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From Bataille to BadiouLignes, the Preservation of Radical French Thought, 1987-2017$
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Adrian May

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940438

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786940438.001.0001

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French Thought between Liberalism and Fascism

French Thought between Liberalism and Fascism

Bataille and Blanchot in the 1930s

(p.25) Chapter One French Thought between Liberalism and Fascism
From Bataille to Badiou

Adrian May

Liverpool University Press

Georges Bataille and Maurice Blanchot were two foundational influences on both Lignes and many of the review’s contributors. Yet, in the period after Lignes’ creation in 1987, the political engagements of both these figures in the 1930s were coming under increasingly scrutiny as they were suspected of fascist sympathies and anti-Semitic views. This chapter returns to the pre-war period to firstly delineate the review’s trenchant defence of Bataille’s political record, and the influence of Bataille on Lignes’ dual political program of anti-fascism and a critique of economic and political liberalism is subsequently delineated. Secondly, the significance of the review’s historic defence and recent exposé of the right-wing past of Blanchot is discussed in depth. The reception of these two thinkers is thus historicised, especially in the 1980s context of the anti-totalitarian ‘liberal moment’ and the growing anxieties of intellectual complicity with fascism following the Heidegger affair.

Keywords:   Georges Bataille, Maurice Blanchot, French fascism, Anti-Semitism, The 1980s liberal moment, Anti-totalitarianism, The Heidegger affair, French Theory, La pensée 68, Michel Surya

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