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Title: Literature and communication in the works of Georges Bataille and Angela Carter
Author: Yong, Wern Mei
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis addresses Bataille’s claims that ‘Literature is communication. Communication requires loyalty’. I begin by contesting Habermas’ allegations in the Philosophical Discourse of Modernity that Bataille invokes an ‘other’ to reason in his notions of heterogeneity, sovereignty and the sacred – al of which are crucial to communication in Bataille. According to Habermas, Bataille takes up ‘the impossible heritage of Nietzsche as critic of ideology’ in an attempt to extract the subject from the contradictions of a Hegelian subject-centred reason. Although Nietzsche was the philosopher with whom Bataille was most complicit, it is Bataille’s relationship with Hegel whose development this thesis evaluates. Chapters two and three trace the development of Bataille’s thought against a background of the development of Surrealist thought, outlining his fall-out with Breton, which resulted in the formation of Documents, and the College of Sociology. I analyse Bataille’s notion of ‘unemployed negativity’, which emerges at this time, as a state where man has ‘nothing more to do’, which is a state of sovereignty. Chapters four and five look at how such these notions of sovereign communication manifest themselves in literature. Chapter four serves as a transition between the theoretical aspects, and the literary aspects of this thesis, and chapter five is a reading of Story of the Eye. The second section of the thesis is a reading of Angela Carter’s work, focusing on The Sadeian Woman, The Bloody Chamber, and The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman. In his study of Carter, Aidan Day describes Carter’s work as a ‘kind of dialectic producing a third term’. I take up this suggestion, and read it as an instance of communication in Carter’s work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available