The Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought, Goldsmiths University of London

Research Centre run jointly between the Departments of Sociology and English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths University, London

Maladies of the Book 2: Georges Bataille (Dec 1)

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Maladies of the Book II: Georges Bataille           

Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought with the Department of Art, Goldsmiths, University of London

A symposium on Friday December 1st at 2pm – 6pm

The ICA, The Mall, London in the Studio

The second event in the Maladies of the Book series will explore the seminal work of writer and philosopher Georges Bataille. Beginning with a workshop on his major late text Inner Experience, we will explore his links to, and differences from, other figures in the Maladies series, as well as key Bataillean concepts such as base materialism and sovereignty.

Patrick ffrench (Professor of French, Kings College London) will guide the reading of Bataille’s book Inner Experience, and there will be discussions on art and philosophy led by

Sarah Wilson (Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, Courtauld Institute), and Andrew Benjamin (Professor of Philosophy and the Humanities, Kingston University).

Attendance is free, but please reserve a place on Eventbrite:

We will be using the translation by Stuart Kendall, Georges Bataille, Inner Experience (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2014).

It is suggested that you read the following in advance of the symposium:

Part One (pp. 7-35). Within this perhaps a more specific focus on section 2 ‘Experience, Sole Authority, Sole Value’ (pp. 13-16). It is in this section that Bataille refers to his ‘conversation’ with Blanchot on experience as authority that ‘expiates itself’, or ‘is expiated’.

Part Two, ‘The Torment’ would be necessary to read as well.

Beyond this a closer look at ‘The Blue of Noon’ (pp.80-84), ‘Communication’ (pp. 96-100), and the ‘Digression on Poetry and Marcel Proust’ (pp. 135-52).

As supplementary reading if you have time, the ‘Method of Meditation’ text, which is also in Stuart Kendall’s volume, pp. 169-202.

Maladies of the Book symposia to come:

Blanchot – February 2

Beckett – March 16

Duras – May 11

Organised by Josh Cohen and Michael Newman for the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought with the Department of Art,

Goldsmiths University of London

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