Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Negative EcstasiesGeorges Bataille and the Study of Religion$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jeremy Biles and Kent Brintnall

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823265190

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823265190.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

Sovereignty and Cruelty

Sovereignty and Cruelty

Self-Affirmation, Self-Dissolution, and the Bataillean Subject

(p.38) Sovereignty and Cruelty
Negative Ecstasies

Stephen S. Bush

Fordham University Press

Two problems confront the attempt to develop an ethical perspective from Georges Bataille’s writings. First, he employs representations of cruelty frequently, and he seems to think there is some benefit to attending to spectacles of cruelty. Second, he has a focus on self-dissolution, which seemingly comes at the expense of appropriate self-assertion. This chapter argues that Bataille enjoins self-assertion, not just self-dissolution. Further, his use of cruel imagery is part of his strategy of fostering self-assertiveness. In apprehending representations of cruelty, Bataille’s idea is that subjects can endorse the drive in themselves to be free of external constraints while recognizing that this drive can lead to victimization. Paradoxically, self-assertion ultimately leads to self-dissolution, however.

Keywords:   Georges Bataille, Cruelty, Violence, Ethics, ecstasy

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .