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The Self-Emptying SubjectKenosis and Immanence, Medieval to Modern$
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Alex Dubilet

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823279463

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823279463.001.0001

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Sans Emploi, Sans Repos, Sans Réponse: Georges Bataille’s Loss without a Why

Sans Emploi, Sans Repos, Sans Réponse: Georges Bataille’s Loss without a Why

(p.148) Chapter 5 Sans Emploi, Sans Repos, Sans Réponse: Georges Bataille’s Loss without a Why
The Self-Emptying Subject

Alex Dubilet

Fordham University Press

This chapter argues that Bataille’s wartime writings, the texts comprising La Somme athéologique, are exemplary in the way they bypass the customary division erected between philosophical and religious discourses in order to foreground a different partition: between modes of thinking, living, and speaking that disclose movements of self-emptying and irrecuperable loss and thereby reveal the ungrounded immanence of life, and those, by contrast, that disavow and instrumentalize of those movements and thus uphold transcendence. This, as the chapter argues, explains the peculiar fact that Bataille’s texts never found a disciplinary home; he was a figure whose thought proved too mystical for the philosophers (as Jean-Paul Sartre claimed) and too nihilistic for the theologians (as Gabriel Marcel made clear). In other words, Bataille’s works gave voice to the ungrounded immanence of life, but did so while stripping thought of its discursive and disciplinary supports and orientations.

Keywords:   Bataille, desubjectivation, loss, uselessness, without a why

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