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Negative EcstasiesGeorges Bataille and the Study of Religion$
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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

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Does the Acéphale Dream of Headless Sheep?

Does the Acéphale Dream of Headless Sheep?

(p.217) Does the Acéphale Dream of Headless Sheep?
Negative Ecstasies

Jeremy Biles

Fordham University Press

In light of his polemical relations with André Breton and his critiques of surrealism, Bataille is widely but mistakenly thought to have an aversion to the dream and the unconscious. Revealing important connections between psychoanalysis and Bataille, this essay seeks to correct this misreading of Bataille, demonstrating that for Bataille, dream and the powers of the unconscious are in fact intimately related to his conception of the sacred. The essay adumbrates a Bataillean “heterological” approach to the dream and dream interpretation, arguing that for Bataille, the dream is a crucial element of ecstatic “nonknowledge” and “inner experience.”

Keywords:   Georges Bataille, André Breton, Sacred, Dream, Psychoanalysis, Unconscious, Surrealism, Ecstasy, religious experience

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