A fictional biography of dissident surrealist Georges Bataille.
So you think you know what’s what? Well, sorry to say, no you don’t. Life and existence are a process of intensive and deepening ambiguation. This happens primarily through just being there in so-called real time but if you are prone or sensitive to literature then the derangement of the senses is rather acute. The activity of ‘l’écriture’ or writing is only one of the most beautiful of these disorientations alongside love, sex, death and all things philosophical. Writing subjects everything to a process of ‘glissement’ or sliding. There is no cure, there is no redemption. The fictional biography of Georges Bataille is one of our most paradigmatic examples.
‘with the positing of the individual, the Beyond is established’ Hegel, 1807.
One imagines Bataille in a bordello, maybe one of the ones he regularly frequented in Pigalle, late 1930s. He is trying to explain to one of the hostesses how everything can only be understood not simply in terms of the death of god, but in terms of atheology.
—My dear Lydia, atheology is not atheism. Not in the slightest. This is where drasted Sartre has me all wrong.
—Ah, yes, peut-être. Poor Jean-Paul was here just last week and indeed I found him very confused. Also, how can an existentialist be so goddamned ugly?
—Ah my dear Lydia, I find you utterly enticing as well as metaphysically astute. Bravo!
—Very well Georges, I accept your compliments with gratitude. Of course, I recognise you as the only authentic Lord of Excess, making all the false suitors pale into the background.
Thus did Bataille thoroughly earn his reputation, mixing high theory and low practice in a demonic hybrid unequalled then or now. But Georges wasn’t yet finished as, although hardly suffering from false modesty, nonetheless he considered the admiration of his beloved Lydia only worthwhile if properly deserved. As a true metaphysician of the dark, and a purported inheritor of the Symbolist legacy and mantle, he was conscious of the need for the recognition of excess to be justified by a thoroughgoing atheology. Also, in accordance with the old Heraclitean principle of opposites meet (stolen and passed off as original philosophics by the bastard Christian medievalist eunuch known as de Cusa), such syllogistic logic must also be rendered accessible in a bordello. From high to bordello, from bordello to high. Otherwise, frankly, null and void. Otherwise, truly, not worth the naked skin they are written on, such logicisms. In this, we follow the bould Hegel who was a lot madder and less rational than the traditionalists suppose.
—Dear Lydia, while indeed grateful to you for your kind words, I have one further task in hand before we might descend to the dungeon of whips.
—Oh, Georges, don’t delay as every second counts – also, every second costs and I know you have ill-spent most of your monthly library salary even since last week.
—True, alas Lydia, you are right. But metaphysical syllogism bearing on abstract truth simply cannot wait, money or no money. As a true philosopher (as with Diogenes, aka Socrates gone mad!), I am willing to pay the full penalty. Perhaps, nonetheless, you can consider a perverse pedagogue’s discount? Either way, let me make haste on my proof. You see, all these atheists such as Jean-Paul have got it wrong, arse- ways I tell you. They read Nietzsche’s Gay Science and think that when he tells us that ‘god is dead’ that somehow this is intended as a defence of secular reason against divine superstition. But Lydia, my beautiful darling (oh how those deep brown eyes of yours seduce me so intensely and that V shape of yours where all of me is lost in unholy succor!), it is the very opposite that is true. As my great confidante Pierre Klossowski (the brother of Balthus no less!, so we have it on aristocratic artist authority) succinctly rendered this fundamental if shocking truth; the death of god does not culminate in an atheism, it continues rather. Or in other words, the death of god may kill off the mothball theology (to which I say – good riddance! – although I remain fond of St Augustine’s self-contortions) BUT it only frees up, in this very demise, the rest of our love and pain and sex and tears. And not just ours – but that repressed excess of the very WHOLE of the cosmos. I call this, dear Lydia, the liberation of the accursed share!
—Oh Georges, you are so much more handsome and sexy than Jean-Paul. I think I get most of what you are saying, though I may have got a bit lost there near the end. You do so speak as if in a kind of magical trance and it carries me away to far off terrains way beyond Pigalle, Monsieur Bataille. But alas, I have to remind you – time is money!
—Ah yes, you are of course (as always!) correct. Enough of the accursed share in the abstract. Let us descend to the dungeon where we may indeed (as if by magic) conjure up the materialisation of such metaphysical truths. To the cave we must go, Mistress, let us be patient no longer. [As an aside] By the way, did you remember to buy those pills for me?
—Of course, Master Georges, I am always completely attentive to your demands [laughs affectionately].
—Ah, Lydia, god may be dead, but you are indeed my Saviour and the only one worth having, are you not?[the two descend down the stairs to the dungeon’s semi-darkness, maintaining this heartfelt irreligiosity].
Let’s jump forward a couple of years. Things aren’t quite so gregariously dissolute for Georges.
During this agony, the soul is inundated with inexpressible delights. St Teresa of Avila
—I don’t do this for the fun or the hell of it, you know. The public have just got me all wrong. They see me as some tabloid good time guy scribbler. What gives, merde?! I’m a serious guy, non?
Bataille looked around the room. Empty except for a chair and broken looking wooden table with a half-drunk Malbec, a bottle of gin, a long crystal wine glass and spirit tumbler. On the chair lay a book of poems by some obscure dissident Surrealist (a plagiariser from early Artaud) and, on the bare off-white walls, simply a photograph of The Hundred Pieces, a Chinese torture that Georges had been meditating on for some time. It was nailed up poorly and so hung slightly askew and the print was badly soiled. All purposeful no doubt. Normal mortals would have been terrorised by the image – a naked, skeletal oriental male with long wispy black hair heavily doped up, his torso literally deconstructed piece by piece with knives by an executioner, whilst tied to a post and the whole spectacle watched by an ecstatic and relatively large crowd. The crowd up claustrophobic close and peering in like the most horrible, evil voyeurs. What a world!
Terrifying then, shocking even to the very core of our humanity, for its visceral cruelty and simultaneous group complicity but, with Georges, well he found it almost strangely uplifting and peaceful. Of course, it also helped him understand the lure of Nazism a bit better. All around his community, the responsible citizens were falling like flies. Giving in to either illusion, self-deception or pure preservation instinct, Georges had got to a point he couldn’t really make a clear distinction between these contemporary weaknesses. Lucky he didn’t have much of an investment in his own survival, he thought. This photograph had been given to him as a present by the enigmatic anthropologist Caillois (author of the infamous and influential Man and Games) after he returned from a trip to the East. But it was very definitely the West which was subject to its dramatic temptations right now. He moved across the room a little like a ghost and peered at its interstitial horrors as close to its stirring surface as his big handsome face would allow.
This image had obsessed Bataille ever since its abrupt arrival in an awkward package that had been half-opened by Customs, keeping him awake all through black nights looking for clues, as if staring deeply into the hallucinating panicked eyes of the prostrate victim long enough, could yield some answers to the Eleusinian mysteries as well as proffer access to other esoteric magic portals. Of course, it also agonised him, that this kind of violence and blood sacrifice was at the heart of all supposed civilisation, the very morbid and psychotic foundation of the very same culture that gave us museums and churches. Ever notice how no one these days has any idea where the slaughterhouses are located in urban cities? That blindness and repression is no coincidence. He was speaking to himself, of course, as no one else was in the room. It was often like this. Mostly, it was like this. Bien sûr. Bataille didn’t mind catching himself speaking to himself. After all, most people thought he was thoroughly mad anyhow, didn’t they?
—Look, why do I do this then, spend all my days in protracted agony? That’s exactly what Aristotle would have asked of my desperate soul, isn’t it? What is the function of your agony, Georges? Oh those upstanding, healthy Hellenes, such ideals make me sick. To hell with false and deluded idealisations of the life-force! Literally, they make me puke up my hybrid of Malbec and cheap, dirty gin spontaneously and profusely. Ah, merde, what an unholy mess!
—Well, dear old Aristotle, if you want a quick answer, let’s just say that St Teresa was right. If nothing else, I am your worthy dialectician. Through the agony comes a whole host of joys you wouldn’t otherwise experience. Especially not you, Dr Hellene himself, with your upstanding balance and all that mullarkey about ‘measure is the principle of all things’. Order, Measure, Balance – ahhh, putain de merde! Bloody nonsense, and not in the Hegelian sense – after all, the Germans have at least understood the need of the negative. Need we confirm we have all too recently seen the results (after all, this is why WE ARE AT WAR IN 1942). Not the Greeks though, nay! Somehow that extraordinary people (after all, I am an admirer of theirs) managed to rape and pillage their way through whole cultures and societies, and yet pass it off as positive, as an affirmation of LIFE!
