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cism as a move beyond"principled equivocation,"6 though surely not beyond ambiguity. Bataille's claim that the summit of human life is realized in the impossible coincidence of consciousness and death is not in itself an act of resistance against political tyranny. Yet to the extent Bataille sought to teach (through a certain mode of self-enactment) "exercises" by which this summit could be attained, I will arguethat Bataille worked against the forces destructive of human dignity and sovereignty. Bataille's mystical textsaimed (though this projective "aiming" perpetually undid itself) to teach people how to be sacred.
Bataille proposed a method, a training regimen, a technique, in the form of an exemplary lifepattern: no Kierkegaardian "training in Christianity,"7 needless to say, but a course in an anti-Christian holiness hostile to all forms of authoritarian domination.
At: genderBataille’s theories hinge on the innate sexual difference between the masculine and the feminine – he can be considered one of the original sexual difference scholarsKingston 14(Andrew Kingston, “Bataille and Feminist Theory”, 18/1/14 shr)An account of the gendering of Bataille’s transgression demonstrates how it remains within a specular and speculative economyin which the writing subject is always at a certain distance from what he ‘sees.’ While he might desire to totally lose himself in the loss of another, the writing subject always remains conscious enough of that loss to theorize. Bataille’s transgression may thus be read against itself in order todemonstrate that the ‘masculine’ writing subjectalways maintains his position vis-à-vis a witnessed ‘feminine’ loss(Surkis, 1996: 29-30). More will be said about specularity in Bataille’s writing below, but what can beimmediately noted is thatthis assessment, whileperhaps rightly critizing the attitude of an uncareful reader, seems to paint women as victims precisely at the cost of missing Bataille’s larger point: that femininity as loss threatensnot the masculine as such, but rather the very division through which the masculine and the feminine exist separatelyand in general (or such is the thesis of this paper). After all, it is the construction of a symbolically mediated desire that Bataille is addressing, which ultimately renders the signifiers of this desire more or less arbitrary. This is confirmed by a passing sentence in Erotism, where Bataille writes that “[i]t would be quite wrong to say that women are more beautiful or even more desirable than men” (1962: 131). Edwarda could have just as easily—under different cultural circumstances—been Edward.The conceptualization of sexual objects in Bataille’s writing originates from Freud’s theory that the feminine is contained within a masculine regime of phallocentrism – the distortion of this visuality can only be achieved through a reinterpretation of one’s own sexuality via unproductive expenditureKingston 14