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Georges Bataille “On Nietzsche”

September 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Bataille, Georges 1992. On Nietzsche. London: The Athlone Press

[…] good relates to having contempt for the interest of beings in themselves. (15)

Thus „communication“, without which nothing exists for us, is guaranteed by crime. „Communication“ is love, and love taints those whom it unites. (18)

In the elevation upon a cross, humankind attains a summit of evil. But it’s exactly from having attained it that humanity ceases being separate from God. So clearly the „communication“ of human beings is guaranteed by evil. Without evil, human existence would turn in upon itself, would be enclosed as a zone of independence: And indeed an absence of „communication“ – empty loneliness – would certainly be the greater evil. (18)

„Communication“ cannot proceed from one full and intact individual to another. It requires individuals whose separate existence in themselves is risked, placed at the limit of death and nothingness; the moral summit is the moment of risk taking, it is a being suspended in the beyond of oneself, at the limit of nothingness. (19)

[…] with „communication“ or physical lovemaking, desire takes nothingness as its object. (20)

„Communication“ only takes place between two people who risk themselves, each lacerated and suspended, perched atop a common nothingness. (20-21)

In the realm of sensuality, a being of flesh is the object of desire. Although, in that being, what attracts isn’t immediate being but a wound, a break in the body’s integrity, the orifice of filth. (22)

Individuals or humans can only „communicate“ – live – outside of themselves. And being under the necessity to „communicate“, they’re compelled to will evil and defilement, which, by risking the being within them, renders them mutually penetrable each to the other. (25)

All „communication“ participates in suicide, in crime. Lethal horror goes with it, and disgust is its sign. And in such a light, evil appears – as a life source! (26)

As soon as I say – oh why give a damn about some future! – then and there I break into infinite laughter. At the same moment, though, I’ve lost the reason to make efforts. (36)

Having said good-bye to worries about the future with a blasphemous oath – I lose all reason for existing, in fact, all reason, period. I lose the possibility of speaking. (37)

Practically nothing – only nothingness – intoxicates me. This intoxication has as its condition that I laugh, principally, at myself. (60)

Carnal love, because not „sheltered from thieves“ or vicissitudes, is greater than divine love. It „risks“ me and the one I love. God by defition isn’t risked. However far the lovers of God go with their passion, they conceive of it as outside the play of risk, as beyond grace (in the happiness of the elect). And it’s true of course that a woman’s lover can’t give up (he’s compelled to abolish tormenting absence) till at least he has her beneath his roof in his possession. The truth is that, for the most part, love is extinguished in attempts to elude its nature: which has to risk love again and again … (69)

„Could freedom somehow not be powerless?“ (111)

To want to be everything – or God – is to want to cancel time, is to want to cancel chance (randomness). Not to want this is to want time and chance. To want chance is amor fati (love of fate). Amor fati signifies wanting chance, signifies differing from what was. To attain the unknown and risk it, to gamble it. For a single entity, to risk stakes is to risk losing or winning. For a totality, it means exceeding the given or going beyond. In a definitive way, to risk is to bring what didn’t exist into being (which is why time is history). (120)

The return of chance can’t come from effort, much less merit. At most, occurring when taking a different viewpoint on anxiety, from favorably noncommittal attitudes, like those of gamblers whom nothing fazes (alongside a suicide’s body, I picture a cool, calm, collected gambler, recklessly pouring out his substance). (127)

In risk I now perceive a movement that, rather than relating the individual’s present to his or her future, connects it to a person whi doesn’t yet exist. In this sense risk doesn’t assign action to the serving of an agent but serves a still inexistent person. And in this regard it exceeds „being’s limits“. (149)

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