The day was Thursday, although Bataille had to check the newspaper from yesterday to discover that. Oui, Jeudi (sigh). These days of the lockdown were hard, even the bordellos had shut under war-time conditions. Fuck that. He hated the monotony, the solitude of wanking. The alienation of alcoholism, addiction and the intermittent (but consistent) vomiting. Perhaps some writing in between to keep time. Yes, writing gave some kind of internal rhythm to this lockdown malaise, as if it was the only way to tuning in to where the universe right now was, given we couldn’t get out to see anything or speak to anyone else for clarifications.
Georges never got writer’s block as such, as things mostly tended to spill in and out of his corporeal delineation, as if he was in reality not a human body at all but actually a minor French river. Yes, dear reader, a very polluted one. Still, these days of lockdown, the scraps of writing on the backs of pages were dirt poor, literally fragments of shit. Sure, he’d earned a bit of a reputation with the underground publication of The Story of the Eye back in the late Twenties and the infamy had kept up through to the late Thirties, but what use was that? He had barely written anything in over ten years. People even called him a pornographer, maybe they had good reason. Merely a pornographer.
—Has no one even bothered to read Sontag? The pornographic imagination gives birth to a literary form that must claim its own rights in the domain of genres and which has a significant claim on existence and the truth of life. Anyone denying this is either a prude or a fool. Most likely both. I am ahead of my time, I am untimely, just as Nietzsche prophesied. To be fair, he prophesied this of himself, not of me. But I have never believed in false modesty, eh?
Aside from the lack of artistic status, there had been, shall we say, also recently some enquiries. Significant murmurings and doors of specific acquaintances being knocked on late at night. A particular (and long) list of interrogative questions drawn up. They’d even shook up his fragile ex-lover Laure when she refused to give any details on his sexual activities. WE THINK THAT TYPE OF SEXUAL ACTIVITY IS DISGUSTING, they kept shouting at her until she collapsed.
—We all know how vulnerable Laure is. People say it could kill her, she is already a wreck from pills and self-flagellation. Those bastards, the moral authorities.
For all the talk of the Enlightenment and Modernity, Bataille knew that France was still a Catholic Republic. Oh yes, he knew this only too well. Did it stop him, though? Haha, no it did not. Nonetheless, he would have been well advised keeping wary of, and away from, the clutches of Church and police power.
—I’m no Genet, let’s face it! And I don’t mean that I am not a homosexual.
He whispered into the cracked mirror in the bathroom. Eyeing up that truly handsome face with the curious and unique (never to be historically repeated) mixture of modesty and perversion in mood.
—Ain’t got the courage or the resilience for prison. This drasted lockdown is bad enough. Argghh.
Laure had been named Colette Laure Lucienne Peignot and was thrown into this mad world on October 8, 1903 in this self-same city. She came from a wealthy Catholic family but denounced her bourgeois and religious upbringing with an acute and bitter vengeance. Writing and dissolution became her ultimate and fatal revolt. Of course, this would all only make her so so attractive to Georges Bataille, precisely as if he had invented her in one of his novels. But he hadn’t. Laure had been truly real, more real than anything or anyone else in his life. Tragically, she died at the age of thirty-five, still raggedly beautiful, of tuberculosis on November 8, 1938 at Bataille’s house, in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The story seemed now over, the narrative that had shone so bright. But not quite, dear reader, not quite yet was it finally over. Not for Georges, anyhow.
It is a humid afternoon. Early summer 1942, Paris. The room has high ceilings but a paradoxical air of claustrophobia. All week Bataille has been feeling tense.
‘What bugs you, Georges?’
Bataille is startled.
‘Jesus Christ, what voice is this? Is it in my head? Oh, this crazy cortex of mine, it gets more bonkers daily’.
‘No, dear Georges, dear beautiful extraordinary Georges, rest assured, this is not a voice in your head. I come from outside although I am no enemy. To the contrary. Instead, think of former lovers’.
‘Wow, what an event. What a surprise this morning, of all mornings, when I have only myself to talk to, to flirt with. Or so I thought! Former lovers… Well, that narrows it down not very much [dirty laughter]. Yes, it is true that I have had many liaisons but authentic lovers, well that is different. There can only be one, to my mind. Laure, is it you? Please tell me if it is you. Several years you are dead now and I thought I had reconciled myself to my utter and decrepit guilt in your demise. But NO, this week my poor psyche has sweated and nightmared through the longest of humid nights. I have seen you in all your suffering and worse, in all your kindness and love for me. But it was a kindness and a love I always refused. What a wretch I am! Laure, please is it you? Do you forgive me?’
