The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism by Nick Land
An important literary and philosophical figure, Georges Bataille has had a significant influence on other French writers, such as Foucault, Derrida and Baudrillard. The Thirst for Annihilation is the first book in English to respond to Bataille's writings. In no way, though, is Nick Land's book an attempt to appropriate Bataille's writings to a secular intelligibility or to compromise with the aridity of academic discourse - rather, it is written as a communion . Theoretical issues in philosophy, sociology, psychodynamics, politics and poetry are discussed, but only as stepping stones into the deep water of textual sacrifice where words pass over into the broken voice of death. Cultural modernity is diagnosed down to its Kantian bedrock with its transcendental philosophy of the object, but Bataille's writings cut violently across this tightly disciplined reading to reveal the strong underlying currents that bear us towards chaos and dissolution - the violent impulse to escape, the thirst for annihilation.