Inner Experience

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Inner Experience
Inner Experience (French edition).jpg
Cover of the French edition
Author Georges Bataille
Original title L'expérience intérieure
Translator Leslie Anne Boldt
Country France
Language French
  • 1943 (Gallimard, in French)
  • 1988 (State University of New York Press, in English)
Media type Print
Pages 209 (English edition)
ISBN 0-88706-635-6

Inner Experience (French: L'expérience intérieure) is a 1943 book by Georges Bataille, his first lengthy philosophical treatise. It was followed by Guilty (1944) and On Nietzsche (1945). Together, the three works constitute Bataille's Summa Atheologica, in which he explores the experience of excess, expressed in forms such as laughter, tears, eroticism, death, sacrifice and poetry.[1]


Inner Experience received a negative reception from several authors due to having been published during the Second World War. Bataille was criticized for this privately by Jules Monnerot, and publicly by Patrick Waldberg. Boris Souvarine regarded its publication as a sign of Bataille's acceptance of the occupation of France. Bataille was attacked by surrealists in a pamphlet entitled Nom de Dieu. The surrealists considered Bataille an idealist. Gabriel Marcel criticized the work from a Christian perspective.[2]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Lee 1999. p. 73.
  2. ^ Surya 2002. pp. 329–330.


  • Lee, Joo Heung (1999). Audi, Robert, ed. The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-63722-8. 
  • Surya, Michel (2002). Georges Bataille: An Intellectual Biography. New York: Verso. ISBN 1-85984-822-2.