Georges Bataille : biography
Bataille drew from diverse influences and used various modes of discourse to create his work. His novel Story of the Eye (Histoire de l’oeil), published under the pseudonym Lord Auch (literally, Lord "to the shithouse" — "auch" being short for "aux chiottes," slang for telling somebody off by sending him to the toilet), was initially read as pure pornography, while interpretation of the work has gradually matured to reveal the same considerable philosophical and emotional depth that is characteristic of other writers who have been categorized within "literature of transgression". The imagery of the novel is built upon a series of metaphors which in turn refer to philosophical constructs developed in his work: the eye, the egg, the sun, the earth, the testicle.
Other famous novels include the posthumously published My Mother (which would become the basis of Christophe Honoré’s film Ma mère), The Impossible and Blue of Noon, which, with its necrophilia, politics, and autobiographical undertones, is a much darker treatment of contemporary historical reality.
During World War II Bataille produced Summa Atheologica (the title parallels Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica) which comprises his works "Inner Experience," "Guilty," and "On Nietzsche." After the war he composed The Accursed Share, which he said represented thirty years’ work. The singular conception of "sovereignty" expounded there would become an important topic of discussion for Derrida, Giorgio Agamben, Jean-Luc Nancy and others. Bataille also founded the influential journal Critique.
Bataille’s first marriage was to actress Silvia Maklès, in 1928; they divorced in 1934, and she later married the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. Bataille also had an affair with Colette Peignot, who died in 1938. In 1946 Bataille married Diane de Beauharnais, with whom he had a daughter.
In 1955 Bataille was diagnosed with cerebral arteriosclerosis, although he was not informed at the time of the terminal nature of his illness.Surya, Michel. Georges Bataille: An Intellectual Biography, p. 474. He died seven years later, on 9 July 1962.
Bataille developed base materialism during the late 1920s and early 1930s as an attempt to break with mainstream materialism. He argues for the concept of an active base matter that disrupts the opposition of high and low and destabilises all foundations. In a sense the concept is similar to Spinoza’s neutral monism of a substance that encompasses both the mind and the matter posited by Descartes; however, it defies strict definition and remains in the realm of experience rather than rationalisation. Base materialism was a major influence on Derrida’s deconstruction, and both thinkers attempt to destabilise philosophical oppositions by means of an unstable "third term." Bataille’s notion of materialism may also be seen as anticipating Althusser’s conception of aleatory materialism or "materialism of the encounter," which draws on similar atomist metaphors to sketch a world in which causality and actuality are abandoned in favor of limitless possibilities of action.