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On Nietzsche

On Nietzsche
2.00 lbs



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Index , Appendix
$19.95 (19.95)
“An absorbing and illuminating read for persons with a philosophical and literary turn of mind.”–Small Press Book Review

“One of the most original and unsettling of those thinkers who, in the wake of Sade and Nietzsche, have confronted the possibility of thought in a world that has lost its myth of transcendence.”–Peter Brooks, The New York Times Book Review

“Bataille’s entire work deals with the experience of the edge, that is living at the very limits of life, at the extreme...Bataille’s books exert a fascination that never ceases.”–Bloomsbury Review

“(Bataille’s) writing is superlative...daringly imaginative, intended only for those awake and aware of the possibilities of excess–in literature and life. Along with Celine and Breton, Bataille writes as if he were dropping a bomb.”–Detroit Free Press

Hailed by Martin Heidegger as “one of France’s best minds,” Georges Bataille has become increasingly recognized and respected in the realm of academic and popular intellectual thought. Although Bataille died in 1962, interest in his life and writings have never been as strong as they are today–Barthes, Foucault, Derrida, and Kristeva have all acknowledged their debt to him. In his book, On Nietzsche, as translated by Bruce Boone, Bataille comes as close as he would ever come to formulating his own unique system of philosophy.

One could say that reading Nietzsche was something of a revelation to Bataille, and profoundly affected his life. In 1915, in a crisis of guilt after leaving his blind father in the hands of the Germans, Bataille converted to Catholicism. It was Nietzsche’s work that lead him to abandon traditional religion for an idiosyncratic form of godless mysticism. In this volume, Bataille becomes, and goes beyond, Nietzsche, assuming Nietzsche’s thought where he left off–with God’s death. At the heart of this work is Bataille’s exploration of how one can have a spiritual life outside religion.

On Nietzsche is essentially a journal that brilliantly mixes observations with ruminations in fragments, aphorisms, poems, myths, quotations, and images against the background of World War II and the German occupation. Bataille has a unique way of moving breezily from abstraction to confession, and from theology to eroticism. He skillfully weaves together his own internal experience of anguish with the war and destruction raging outside with arguments against fascist interpretations of Nietzsche and praise for the philosopher as a prophet foretelling “the crude German fate.” With an introduction, “Furiously Nietzschean,” by Sylvere Lotringer, an Appendix in which Bataille defends himself against Sartre, and an Index, this volume reconfirms Michel Foucault’s assertion that Bataille, “broke with traditional narrative to tell us what has never been told before.”

GEORGES BATAILLE (1897-1962) was a novelist, essayist, poet, and philosopher who greatly influenced the post-modernists. He is best known for his novels Story of the Eye and Blue of Noon and his volume of essays, Erotism: Death and Sensuality.

BRUCE BOONE, a writer in his own right, has worked on numerous translations, including Bataille’s Guilty and Albucius by Quignard.