Acéphale (1936–1939)

by Georges Bataille et. al.

In 1936, at the height of the anti-fascist struggle, French Surrealist Georges Bataille and his closest friends took leave of the revolutionary milieu to form a fanatically religious secret society under the symbol of the acéphale – a headless figure clutching a fiery heart and a sacrificial knife. Their conspiracy was to achieve headlessness at every level: the headless society, the human being freed from reason, the defeat of the three-headed monster of Fascism-Christianity-Socialism, the ecstatic rupture of the Dionsyian frenzy, and the literal beheading of Bataille himself. This is their journal, fully (re)translated and compiled in English for the first time.

An ecstatic fire will destroy the fatherlands
When the human heart becomes fire
and iron
human beings will escape their heads like prisoners their prison

Date of publication: 2021

Pages: 163

Dimensions: 9 ¼ x 6 ¼

Price: $20


1. The Sacred Conspiracy

  • The Sacred Conspiracy
  • The Monster
  • The Unity of Flames
  • Acéphale Is the Earth

2. Nietzschean Corrective

  • Nietzsche and the Fascists
  • Heraclitus
  • Propositions
  • Nietzsche and the Death of God
  • Human Realization
  • Creation of the World
  • Two Recent Interpretations of Nietzsche

3 / 4. Dionysos

  • Dionysos
  • Dionysos Philosopher
  • Nitezschean Chronicle
  • The Dionysian Virtues
  • Notes on the Foundation of a College of Sociology
  • Don Giovanni According to Kierkegaard

5. Madness, War, and Death

  • Nietzsche’s Madness
  • The Threat of War
  • The Practice of Joy Before Death