirmation of life. It is in fact the negation of life. To forward a notion from On Nietzsche, the will to power is the lion and the will to chance is the child. That is to say, the will to power becomes the will to chance.

“At the same time the shadow of the divine person, laden with love, disappears — not exactly as vain appearance, but as dependence on a denied world that is founded on the reciprocal dependence of its parts.”[19] When one goes beyond themselves, transcendence is no longer transcending, because there “is” only immanence.

“It was the will to purify love of all preconditions that posed the unconditional existence of God as the supreme object of a rapturous escape from the self. But the conditional counterpart of divine majesty — the principle of political authority — leads the affective movement into the linkage of oppressed existences with moral imperatives; the affective movement is thrown back into the platitude of applied life, where the me as me withers away.”[20] God’s love is said to be without any precondition. “God’s love is unconditional,” they say. God’s love annihilates the self for the Christian mystics. It supposedly annihilates because of its purity… how foolish they were. Politics, which is always theological, is the movement into oppression with moral demands. The me as me is lost in political existence because one must always be becoming something else (and Being is nowhere). For example, one must become an adherent to an ideology (what one becomes doesn’t necessarily have to be political in general, but, obviously, within political existence, one must be political (look, another demand!)).

“When the man-god appears and dies both as rottenness and as the redemption of the supreme person, revealing that life will answer avidity only on condition that it be lived as the me that dies, he nonetheless eludes the pure imperative of this me: he subjects it to the applied (moral) imperative of God and thus gives the me as existence for others, for God, and morality alone as existence for itself.”[21] Life will end in death (and it wants to live in death, does this not make you laugh?!), but the normative and theological imperative placed upon the me makes the me that I am be altruistic because that is what the imperative holds to be right. God and morality, on the other hand, are egoists, existing only for themselves.

“In an ideally brilliant and empty infinity, chaos to the point of revealing the absence of chaos, the anxious loss of life opens, but life only loses itself — at the limit of the last breath — for this empty infinity. The me raises itself to the pure imperative, living-dying for an abyss without walls or floor; this imperative is formulated as ‘die like a dog’ in the strangest part of being. It abandons all applications in the world.”[22] Life loses itself in an empty infinity. The me lifts itself up to an imperative, but it is one of dying… It is the imperative to surrender oneself and one’s utility in relation to the things that constitute the world. The imperative to end imperatives, or rather go beyond imperatives.

“In the fact that life and death are passionately devoted to the subsidence of the void, the slave’s subordinate relation to the master is no longer revealed, but life and void are confused and mingled like lovers, in the convulsive movements of the end. Burning passion is no longer acceptance and realization of nothingness: nothingness is still a cadaver; brilliance is the blood that flows and coagulates.”[23] Life and death exist together, maintaining the void. But death is the void, and thus life and death exist in paroxysmal exchanges with one another (Hegel weeps). Nothingness is still a dead and rotting corpse… thus, brilliance, as the flowing blood of the body, is not the acceptance of the corpse that is nothingness.

“And just as the freed obscene nature of their organs more passionately connects embracing lovers, so too the nearby horror of the cadaver and the present horror of blood tie the me that dies more obscurely to an empty infinity — and this empty infinity is itself projected as cadaver and as blood.”[24] The repelling horror of the corpse and blood is a horror that ties together, thus projecting the me that dies as a bleeding corpse in this empty infinity. The negation of negation that I am is negated.


“In this hasty and still confused revelation of an ultimate region of being, at which philosophy, like all communal human determinations, only arrives in spite of itself (like a manhandled corpse), the fundamental problem of being was even suspended when the aggressive subversion of the me accepted illusion as the adequate description of its nature. In this way all possible mysticism was rejected, in other words, all particular revelation to which respect could have given form. Likewise, the imperative avidity for life, ceasing to accept as its domain the narrow circle of logically ordered appearances, had nothing more than an unknown death at the summit of its avid elevation and as object it had nothing more than the reflection of this death in deserted night”.[25] The problem of being, that is, existing, was suspended when we accepted the state of being myself as an illusion. With this acceptance, things seem to become dull and gray. However, the thirst for death that is life was not constrained to the order of appearances (only its transcendent projection was). Passion is found in the movement toward dissolution. Death still meets life at the end.

“Chirstian meditation before the cross was no longer rejected with simple hostility, but assumed in a total hostility that demanded embracing the cross — in hand-to-hand combat. And thus it must and it can be lived as death of the me, not as respectful adoration but with the avidity of sadistic ecstasy, the surge of a blind madness that alone accedes to the passion of the pure imperative.”[26] The cross became something so hostile that the affirmation of it was combat. Being on the cross is nothing more than mad sadism. The symbol of Christianity, what some call the greatest event in history, is nothing more than the ascension to the imperative to end all imperatives, the project to go beyond project, inner experience, etc.

