Georges Bataille quotes

  • I don't want your love unless you know i am repulsive,and love me even as you know it.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #And Love #Want

  • A kiss is the beginning of cannibalism.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Kissing #Cannibalism

  • Nothing is more necessary or stronger in us than rebellion.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Stronger #Rebellion

  • A judgment about life has no meaning except the truth of the one who speaks last, and the mind is at ease only at the moment when everyone is shouting at once and no one can hear a thing.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Mind #Ease #Lasts

  • I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Believe #Literature #Faces

  • The need to go astray, to be destroyed, is an extremely private, distant, passionate, turbulent truth.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Needs #Passionate

  • We have in fact only two certainties in this world - that we are not everything and that we will die.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Two #World #Facts

  • It is human agitation, with all the vulgarity of needs small and great, with its flagrant disgust for the police who repress it, it is the agitation of all menthat alone determines revolutionary mental forms, in opposition to bourgeois mental forms.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Police #Revolutionary #Disgusting

  • Eroticism differs from animal sexuality in that human sexuality is limited by taboos and the domain of eroticism is that of the transgression of these taboos. Desire in eroticism is the desire that triumphs over the taboo. It presupposes man in conflict with himself.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Animal #Men #Desire

  • Eroticism is assenting to life even in death.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Death

  • Life has always taken place in a tumult without apparent cohesion, but it only finds its grandeur and its reality in ecstasy and in ecstatic love.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Love #Taken #Reality

  • Naturally, love's the most distant possibility.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Love #Possibility

  • Pleasure only starts once the worm has got into the fruit; to become delightful, happiness must be tainted with poison.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Happiness #Poison #Fruit

  • Sacrifice is nothing other than the production of sacred things.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Sacrifice #Sacred

  • Obscenity is our name for the uneasiness which upsets the physical state associated with self-possession, with the possession of a recognized and stable individuality.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Self #Names #Upset

  • Crime is a fact of the human species, a fact of that species alone, but it is above all the secret aspect, impenetrable and hidden. Crime hides, and by far the most terrifying things are those which elude us.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Secret #Facts #Elude

  • The fact is, that what de Sade was trying to bring to the surface of the conscious mind was precisely the thing that revolted that mind . . . From the very first he set before the consciousness things which it could not tolerate.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Mind #Trying #Firsts

  • The essence of morality is a questioning about morality; and the decisive move of human life is to use ceaselessly all light to look for the origin of the opposition between good and evil.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Moving #Essence #Light

  • In what will survive me I am in harmony with my annihilation.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Harmony #Annihilation

  • Incredible nervous state, trepidation beyond words: to be this much in love is to be sick (and I love to be sick).
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Love Is #Sick #Nervous

  • The power of death signifies that this real world can only have a neutral image of life, that life's intimacy does not reveal it's dazzling consumption until the moment it gives out.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Real #Giving #Doe

  • To place oneself in the position of God is painful: being God is equivalent to being tortured. For being God means that one is in harmony with all that is, including the worst. The existence of the worst evils is unimaginable unless God willed them.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Pain #Mean #Evil

  • The emotional element which gives an obsessive value to communal existence is death.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Emotional #Giving #Elements

  • The circumstances of my life are paralyzing.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Circumstances

  • Realism gives me the impression of a mistake. Violence alone escapes the feeling of poverty of those realistic experiences. Only death and desire have the force that oppresses, that takes one's breath away. Only the extremism of desire and death enable one to attain the truth.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Mistake #Giving #Feelings

  • The preceding criticism ... justifies the following definition of the entire human: human existence as the life of "unmotivated" celebration, celebration in all meaning of the word: laughter, dancing, orgy, the rejection of subordination, and sacrifice that scornfully puts aside any consideration of ends, property, and morality.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Laughter #Sacrifice #Dancing

  • Human entirety can only be what it is when giving up the addiction to others' ends.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Giving Up #Addiction #Ends

  • Existence as entirety remains beyond any one meaning and it is the conscious presence of humanness in the world inasmuch as this is nonmeaning, having nothing to do other than be what it is, no longer able to go beyond itself or give itself some kind of meaning through action.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Giving #World #Able

  • An intention that rejects what has no meaning in fact is a rejection of the entirety of being.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Rejection #Facts #Intention

  • If I give up the viewpoint of action, my perfect nakedness is revealed to me.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Giving Up #Perfect #Viewpoints

  • The total person is first disclosed ... in areas of life that are lived frivolously.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Firsts #Persons

