Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939 Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

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Introduction

• George Bataille was born in 1897 and lived until 1962.
• Bataille and his mother abandoned Bataille's blind and syphilitic father in 1913, when Bataille was sixteen.
• Bataille became Catholic in rebellion against his father, but renounced his faith seven years later.
• At the Ecole des Chartres, Bataille was trained as a medieval librarian, and he worked in that role until 1942.
• The first book Bataille published was "W.C.", which was 'opposed to all dignity' but Breton, a lead surrealist, called Bataille an excremental philosopher.
• Bataille followed 'W.C.' with other excremental works such as "Eye", "The Big Toe", "The Language of Flowers" and "The Lugubrious Game".
• In 1935, Bataille founded the Popular Front with Andre Breton and others in an attempt to oppose fascism.
• Bataille ultimately concluded that a bi-cephalic--i.e. a self-contradictory--philosophy was preferable to a monocephalic one with its single meanings for things.

Section I (1927-1930)

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