“In the course of the ecstatic vision, at the limit of death on the cross and of the blindly lived lamma sabachtani, the object is finally unveiled as catastrophe in a chaos of light and shadow, neither as God nor as nothingness, but as the object that love, incapable of liberating itself except outside itself, demands in order to let out the scream of lacerated existence.”[27] On the cross, God is not my object, nor is it nothingness. Rather, in my screams which result from the lacerations I’ve undergone, I reach my object, the object of the me that dies. This object is catastrophe, and it undoes me.

“In this position of object as catastrophe, thought lives the annihilation that constitutes it as a vertiginous and infinite fall, and thus has not only catastrophe as its objects; its very structure is catastrophe — it is itself absorption in the nothingness that supports it and at the same time slips away. Something immense is liberated from all sides with the magnitude of a cataract, surging forth from unreal reasons of the infinite, sinking into them in a movement of inconceivable force. The mirror that, in the crash of telescoping trains, suddenly slashes open one’s throat is the expression of this imperative — implacable — but already annihilated irruption.”[28] I live in my annihilation as I fall into nothingness. I not only have catastrophe as my object, but I also am catastrophe. But in being catastrophe, I slip away into immanence.

“In common circumstances, time appears locked — and practically annulled — in each permanent form and in each succession that can be grasped as permanence. Each movement susceptible of being inscribed in an order annuls time, which is absorbed in a system of measure and equivalence — thus time, having become virtually reversible, withers, and with time all existence. However, burning love — consuming the existence exhaled with great screams — has no other horizon than a catastrophe, a scene of horror that releases time from its bond.”[29] Time seems like something which never changes in that it is permanently the succession of events. Movements that can be ordered, homogenized, commensurate, etc. invalidate time, and with this invalidation, time becomes a part of an order of commensurability. Time is reversible because it is commensurable, a straight line flipped is still a straight line. With this invalidation, existence and time fade away… But love, in its glory and burning passion, consumes existence, which had been let go of by way of exhalation. With this consumption, catastrophe not only becomes the limit, but it also destroys all limits. And this catastrophic scene frees time from its orderly chains.

Catastrophe — lived time — must be represented ecstatically not in the form of an old man, but as a skeleton armed with a scythe: a glacial and gleaming skeleton, to whose teeth adhere the lips of a severed head. As skeleton it is completed destruction, but armed destruction amounting to imperative purity. Destruction gnaws deeply and thus purifies sovereignty itself. The imperative purity of time is opposed to God, whose skeleton is hidden behind gold draperies, under a tiara, and behind a mask: the divine mask and suavity express the application of an imperative form, giving itself as providence for the management of political oppression. But in divine love the freezing gleam of a sadistic skeleton is infinitely unveiled.”[30] Thus, catastrophe is lived time, because catastrophe is what frees time. Catastrophe is time. Catastrophe is that destruction which destroys all things. Time makes sovereignty annihilatory, thus sovereign time is catastrophe. God’s mask, skin, clothes, etc. are the expression of God’s “protective care” which is nothing more than managed political oppression. But once God goes beyond Himself, there is the divine. In the divine consumption of love, time rips away at the skin to reveal God’s bones.

“Revolt — its face distorted by amorous ecstasy — tears from God his naive mask, and thus oppression collapses in the crash of time. Catastrophe is that by which a nocturnal horizon is set ablaze, that for which lacerated existence goes into a trance — it is the Revolution — it is time released from all bonds; it is pure change; it is a skeleton that emerges from its cadaver as from a cocoon and that sadistically lives the unreal existence of death.”[31] TIME IS REVOLT!!! Thus, God and the oppression that His providence entails is destroyed in time. THE REVOLUTION AGAINST GOD IS UNCHAINED TIME! The corpse is nothing but a cocoon for the skeleton who lives within the unreality of death. Unchained time is pure change. Pure change is the revolt against God. In other words, catastrophe breaks the chains of time, and time being broken from its chains is the death of God. The burning consumption of love is expenditure. Thus, in expenditure, time is freed and God is dead. Death is pure change.


“Thus the nature of time as object of ecstasy reveals itself in accordance with ecstatic nature of the me that dies. For the one and the other are pure change and both take place on the plane of an illusory existence. But if the avid and obstinate question ‘what exists?’ still traverses the immense disorder of living thought in the mode of the me that dies, what will be the meaning, at this moment, of the answer: ‘time is only an empty absurdity’? — or of all the other answers that refuse the being of time? Or what will be the meaning of the opposite answer: ‘being is time’?”.[32] The nature of time which is pure change is also the nature of the me that dies. Time and the me that dies take place within the unreal existence of death. Neither takes place on the level of profound existence because death is the unreal real… But within pure change, what exists? If nothing can be, because everything is changing, is time the only thing that is? Or, does time have nothing to do with being?

