Georges Bataille, The Limit of the Useful – a listing of which French texts it includes

I’ve updated the page on this site which lists English translations of texts in Georges Bataille’s Oeuvres complètes and other French collections.

The update was to provide references to the recently-published The Limit of the Useful, translated by Cory Knutson and Thomas Elliott – MIT Press, February 2023.

It’s a good and valuable translation, but it took me longer to work out which bits of volume VII of the Oeuvres complètes [OC] were translated than I expected, so maybe this list is useful for others.

The centre-piece of the book is naturally “The Limit of the Useful”, pp. 1-134, which translates OC VII, 181-280.

They also provide a new translation of the related essay “Economy at the Scale of the Universe”, pp. 137-47 (OC VII, 7-16).

What OC calls the notes to “L’économie à la mesure de l’univers” are translated as “Preliminary Notes to the Writing of The Accursed Share“, pp. 149-57 (OC VII, 465-69).

The ‘notes’ to “La limite de l’utile” are translated as follows: “The Accursed Share, or, The Limit of the Useful”, pp. 159-69 translates OC VII, 502-7; the notes on pp. 317-44 incorporate the material in OC VII, 507-19; “Dossier of Bataille’s Notes and Outlines for The Limit of the Useful, pp. 171-311 translates OC VII, 519-98.

Vol VII also includes two other books by Bataille: “La Part Maudite, I. La Consumation” and “Théorie de la religion”. The books are translated into English, but without the variant passages provided in OC VII. Understandably Knutson and Elliott have not translated the notes and variant texts for these other books in The Limit of the Useful, but what they have done for the texts shows the interest of the other material.

I’d be pleased to receive corrections or additions if I’ve missed something here, and certainly to the overall listing of material on the main page.

The first of three volumes of essays from Critique is forthcoming. Georges Bataille, Critical Essays Volume I: 1944-1948, ed. Alberto Toscano and Benjamin Noys, trans. Chris Turner – Seagull, May 2023. I’ll try to update the listing when I’ve seen a copy.

This entry was posted in Georges Bataille, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s