文學與愉悅 【巴塔耶隨想】Literature and Pleasure: Thoughts on Bataille's Works
02 Dec 2023
文學與愉悅 【巴塔耶隨想】Literature and Pleasure: Thoughts on Bataille's Works

文學與愉悅 【巴塔耶隨想】| Literature and Pleasure: Thoughts on Bataille's Works

文 / 朱嘉漢 Author: CHU, JA-HAN
譯 / 吳迺菲 Translated by Naifei Wu





若在庸常現實之中,我只會是我,在語言之中,我總是我以外的。於是,「我是我(Je suis moi)」成為所有的「我是」的句子當中,最為無聊且無需多談的。








And when I scream I AM THE SUN an integral erection results[...].”

Upon my first encounter with Bataille’s The Solar Anus, this single sentence alone prompted my thoughts to convulse. Breton’s assertion holds true: “Beauty will be convulsive or will not be at all.” It is only when an involuntary, ecstatic tremor like this arises that I genuinely experience the most profound, palpable potency of words.

It is as though constant acts of speaking and listening exist solely to stumble upon a sentence like this, where all meanings momentarily elude decipherment.

Bataille is not wrong; connecting disparate concepts (like “I” and “the sun”) through the copula, "is," offers an excitement akin to copulation. From a linguistic perspective, it is indeed possible to establish a connection between the sun and the anus.

In the ordinary reality, I am only me/myself; within the realm of language, I am always beyond me/myself. Thus, “Je suis moi” (I am me/myself) stands as the most boring and least deserving of discussion among all sentences starting with “I am.”

The verb, “to be,” implicates “to exist.” In linguistic articulations, we employ beings other than ourselves to define our own existence. The concept of “I” itself is an existence formed through continual hybridization during the conceptual copulations facilitated by language.

Meanwhile, the question “Who am I?” propels “I” into the exploration of “who,” the unknown. “I” engages in conceptual copulations with ideas that are foreign to me. “Who” is “I” going to encounter—that is the question.

Language conditions our understanding; it establishes guidelines for our thoughts and logical reasoning. We come into existence amidst acts of significance, and we die the same way. Nevertheless, we are capable of playing. We can engage in playful acts in the domain of language. We can introduce ambiguity, satire, and creativity; we can generate distinctions; we can render meanings ineffectual and allow language to erupt on its own. Language constrains our freedom to the utmost degree, yet it simultaneously endows us with the highest level of autonomy. In this space, we take pleasure, just as pornography goes beyond reproduction, discourse transcends the meaning of meaning.

Someone once asked me, “What enjoyment do you derive from fiction?” There are numerous approaches to answer this question. At this moment, I would posit that when you start reading a novel, your subjectivity has already transcended boundaries. As you immerse yourself in the novel, you meld with the author's words, partake in the enjoyment alongside the characters and their worlds, and engage in unrestricted imagination and projection. You have the capacity to become anything, even words.

Creation brings about a similar pleasure. From the very inception of novel writing, I enthusiastically embrace the dissolution of the sense of reality. The rules of language and of the world are at my disposal, providing me with boundless amusement. I challenge these rules to become acquainted with them, and in turn, they challenge me, too.

Share your voice! Put words on paper! As Barthes once stated, “Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other.”