‘Georges, if it is me darling, I cannot tell you so simply. Us spirits and ghosts of the other world are sworn to a certain set of laws concerning communication. If we can indeed reach across the chasm between the living and the dead, we cannot be so Cartesian as to prove who we are or offer an authenticated ID.’
‘Oh, what utter torment, then to think that this may indeed be YOU, my late lover Laure so close to me as to be whispering in my left ear in this Parisian room. And yet not to be sure of this is such a raw and debilitating fever. You may rather be a demon come to destroy me and I have no way of telling the difference’.
‘Look, Georges, every lost woman needs a man to go with Hell with, and you’re the one for me. Only you can save me’.
‘It is you, it is YOU, Laure. I know it now. You may be a ghost come to haunt me but you are no imposter. Let’s face it, you haunted me alive, what difference should there be dead. Why then, dear Lucifer, am I afraid? What am I afraid of? Evil? [laughs wildly]. Hardly!’
‘Well, we are both evil, Georges, there can be no doubt about that. You don’t stop being evil simply because you die and become a spirit. The spirit world is dualistic just like the mortal world. Evil is immortal, don’t let any religious fools tell you otherwise.’
‘You know they have been checking the house and my calls, Laure. All these weeks, they have been on my tail. Now I know why, of course. They are on our tail. But you know what – I feel a renewed strength and valor now I am certain it is indeed you. Even death cannot separate out Bataille and Laure, eh? The moral and Church police don’t stand a chance. You give me the bile to fight back against the imbeciles who try to control our lives. Yes, oui oui, I can resist but only with you by my side, dear beautiful tragic Laure. My Laure! Also, I presume you have access to some Satanic tricks now you are on the other side, eh? I don’t doubt it. Well, we should not refrain from using them against the pricks. There are plenty pricks about as you know, especially in the intellectual world. Oh yes, oui oui (laughs and rubs his sweaty hands together with a morbid glee), we can set some wonderful traps for the pricks and see them fall right in. I cannot wait, dear Laure. Let us get on with this project of reconstruction of the world (I would not call it revenge which is of course only petty, so much as RESHAPING) and ooo, we will have some fun in the process.
First, that idiot Jean-Paul, he has been annoying me recently. So pompous, and on what account? His Nausea is only all stolen from the Russians existentialists like Chestov, my old friend Len. Did he not think I would notice this borrowing? Do you have any specific curses for pathetic plagiarising pseudo-philosophers, my darling Laure?’
‘Oh I do, Georges, I most definitely do. Let me check my little notebook of nasty spells’.
The Return of Laure
Through the inter-war years
With what Counter-Enlightenment mystery she moved
Turning even the mad Bataille into an arch-romantic
The tuberculosis that killed her
Became his fever in turn and madder than before
He used to stand on his 15th Floor
Windowsill dancing to and fro
But each time as our hero was about to deathly fall
Laure would return from the afterlife to her former lover
To steady him once more cupping his handsome face
In her delicate fingers and saintly hands
Diary. Fall 1943. With the Western world in implosive collapse, the nightmares of Georges Bataille are getting worse. It is September 1943. Bataille is a writer who cannot write. He has been suffering a creative and psychological impasse since the late twenties when his pornographic novel brought him an unfortunate notoriety. Now, this man who has always held close a ‘near death awareness’ (ever since he lost his father and mother prematurely) can sense that the end is impending. Through the mortal terror, the compulsion to leave some kind of record of his immense turmoils seems to break through the impasse. Yes, it is imperative. Of course, he can only write in his very own blood.
Each morning you wake and you wonder. The full waking often takes a while. Late nights take their toll, after all. Too much gin and whiskey:
In a shot of gin
A party night
Stars falling from the sky.
After midnight with the seemingly insatiable filles de joies. Yes, this business of pure pleasure is an expenditure which is tiring. Not just physically, although that too. Emotionally, psychically most of all. Against the clerics, the soul is a material phenomenon and if it suffers, and it does, then it suffers as a kind of body. Albeit a sophisticated one. It also joys as a body, of course. Epicurus knew this. A true saint.