  • A man who finds himself among others is irritated because he does not know why he is not one of the others. In bed next to a girl he loves, he forgets that he does not know why he is himself instead of the body he touches. Without knowing it, he suffers from the mental darkness that keeps him from screaming that he himself is the girl who forgets his presence while shuddering in his arms.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Girl #Men #Knowing

  • Only literature could reveal the process of breaking the law - without which the law would have no end - independently of the necessity to create order.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Order #Law #Literature

  • But a sort of rupture-in anguish-leaves us at the limit of tears: in such a case we lose ourselves, we forget ourselves and communicate with an elusive beyond.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Tears #Rupture #Limits

  • Indeed, the direction of the future is only there in order to elude us.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Order #Elude

  • To others, the universe seems decent because decent people have welded eyes. That is why they fear lewdness. They are never frightened by the crowing of a rooster or when strolling under a starry heaven. In general, people savor the "pleasures of the flesh" only on the condition that they may be insipid.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Fear #Eye #People

  • The owl flies, in the moonlight, over a field where the wounded cry out. Like the owl, I fly in the night over my own misfortune.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Night #Owl #Fields

  • I think that knowledge enslaves us, that at the base of all knowledge there is a servility, the acceptation of a way of life wherein each moment has meaning only in relation to another or others that will follow it.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Thinking #Way #Moments

  • We did not lack modesty—on the contrary—but something urgently drove us to defy modesty together as immodestly as possible.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Together #Modesty

  • The sexual act is in time what the tiger is in space.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Space #Tigers

  • You perhaps now know that desire reduces us to pulp.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Desire #Pulp

  • It is clear that the world is purely parodic, that each thing seen is the parody of another, or is the same thing in a deceptive form.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #World #Form #Parody

  • The warrior's nobility is like a prostitute's smile, the truth of which is self-interest.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Warrior #Self #Interest

  • Sovereignty, loyalty, and solitude.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Loyalty #Solitude #Sovereignty

  • The sovereign being is burdened with a servitude that crushes him, and the condition of free men is deliberate servility.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Crush #Men #Being Free

  • Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Dream #Knowing #Giving

  • We want to decipher skies and paintings, go behind these starry backgrounds or these painted canvases and, like kids trying to find a gap in a fence, try to look through the cracks in the world.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Kids #Sky #Trying

  • Entirety exists within me as exuberance ... in empty longing ... in ... the desire to burn with desire.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Desire #Longing #Empty

  • Life is whole only when it isn't subordinate to a specific object that exceeds it. In this way, the essence of entirety is freedom.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Essence #Way #Life Is

  • [Zarathustra] never abandoned the watchword of not having any end, not serving a cause, because, as he knew, causes pluck off the wings we fly with.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Wings #Causes #Abandoned

  • [Nietzsche's doctrine of the eternal return] is what makes moments caught up in the immanence of return suddenly appear as ends. In every other system, don't forget, these moments are viewed as means: Every moral system proclaims that "each moment of life ought to be motivated." Return unmotivates the moment and frees life of ends.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Mean #Doctrine #Return

  • What does physical eroticism signify if not a violation of the very being of its practitioners? – A violation bordering on death, bordering on murder?
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Doe #Murder #Violation

  • If I want to realize totality in my consciousness, I have to relate myself to an immense, ludicrous, and painful convulsion of all of humanity.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Humanity #Want #Realizing

  • When my face is flushed with blood, it becomes red and obscene. It betrays at the same time, through morbid reflexes, a bloody erection and a demanding thirst for indecency and criminal debauchery.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Blood #Criminals #Red

  • Though the immediate impression of rebellion may obscure the fact, the task of authentic literature is nevertheless only conceivable in terms of a desire for fundamental communication with the reader.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Communication #Desire #Tasks

  • Extreme seductiveness is at the boundary of horror
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Horror #Boundaries #Extremes

  • The chaos of the mind cannot constitute a reply to the providence of the universe. All it can be is an awakening in the night, where all that can be heard is anguished poetry let loose.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Night #Mind #Awakening

  • Humanity-attached-to-the-task-of-changing-the-world, which is only a single and fragmentary aspect of humanity, will itself be changed in humanity-as-entirety.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Humanity #Tasks #World

  • What causes [fragmentation] if not a need to act that specializes us and limits us to the horizon of a particular activity? Even if it turns out to be for the general interest (which generally isn't true), the activity that subordinates each of our aspects to a specific result suppresses our being as an entirety. Whoever acts substitutes a particular end for what he or she is, as a total being.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Needs #Horizon #Limits

