Inner Experience

Inner Experience (French: L'expérience intérieure) is a 1943 book by the French intellectual 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
Inner Experience (French edition).jpg
Cover of the first edition
AuthorGeorges Bataille
Original titleL'expérience intérieure
TranslatorLeslie Anne Boldt
PublisherÉditions Gallimard, State University of New York Press
Publication date
Published in English
Media typePrint
Pages209 (English edition)


Bataille discusses "inner experience", which he defines as states usually considered forms of mystical experience, including ecstasy and rapture.[2]


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.[3] The philosopher Gabriel Marcel criticized the work from a Christian perspective.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Lee 2017, p. 88.
  2. ^ Bataille 1988, p. 3.
  3. ^ Surya 2002, pp. 329–330.
  4. ^ Marcel 2010, pp. 178–204.