Dates: 1897-1962

Nationality: French

Georges Bataille (September 10, 1897 – July 8, 1962) was a French writer. Although several philosophers have been significantly influenced by his thought, Bataille tended not to refer to himself as a philosopher.

In the 1920s Bataille was involved with the Surrealist movement, but he called himself the “enemy from within.” He was officially excommunicated from its inner circles by André Breton, who accused him of splintering the group. In the same decade, after a liberating period of psychoanalysis, Bataille started to write. He founded and edited many journals and was the first to publish such thinkers as Barthes, Foucault and Derrida. Between 1929 and 1931 Bataille edited the journal Documents (1929-31), which was devoted to cultural phenomena. With Pierre Klossowski, the brother of the painter Balthus, Bataille befriended in 1934; they shared a similar interest in psychoanalysis, aesthetics, and Marquis de Sade. In 1935 Bataille co-founded with André Breton the anti-Fascist group Contre-Attaque. To explore the manifestation of the sacred in society he, in 1939, co-founded with Michel Leiris and Roger Caillois the short-lived Collège de Sociologie. It was closely associated with a secret society which published the Acéphale review.


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