LOUIS XXX presents two little known hybrid texts by French novelist and philosopher Georges Bataille: The Little One and The Tomb of Louis XXX. Written alongside Bataille’s major work, Guilty, and only loosely narrative in any conventional sense, these audaciously experimental pieces of pornographic chamber music commingle prose and poetry, fiction and autobiography, philosophical and theological meditations, abstract artifice and intimate confession, bound together by the mysterious pseudonym at their center. Jean-Jacques Pauvert claimed that The Little One was the most “shattering” text that Bataille ever wrote and André Breton remarked that The Little One “offers the most hungering, most moving aspect of [Bataille’s] thought and attests to the importance that that thought will have in the near future.” The future is now as these texts appear in English for the first time. An extended postface by the translator places the works in biographical, historical, and critical perspective as assemblages constellated around the disappearance of the discursive real.
Louis XXX (fiction) by Georges Bataille, translated by Stuart Kendall. London: Equus Press. ISBN 978-0-9571213-5-5. EU8.00. Release date: April 2013.
Stuart Kendall is a writer, editor, and translator working at the intersections of poetics, modern and contemporary visual culture, theology, ecology, and design. His books include Georges Bataille (Reaktion Books, Critical Lives, 2007), The Ends of Art and Design (Infrathin, 2011), and eight book-length translations of French poetry, philosophy, and visual and cultural criticism, including books by Bataille, Maurice Blanchot, Paul Éluard, Jean Baudrillard, Guy Debord, and René Char. In 2012, Contra Mundum published his Gilgamesh, a new version of the eponymous Mesopotamian poems.