From Image to Text: Photography, Writing, and Communication

in Sensible Ecstasy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780226349510
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226349466 | DOI:
From Image to Text: Photography, Writing, and Communication

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This chapter focuses on Bataille's mystical models to show how writing replaces or supplements practices of meditation in his wartime work. Bataille attempts to affect his own and the reader's psychic laceration through writing. Shattered subjects then recognize themselves and each other in their contingent existences, enabling the ecstatic anguish that is, for Bataille, communication. Bataille's move from visionary imagination to writing enables him to communicate the ecstatic anguish of inner experience without the dangers of sadistic voyeurism or masochistic literalization of the suffering body. Only ecstatic attention to the real and its catastrophes can serve as the basis for contestation and change, and that change will always be incomplete, unfinished, and without limit.

Keywords: Bataille's mystical models; psychic laceration; visionary imagination; contestation; sadistic voyeurism

Chapter.  10019 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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