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Ecce MonstrumGeorges Bataille and the Sacrifice of Form$
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Jeremy Biles

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780823227785

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823227785.001.0001

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Nietzsche Slain

Nietzsche Slain

(p.36) Two Nietzsche Slain
Ecce Monstrum

Jeremy Biles

Fordham University Press

Though Georges Bataille's initial reading of Friedrich Nietzsche in 1923 leaves him feeling “overcome”, he goes on to produce a body of work that, if bearing the marks of Nietzsche, nonetheless diverges from Nietzsche in crucial respects. This chapter argues that, far from representing a simple continuation of Nietzsche's thought, Bataille's writings dramatically enact a rupture with Nietzsche—a denial of Nietzsche that paradoxically deepens, rather than mitigates, Bataille's intimacy with this man he calls friend. This binding break, at once faithful and renunciatory, is effected through Bataille's strategic misreading and rewriting of Nietzsche. The chapter shows that Bataille's misprision of Nietzsche amounts to a refusal of recognition of his friend, instead marking an act of extreme identification. Denis Hollier has suggested that Bataille engages in a misreading of Nietzsche through which he repeats Nietzsche's experience of madness as a sacrifice of identity. This chapter shows how Bataille's misprision proceeds as a kind of rewriting of Nietzsche, but a rewriting that is specifically an inversion of him.

Keywords:   inversion, Friedrich Nietzsche, Denis Hollier, identification, misreading, madness, misprision, rewriting

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