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louis xxx

Bataille, Louis XXX, covertexts by Georges Bataille

translated by Stuart Kendall

ISBN 978-0-9571213-5-5. Paperback. 142pp. Publication date: April 2013. Equus Press: London.
Price: € 15.00 (not including postage).

Out of print, available in the Kindle edition.

Best Foreign-Language Reprint 2013, Chicago Center for Literature & Photography

“Here is the crux of Bataille: the admixture of pain and pleasure, torture and eroticism.” Robert Kiely, Review 31

“An obscure work in the history of transgressive literature has, for the first time, been given definitive and due recognition.” Matt Pincus, Pank Magazine

“In both of these fragmentary, hallucinatory, and sexually explicit works, we can see Bataille’s influence in authors like Kathy Acker and William S. Burroughs.” Karl Wollf,  The Driftless Area Review

“This collection bounces intriguingly between Bataille’s considerably obsessive ideas. It is an interesting experience to be able to take in such a wide variety of creative thoughts in a single book-sized portion. If you’ve read and liked any of Bataille’s work before then definitely read this. If you have never touched any of Bataille’s books, then this one is a good introduction to everything his writing is about.” Sarah Gonnet, Sabotage Reviews

“Bataille’s pseudonymous evasion/refusal of authorship was a strategy that served to save him from exposure entailed in every appropriation and publication. Now that his own personal choices and subjective reasons are a matter of long-gone past, whilst questions of authorship, copyright, publicity and intellectual property all remain matters all-too-present, it is highly relevant that these texts and questions they keep posing be brought back to life and reconsidered, ‘restored’ in the perfect Bataillesque fashion. All this and more has been achieved by Stuart Kendall’s excellent translation, commentary and critical apparatus.” David Vichnar, Equus Press

“The cover image—from a Man Ray nude—is gorgeous and provocative. The paper is also of fine quality, and the pocket-size presentation makes it highly portable.” Mark Spitzer, Oyster Boy Review

Louis XXX presents two little known hybrid texts by French novelist and philosopher Georges Bataille: The Little One and The Tomb of Louis XXX. Written alongside Bataille’s major work, Guilty, and only loosely narrative in any conventional sense, these audaciously experimental pieces of pornographic chamber music commingle prose and poetry, fiction and autobiography, philosophical and theological meditations, abstract artifice and intimate confession, bound together by the mysterious pseudonym at their center. Jean-Jacques Pauvert claimed that The Little One was the most “shattering” text that Bataille ever wrote and André Breton remarked that The Little One “offers the most hungering, most moving aspect of [Bataille’s] thought and attests to the importance that that thought will have in the near future.” The future is now as these texts appear in English for the first time. An extended postface by the translator places the works in biographical, historical, and critical perspective as assemblages constellated around the disappearance of the discursive real.

Georges Bataille (1897-1962) was a French writer whose multifaceted work is linked to the domains of literature, anthropology, philosophy, economy, sociology and history of art. In the 1920’s Bataille associated himself with the Surrealists, even though his opinions soon began to diverge from those of André Breton. Bataille’s life from early 1920s to mid-40s was a bizarre mixture of sporadic work, the frequent visiting of bordellos, and ill health – much of his later fiction and thought came to reflect on and process his way of life. He worked as a librarian at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, then at libraries in Provence and Orléans, until his nightlife and his troubles with tuberculosis finally took their toll. His most famous works include Story of the Eye (1928), Inner Experience (1943), Erotism (1957) and Tears of Eros (1961).

Stuart Kendall is a writer, editor, and translator working at the intersections of poetics, modern and contemporary visual culture, theology, ecology, and design. His books include Georges Bataille (Reaktion Books, Critical Lives, 2007), The Ends of Art and Design (Infrathin, 2011), and eight book-length translations of French poetry, philosophy, and visual and cultural criticism, including books by Bataille, Maurice Blanchot, Paul Éluard, Jean Baudrillard, Guy Debord, and René Char. In 2012, Contra Mundum published his Gilgamesh, a new version of the eponymous Mesopotamian poems.

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