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Georges Bataille's experience of the First World War and his syphilitic father are considered as context for his engagements with Surrealism, Communism and Fascism. His anti-war sentiment, somewhat ambivalent, is mediated through his notions of expenditure and sacrifice and his post-Second World War studies of the gift. These offer material that might be worth considering in the light of contemporary political questions. On the eve of a new global war emergent from the unexamined limits of liberal charity and 'Third Way' governance, an experimental and extravagant, even excessive, application of Bataille might provoke rethinking.


Hutnyk, J

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