Publication Details

Turpin, E. (2012). Persona non grata : on Deleuze's gratuitous reading of Bataille. 5th International Deleuze Studies Conference


For liberal readers of Deleuze, one secret must forever be repressed: Deleuze hated. While his work teems with affirmation, even by way of his less than consensual but favored philosophical analogy of 'making children/monsters from the back,' there is one thinker too reviled for even Deleuze to thoroughly penetrate: Georges Bataille. While sparse, his remarks on Bataille betray the image of Deleuze as a perpetual affirmation machine. For this reason, Bataille, as the Deleuzian conceptual persona non grata, invites us to consider a state of delirious contamination that was too dangerous to be taken on (from behind). The paper contends that Deleuze's gratuitous hatred of Bataille allows for a rereading of the philosophical problematic of ressentiment and a reassessment of the power of death in Deleuze's own philosophy. We will revisit Bataille's 'omnidirectional acephalic revolution' to save Deleuze's dark side from the Enlightenment get-along-gang of necrophobic affirmatons.