Anyways, one takes a while to wake. One wonders if today, this very morning, will constitute the breakthrough. The anxiety brings out a sweat and a weariness. Weeks, months, days you have laboured. Too too long. How much time can epiphanic insight take to emerge? Locke spoke of philosophers as the under-labourers. He was right. But we toil with a greater end in sight. Not transcendence which is merely human hubris. The drasted religionists are merely the product of a pathetic soul. Let me repeat that as they don’t hear well, being tone deaf to truth – pathetic. Did you listen this time? If they cannot listen, they will have to be made to listen, eh?
Initially, this morning, today, it just seems like every other day. Nonetheless, these days are not just any old days. We are in a war situation. For me, alas, the war has put an end to everything good. All I held dear up in smoke. Is it any surprise that I cut loose as a decadent? During the 1930s, I was still trying to do something useful with myself. I had a sensible, respectable job as a medievalist librarian at the Biblio Nationale even if my nightlife was already dissolute.
By September 1939, when the world plunged into war, all had become very different. By then my marriage was over (although good riddance I say!) and the woman I left my wife for was dead. Yes, beautiful and exquisite angel Laure my lover had been struck down with a filthy dose of tuberculosis. If this wasn’t bad enough, she had also passed it on to me. Ever get the feeling you’ve been cursed? So, dear reader, what was this much vaunted war to me? Just an extension of the disaster which had already occurred, which my life had dramatically become. As if overnight, as if in a flash from which I would never recover.
I remember Laure and I visiting Mount Etna in late 1938, where we contemplated its beauty and the infamous suicide of Empedocles. We walked through the stunning late-night streets of Catania, that old Mafia stronghold, and a girl with long flowing black hair and an occultic tattoo tried to kiss Laure in a bar by the port. Not happy with necking her, she tried to force her long tongue into my darling’s mouth. What a scene! It would have been a perfectly debauched Sicilian time and situation if I didn’t always have an ulterior sense of these things. When we came back to our top floor apartment and watched the local teenage wild boys race horses down the stones, all the shouting and laughter couldn’t dim my sense that we had been given a sign. I wrote a short diary entry with the title ‘Omens’. And so it would come to pass.
But dear reader, isn’t that precisely what you like to hear? Here I am before you, effectively destitute. I am a broken man. Amidst the catastrophe of war, my own mirror merely reflects back the ordinary day to day apocalypse of my life. My diary here for you is a method of reflection on the abyss. But let me say that I am supremely qualified to write it. I am neither the subjectivist overcome by the masochism of it all – my pain is rather becalmed as I have seen too much. Neither am I the detached and objectivist human scientist or psychologist – be gone with their evidence-based analysis, so dried out like tired knickers of a spinster on a washing line. Lived experience is never a data set. If war shows us anything, it is that this human science always is a fool’s paradise. Durkheim wasn’t so bad but he got carried away with his minimum findings and now we end up with logical positivism. Has somnambulism become a kind of metaphysics masquerading as common sense in Vienna? We can only resist with whatever energy we have left; not a lot being honest. Someone was right when he said that humanity is defined by what he can overcome. Or by what he cannot.
So, therefore. I rest my unequivocal case. I am uniquely suited to this task. Of course, I have my precursors. Let me not over-elaborate these necessary debts, as I struggle with gratitude. Rimbaud, Lautréamont. I look forward to Bolaño and to Panero and their post-punk poetics, as they will have to pay the debt return to me. I see these days ahead in my nightmares although they are exhilarating hallucinations. The past, present and future are all just a species of the self-same occultic eye of the surrealist mind. As properly initiated, and only at specific magic moments, I can project forward and back into history at will, like a shaman. If you struggle with the veracity of words alone, and want a pictorial representation to further persuade you of my viewpoint, then go look at an André Masson canvas. You will find everything you need there, just as Jackson Pollock did. The best of life is burgled and the rest is just fakery.
There is no division in Artaud between life and writing. Paul Auster
FREE ANTONIN ARTAUD! MAINTENANT!
Bataille didn’t usually get so animated over the plight of another human being, in fact he was renowned for his apparent nonchalance. But this was different. How in hell does an anarchist surrealist poet become Head Psychiatrist? But, let’s face it, he was also an atheist, which was no doubt for the best if the death-toll at Ville-Evrard would have killed Artaud also by the end of War. The transfer to Rodez was lucky and thanks to this anarchist Ferdière. Still, at first, Artaud was in terror of this as yet unknown asylum leaving him open to the magic forces always chasing him. Moreover, he lost his Voodoo Sword en route from Chezal-Benoît. His hair was shorn so short but, here, he would grow it long again and gain a toothbrush for his eight remaining teeth.
