Created by Rowan G Tepper

Research Commando Casualties

The documents in this collection are difficult to find primary source documents pertaining to the historical-critical dimensions of my dissertation, Kairoticism & The Exemplary Instance: The Transcendentals of Revolution. These documents substantiate, among other things, the thesis of a close personal friendship and intellectual exchange between Georges Bataille and Walter Benjamin; in fact, they indicate that Benjamin in fact was, from at least 1937 onward, one of Bataille's inner circle, part of the intellectual core of the Collège de Sociologie; he was also well aware of the Acéphale circle and its eponymous publication. While Benjamin presented his relationships with Bataille and his friends and associates in critical terms to Max Horkheimer and in more ambivalent terms in his correspondence with Theodor Adorno, not only was Benjamin's Nachlass hidden by Bataille and in part recovered by a mutual friend, Pierre Missac, to whom Benjamin had been introduced in Bataille's apartment, but Benjamin referred to them as "friends" in letters to his sister and Stephan Lackner. Benjamin was certainly wary of more than one of Bataille's ideas of this era, including his Kojève-inflected reading of Hegel; on the other hand, he commended Bataille's work on Nietzsche, particularly Nietzsche et les Fascists, and it is my thesis that the influence of Bataille (and Klossowski) is most evident when Benjamin makes reference to Nietzsche, such as this text from Benjamin's final months: "The basic conception in myth is the world as punishment... The eternity of punishment in hell may have sheared off the most terrible spike from the ancient idea of eternal recurrence. It substitutes an eternity of torment for the eternity of a cycle. Thinking the idea of eternal recurrence once more in the 19th century, Nietzsche becomes the figure on whom mythic doom is now carried out. For the essence of mythic happenings is recurrence. Sisyphus, the Danaïdes.)."