This is the first book in English to offer an accessible introduction to the work of Georges Bataille, recognized as one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century. Bataille developed a complex philosophy based upon an examination of the interplay between death and eroticism. For him, eroticism was the foundation of human experience and provided sharp insight into the basis of human society and the individual's response to society.
The theories of Bataille, although largely neglected during his lifetime, have grown in influence during the last 30 years--first in France and more recently in Britain and the US, where they have often been associated with the rise of post-structuralism and postmodernism.
Although most of Bataille's works have now been translated into English, there has been little accessible critical commentary on his work. Often misunderstood and conflated too readily with postmodernism, Bataille is a far more multifaceted thinker who cannot easily be categorized. Thisbook seeks to both identify the essential qualities of Bataille's work and to critically examine the concepts he uses. Written with both clarity and precision, "Georges Bataille" is a superb analysis of the intellectual roots of modern social theory and as such represents a major contribution to the historical and analytical development of postmodernism.