Friday, May 3, 2013

Licence To Live

In 1995 Atlas Press in London published the first English translation of a book that came out in French in 1947. The Encyclopædia Acephalica.was a compilation of writings and documents by members of the Acéphale group, dominated by Georges Bataille (1897-1962) and loosely associated with the Surrealists. The material had been written during and after the liberation of Paris and originally published in small magazines. The Licence To Live reproduced above appears on pages 132-133 of the Atlas Press translation (which remains in print).  Art of this sort suffers unjust neglect because it's perceived as obscure or frivolous. Personally though, I think Bataille and his followers have never gained any real traction on this side of the Atlantic because the work cuts too near the bone, maintaining the unacceptable and un-American truth that authority is ALWAYS authoritarianism and bureaucracy ALWAYS a veil for oppression.