Bataille's Peak: Energy, Religion, and Postsustainability by Allan Stoekl

By Allan Stoekl

As the cost of oil climbs towards $100 a barrel, our forthcoming post-fossil gasoline destiny seems to supply choices: a bleak lifestyles outlined by way of shortage and sacrifice or one within which humanity areas its religion in technological recommendations with unexpected results. Are there alternative routes to visualize existence in an period that would be characterised via source depletion?

 

The French highbrow Georges Bataille observed power because the foundation of all human activity—the essence of the human—and he predicted a society that, rather than renouncing profligate spending, could include a extra radical form of power expenditure: l. a. dépense, or “spending with no return.” In Bataille’s Peak, Allan Stoekl demonstrates how a detailed interpreting of Bataille—in the wake of Giordano Bruno and the Marquis de Sade— might help us reconsider not just strength and intake, but additionally such similar subject matters because the urban, the physique, eroticism, and faith. via those instances, Stoekl identifies the variations among waste, which Bataille condemned, and expenditure, which he celebrated.

 

The problem of dwelling within the twenty-first century, Stoekl argues, might be to comprehend—without recourse to austerity and self-denial—the inevitable and valuable shift from a civilization based on waste to 1 in accordance with Bataillean expenditure.

 

Allan Stoekl is professor of French and comparative literature at Penn country collage. he's the writer of Agonies of the highbrow: dedication, Subjectivity, and the Performative within the Twentieth-Century French Tradition and translator of Bataille’s Visions of extra: chosen Writings, 1927–1939 (Minnesota, 1985).

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