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The Absence of Myth: Writings on Surrealism

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  111 Ratings  ·  10 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
...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 17th 2006 by Verso (first published 1994)
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Dan
Aug 12, 2010 Dan rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
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
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Jarad Coats
Aug 20, 2013 Jarad Coats rated it really liked it
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
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James Curcio
Dec 09, 2012 James Curcio rated it liked it

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
...more
Alex Obrigewitsch
Feb 08, 2016 Alex Obrigewitsch rated it really liked it
An interesting collection of essays and writings centered around surrealism and what surrealism meant for Bataille.

I found this volume particularly elucidating for my own thought, and how it relates to that of Bataille and of the surrealists.

Bataille is an important thinker, of that there is no dispute from me. I would not necessarily recommend this as an introduction to his writing and thought, however. It is more of a supplement. Take that statement for what you will. The same goes for the ent
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Richard
Jan 13, 2015 Richard rated it really liked it
fine writing. often impenetrable like Breton or Foucault, but after reading a three page long paragraph... BAM! he'll make you amazed.
Tosh
Jun 16, 2008 Tosh rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 21, 2010 Cameron Willis rated it liked it
Shelves: in-my-library, theory
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 it was amazing
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.
Lisa
Dec 19, 2009 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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