The Sunday of the Negative

Reading Bataille Reading Hegel

By Christopher M. Gemerchak

Subjects: Continental Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Hegelian Studies
Paperback : 9780791456323, 301 pages, January 2003
Hardcover : 9780791456316, 301 pages, January 2003

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Table of contents


List of Abbreviations



Behind the Mask



1. Beyond the Serious


1.1. The Inwardizing and the Calvary
1.2. The Sovereignty of Servility
1.3.Work, Death
1.4. Beyond the Serious


2. The End of Utility


2.1. No Free Gifts
2.2. Unholy Alliances
2.3. Taking Sacrifice into Account



3. Logomachy: Through Discourse To Poetic Silence


3.1. A Contradictory Project
3.2. Hegelian Discourse: A "Dog" Eat Dog World
3.3. The Hatred of Poetry


4. Mysticism, Eroticism, and the Sacrificial Ruse


4.1. I Pray to GOD . . .
4.2. Eroticism and Sacrifice: The Body and the Fiction
4.3. Through the Mirror


Laughter—In Place of a Conclusion




A comprehensive philosophical introduction to the thought of Georges Bataille.


Although often considered an esoteric figure occupying the dark fringes of twentieth-century thought, Georges Bataille was a pivotal precursor to a generation of poststructuralist and postmodern thinkers—including Baudrillard, Derrida, Foucault, Lacan, and Lyotard. The Sunday of the Negative provides the most extensive English-language investigation of Bataille's critical treatment of the thought of Hegel, focusing on the notions of subjectivity, desire, self-consciousness, knowledge, and the experience of the divine. The book spans all of Bataille's writings, patiently navigating even the most obscure texts. The author explains how Bataille's notion of self-consciousness both derives from, and is an alternative to, that of Hegel. Disclosing the origins of Bataille's most influential concepts, the book moves across philosophy proper to include reflections on anthropology, economics, cultural criticism, poetry, eroticism, mysticism, and religion.

Christopher M. Gemerchak is Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.