Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents (1930)
* Georges Bataille, “The Pineal Eye” (1927-1930)
First Paper Due: What is Freud’s central thesis in Civilization and Its Discontents? What evidence does he use to support his argument? How might Bataille’s work confirm or refute Freud’s central argument(s) in Civilization and Its Discontents? Using Freud’s book as a methodological tool, analyze and interpret Bataille’s writing—what does it demonstrate or suggest about the fate of the psyche in the modern world?
In one respect, there is no difference in Sigmund Freud’s “Civilization and Its Discontents” (1929), and in Georges Bataille’s “The Pineal Eye” (1927-1930) in that both authors display interest in the disciplines of
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Bataille appears to be challenging the evolution of science in this statement with that of Freud’s mystical conception. Freud refers to “mythology” in his essay and writes: “The most striking example of this double fate is the figure of Jesus Christ, if indeed it does not itself belong to the realm of mythology which called it into being out of a dim memory of that primordial event” (p. 38). Although in many parts of Freud’s essay he refers to the word “religion” as if it exists, he also rebels against it as something of the past and not the present by using the term “mythology [ ] being [ ] a dim memory” (p. 38). Bataille (a defender of religion) is mocked by Freud as he refers to those that see religion as a reasonable means of man’s interpretation, he writes: “It is even more humiliating to discover what a large number of those alive today, who must see that this religion is not tenable, yet try to defend it inch by inch, as if with a series of pitiable rearguard actions” (p. 7).
There are many contrasting theories about where the origin of life occurred and its formation into our universe. Both Freud and Bataille touch on this very same subject, but on different viewpoints. Bataille believes: “The distribution of organic existence on the