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The Absence of Myth: Writings on Surrealism
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The Absence of Myth: Writings on Surrealism

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  93 ratings  ·  9 reviews
For Bataille, the absence of myth had itself become the myth of the modern age. In a world that had lost the secret of its cohesion, Bataille saw surrealism as both a symptom and a beginning of an attempt to address this loss. His writings on this theme are the result of a profound reflection in the wake of World War Two.

The Absence of Myth is the most incisive study yet m
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 17th 2006 by Verso (first published 1994)
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Like Salvador Dali, Luis Buñuel and Antonin Artaud, Georges Bataille was associated for a time with the surrealist movement. In this book of essays, in addition to reviewing the work of other surrealists and commenting on his own personal experiences in the movement (including his disagreements with and defences of Andre Breton), Bataille supplies a philosophical and sometimes almost anthropological analysis of the significance of surrealism.

Bataille characterizes the modern human condition as a
Jarad Coats
So far it's been an interesting read. A collection of letters & writing from Bataille, who, by all accounts was not the typical insider, in his views of surrealism. A sometimes foe of Breton, his views seem as much about causing drama as displaying a point of view.

He offers interesting contrasts to normal surrealists, though, and his main article of thought in this piece, dealing with what society will do to replace the binding common myth of God, once it's finally gone (as he speculated wo
James Curcio

Though there are interesting fragments throughout on surrealism, myth, and consciousness, fragments is definitely the operative word. There doesn't feel like there's a cohesive framework behind these selections, and, truth be told, I feel I got more out of the introduction than I did out of the book itself. That said, it's been a useful addition to the research I've been doing for the book I'm working on, so I can't say it's useless. I wouldn't suggest it as an introduction to Bataille's thinkin
fine writing. often impenetrable like Breton or Foucault, but after reading a three page long paragraph... BAM! he'll make you amazed.
Georges Bataille, was an official member of the Surrealists if not mistaken, but had a (what a surprise) falling out with Andre Breton, the king (really) of that group. But that's personalites, I believe Bataille found Surrealism useful for his work - and this collection of essays on that subject is an important document of a time as well as its philosophy.

Cameron Willis
Not a necessary or essential collection, even for Bataille fans, but an illuminating study of surrealism by a contemporary, adherent and general enemy.
Jacob Russell
Nov 24, 2008 Jacob Russell rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone interested Modernist and contemporary poetry
A slow reading of these essays and articles. The pieces on Rene Char, Prevert and Camus' The Rebel are worth careful and repeated reading.
The Absence of Myth: Writings on Surrealism by Georges Bataille (1994)
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French essayist, philosophical theorist and novelist, often called the "metaphysician of evil." Bataille was interested in sex, death, degradation, and the power and potential of the obscene. He rejected traditional literature and considered that the ultimate aim of all intellectual, artistic, or religious activity should be the annihilation of the rational individual in a violent, transcendental ...more
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