La Révolution comme catastrophe chez André Malraux et Georges Bataille

Translated title of the contribution: Revolution as catastrophe in the work of André Malraux and Georges Bataille

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In his review of La Condition humaine, Georges Bataille asserts that André Malraux’s novel shows how revolutionary power is based, in its psychological structure, on a catastrophe, on the lasting consciousness of a catastrophe upon which has depended the fate of multitudes. From this reading of Malraux, we will explore the catastrophic vision of Bataille himself in his novel Le Bleu du ciel and his essays for Contre-Attaque, written in the course of the 1930s, but, in the case of Le Bleu du ciel, only published more than twenty years afterwards. In the face of a “rising tide of murder” that seems to make the triumph of fascism and war inevitable, the failure of his dream of a “Popular Front in the street” is embodied in the political and erotic impotence of the troubling character of Henri Troppmann. Bataille’s dead-end contrasts brutally with the publicly committed work of Malraux, who seems to offer an alternative vision of revolutionary fate. But are there similarities between the “committed” novelist Malraux and the “shameful” one that is Bataille? Both writers show a profound interest in the sacred, which transcends a narrowly political frame.
Translated title of the contributionRevolution as catastrophe in the work of André Malraux and Georges Bataille
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)245-254
Number of pages10
JournalAcademic Journal of Modern Philology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2020


  • Communism
  • Fascism
  • Revolution
  • Sacred


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