“More clearly than in an order limited to the narrow realizations of order, the problem of the being of time can be elucidated in a disorder embracing the totality of conceivable forms. First of all the effort at a dialectical construction of contradictory answers is set aside insofar as it is a prejudice that would evade the rending implications of any problem. Time is not the synthesis of being and nothingness if being or nothingness are only found in time and are only arbitrarily separated notions. There is, in fact, neither isolated being nor isolated nothingness; there is time. But to affirm existence of time is an empty assertion in the sense that it gives less the vague attribute of existence to time than the nature of time to existence; in other words, it empties the notion of existence of its vague and limitless content, and at the same time it infinitely empties it of all content.”[33] Dialectical analysis is inadequate to deal with the problem of the being of time, much less any other problem. If time contains being and nothingness, and being and nothingness are separated, then time is not being and nothingness. But being and nothingness aren’t separatable in that being and nothingness can never be isolate. In other words, neither is there being nor nothingness, there is only time. But are we correct in saying that time is? Hardly! To say “time is” is not to give time the nature of existence, that is, existential status, but rather it is to give existence the nature of pure change. Existence as pure change empties existence of itself. Existence is not, if it is pure change.

“The existence of time does not even require the objective position of time as such; this existence, posed in ecstasy, means only the flight and the collapse of any object that understanding sought to give itself both as a value and as a fixed object. The existence of time projected arbitrarily into an objective region is only the ecstatic vision of a catastrophe destroying that which founds this region. Not because the region of objects is necessarily, like the me, infinitely destroyed by time itself, but because existence founded in the me suddenly looms there destroyed, and because the existence of things is impoverished in comparison with that of the me. The existence of things, assuming the value for me — projecting an absurd shadow — of the preparations for an execution, cannot enclose the death it brings, but is itself projected into this death, which encloses it. To affirm the illusory existence of the me and of time (which is not only the structure of the me but the object of its erotic ecstasy) does not therefore mean that the illusion must be subjected to the judgement of things whose existence is profound, but that profound existence must be projected into the illusion that incloses it.”[34] The existence of time is different from the existence of other things in that the existence of time does not require time to be, that is, to be an object. It is important to remember that ‘understanding’ is a psychological process of trying to create an object by way of the usage of concepts. Thus, understanding isn’t only about physical objects, but also abstract objects. Therefore, time would be an abstract object. So, when I say “the existence of time does not require time to be, that is, to be an object,” I do not mean that time is not required to be a physical object independent of us, but rather an abstract object. It is thus not wrong to say that understanding tries to regulate time as an abstract object. But the issue for understanding is that time is in flight from being. This flight is catastrophic in that it destroys the object which time is to be. This flight also destroys understanding itself. So, the me, engaged in the process of understanding, is destroyed as are all things because understanding posits these things. This flight is also why things cannot supersede the death which they entail. Things are superseded by death. All things are finite, death cuts them short. So, to say “time is” is not to subordinate time to the status of a thing, that is, to the status of profound existence. Rather, to say “time is” is to subordinate that which is to the status of illusory existence, which is their destruction. In other words, to say “time is” or “the me that dies is” is to enclose profound existence within the me that dies, and thus, all those things of profound existence (all things are of profound existence) die with the me that dies.

“The being which, under a human name, is me, and whose coming into the world — across a space peopled with stars — was infinitely improbable, nevertheless encloses the world of the totality of things precisely because of its fundamental improbability (which is opposed to the structure of the real giving itself as such). The death that delivers me from the world that kills me has enclosed this real world in the unreality of the me that dies.”[35] It is out of my radically infinite improbability that I contain all things. Death subordinates all things to me, and all things die with the me that dies.


[1]: Georges Bataille, Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927–1939, ed. Allan Stoekl, trans. Allan Stoekl, Carl R. Lovitt, and Donald M. Leslie Jr. (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1985), 130.

[2]: Ibid.

[3]: Ibid.

[4]: Ibid.

[5]: Ibid.

[6]: Ibid.

[7]: Ibid.

[8]: Ibid., 131.

[9]: Ibid.

[10]: Ibid.

[11]: Ibid.

[12]: Ibid.

[13]: Ibid., 131–132.

[14]: Ibid., 132.

[15]: Ibid

[16]: Ibid.

[17]: Ibid.

[18]: Ibid.

[19]: Ibid.

[20]: Ibid., 133.

[21]: Ibid.

[22]: Ibid.

[23]: Ibid.

[24]: Ibid.

[25]: Ibid.

[26]: Ibid., 133–134.

[27]: Ibid., 134.

[28]: Ibid.

[29]: Ibid.

[30]: Ibid.

[31]: Ibid.

[32]: Ibid., 135.

[33]: Ibid.

[34]: Ibid.

[35]: Ibid., 135–136.


Bataille, Georges. Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927–1939. Edited by Allan Stoekl. Translated by Allan Stoekl, Carl R. Lovitt, and Donald M. Leslie Jr.. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1985.



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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