In the 1940s, after a succession of psychiatric hospital stays going on for years, each new one often compounding the acute problems he faced, Artaud’s case finally came to the attention of the French artistic community. A series of Defences was prepared to allow him finally to achieve an existential freedom he craved and so thoroughly deserved. Not that this much sought emancipation would last long. Our hero would be dead within three years. Accumulated violence inflicted on his individual body and soul over many years finally take their brutalized toll. Still, many similar victims of medicalized scientific history never get the second chance he got. Short as it was, the paradigmatic defences of this extraordinary artist are a unique reveal of mid-twentieth century life. Amongst these heartfelt passionate missives, one from Breton and another from Sartre and Beauvoir. A curious and more unexpected deposition emerges from the writer Georges Bataille. Noted as a difficult transgressive voice of the times, although there is no remaining extant version of the latter text defence. The following is a reconstruction made from the residual fragments which have survived.
Let me say first this is a painful testimony. I am not here easily. People will know I am not a fellow traveller. After all, I am the solitary thinker par excellence. Yet, having read Artaud’s Letters From Rodez most recently, I can only say I was shocked into action truly and horrifically. Of course, I know Antonin longer than most. Early on, we used to meet in Pigalle with some mutual acquaintances. It has been well documented that there were frequent stays in psychiatric institutions. But, when he was out, Artaud was even more unstable. Poor devil used to keep saying that the nurses told him that the electroshock would feel like a pinprick. No wonder he tried to kill them all at Ville-Evrard with his Voodoo Sword. LIARS. But if there was darkness, and there was much, there was also handsomeness. A handsome face and an elegant stature can excuse a great deal in life. If that was all there was to say in defence, we might still get some distance in trying to free our hero from these dreaded medicine men and electroshock monster machines. True beauty goes a long way, it being a sign of divine selection, is it not? And who shall underestimate the discrimination of the immortal gods?
Did you ever see him dance in that long calico dress for the film he was making with the Surrealists? Honestly, the sight would have moved the long dead. Thus, we may well have got him out of Rodez on this account alone. But, crucially and famously, this is indeed not all that we can count up in this extraordinary figure’s favour. For isn’t Antonin Artaud also an authentic poet?
Actually, let me contradict that immediately, as it is TOTALLY FALSE, I wrote a book called Hatred of Poetry and I can say that my vitriol extends to those that write it too but let me quote Artaud in his own words. Written in his own blood as always; All writing is pigshit. Where others present their works, I claim to do no more than to show my mind.
So, Artaud is no mere poet. Let me be unusually bold, as it is rare that solitary thinkers of my ilk seek to make connects and comparisons. But, I will make an exception in this case.
Artaud, I propose, is a VISIONARY in the best sense. Only someone who, perhaps through his dreaded suffering, most of all and so unjust and cruelly inflicted CAN SEE THROUGH TO THE FUTURE.
If this is a unique life gift, then it is no wonder that the punishment followed. Didn’t he anticipate this plague of resentment, when he declared in his famous text that Van Gogh was the patron saint of those suicided by society. And the more Artaud refused to conform to the threats and the strictures at the heart of these sick if respectable institutions, the harsher and more unforgiving the sadism became. Look at him now before us, as the most tragic skeletal figure hair and teeth fallen out. Emaciated shaking with convulsions, still majestic of course. The light shining through that extraordinary angular face and those most exquisite, if tormented, eye sockets.
He always reminded me of a trapeze artist, high on the wire and oblivious to fear. Envied by those who couldn’t ever countenance such adventures of the body and of the spirit. So this, in brief, is my defence of my comrade Antonin Artaud.
Those who know me and my work, and all its controversy, know that this step is unprecedented for me. I rarely even contemplate joining forces with any other human being. To put my neck on the line, for Artaud, nonetheless came urgently as a demand to my singular Nietzschean anti-religious and anti-moral conscience. Deep in the dead of night and I have not been able to rest since. Free Artaud, I say, I beseech you the human is a genius this concept being vastly overused but not in this particular and increasingly desperate instance. FREE ARTAUD! MAINTENANT!
Signed: Monsieur Georges Bataille esq.