Bataille: The Object Catastrophe

“In the course of the ecstatic vision, at the limit of death on the cross and of

the blindly lived lamma sabachtani, the object is finally unveiled as catastrophe

in a chaos of light and shadow, neither as God nor as nothingness, but as the

object that love, incapable of liberating itself except outside of itself, demands

in order to let out the scream of lacerated existence.

In this position of object as catastrophe, thought lives the annihilation that

constitutes it as a vertiginous and infinite fall, and thus has not only catastrophe

as its object; its very structure is catastrophe-it is itself absorption in the

nothingness that supports it and at the same time slips away. Something immense

is liberated from all sides with the magnitude of a cataract, surging forth from

unreal regions of the infinite, sinking into them in a movement of inconceivable

force. The mirror that, in the crash of telescoping trains, suddenly slashes open

one’s throat is the expression of this imperative-implacable-but already annihilated


“Sacrifices”, Visions of Excess

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