  • In the helter-skelter of this book, I didn't develop my views as theory. In fact, I even believe that efforts of that kind are tainted with ponderousness. Nietzsche wrote "with his blood," and criticizing, or, better, experiencing him means pouring out one's lifeblood. ... It was only with my life that I wrote the Nietzsche book that I had planned.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Believe #Book #Mean

  • Nothing radically changes when instead of human satisfaction, we think of the satisfaction of some heavenly being! God's person displaces the problem and does not abolish it.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Thinking #Doe #Satisfaction

  • I teach the art of turning anguish into delight.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Inspirational #Art #Delight

  • Eroticism cannot be entirely revealed without poetry.
    -- Georges Bataille

  • To choose evil is to choose freedom, emancipation from all restraint.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Evil #Restraint #Emancipation

  • How cruel my suffering is,—no one is more talkative than I am!
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Suffering #Talkative

  • My true church is a whorehouse – the only one that gives me true satisfaction.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Giving #Church #Satisfaction

  • The anguish of the neurotic individual is the same as that of the saint. The neurotic, the saint are engaged in the same battle. Their blood flows from similar wounds. But the first one gasps and the other one gives.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Blood #Giving #Battle

  • Sanity is the lot of those who are most obtuse, for lucidity destroys one's equilibrium: it is unhealthy to honestly endure the labors of the mind which incessantly contradict what they have just established.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Mind #Sanity #Equilibrium

  • I enjoyed the innocence of unhappiness and of helplessness; could I blame myself for a sin which attracted me, which flooded me with pleasure precisely to the extent it brought me to despair?
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Despair #Innocence #Blame

  • Each of us is incomplete compared to someone else - an animal's incomplete compared to a person... and a person compared to God, who is complete only to be imaginary.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #God #Animal #Incomplete

  • Literature ... is the rediscovery of childhood.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Childhood #Literature #Rediscovery

  • Eroticism, it may be said, is assenting to life up to the point of death
    -- Georges Bataille

    #May #Said

  • It is through an "intimate cessation of all intellectual operations" that the mind is laid bare. If nor, discourse maintains it in its little complacency. ... The difference between inner experience and philosophy resides principally in this: that in experience, ... what counts is no longer the statement of wind, but the wind.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Philosophy #Wind #Differences

  • I remain in intolerable non-knowledge, which has no other way out than ecstasy itself.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Way #Ecstasy

  • We reach ecstasy by a contestation of knowledge. Were I to stop at ecstasy and grasp it, in the end I would define it.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Ends #Ecstasy

  • The difficulty that contestation must be done in the name of an authority is resolved this: I contest in the name of contestation what experience itself is.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Names #Done #Authority

  • Philosophy ... finds itself to be no longer anything but the heir to a fabulous mystical theology, but missing a God and wiping the slate clean.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Philosophy #Missing #Heirs

  • Inner experience ... is not easily accessible and, viewed from the outside by intelligence, it would even be necessary to see in it a sum of distinct operations, some intellectual, others aesthetic, yet others moral. ... It is only from within, lived to the point of terror, that it appears to unify that which discursive thought must separate.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Intellectual #Moral #Operations

  • By inner experience I understand that which one usually calls mystical experience: the states of ecstasy, of rapture, at least of meditated emotion. But I am thinking less of confessional experience, to which one has had to adhere up to now, that of an experience laid bare, free of ties, even of an origin, of any confession whatever. This is why I don't like the word mystical.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Thinking #Ties #Emotion

  • The analysis of laughter had opened to me points of contact between the fundamentals of a communal and disciplined emotional knowledge and those of discursive knowledge.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Laughter #Emotional #Analysis

  • The great monuments are raised up like dams, pitting the logic of majesty and authority against all the shady elements: it is in the form of cathedrals and palaces that Church and State speak and impose silence on the multitudes.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #Silence #Church #Dams

  • At man's core there is a voice that wants him never to give in to fear. But if it is true that in general man cannot give in to fear, at the very least he postpones indefinitely the moment when he will have to confront himself with the object of his fear... when he will no longer have the assistance of reason as guaranteed by God, or when he will no longer have the assistance of God such as reason guaranteed. It is necessary to recoil, but it is necessary to leap, and perhaps one only recoils in order to leap better.
    -- Georges Bataille

    #God #Men #Order