"English readers will now be able to appreciate what many consider Bataille's finest work, undoubtedly one of the outstanding texts of modern French writing, just as they will be able to fill a major gap in the history of post-structuralist thought. Whereas Bataille may be the acknowledged forefather of such figures as Barthes, Foucault, and Derrida, this centrality is often not appreciated by American admirers of the latter." -- Michele Richman, University of Pennsylvania "I consider the publication in English of Inner Experience to be of great importance and long overdue. It is only recently that many have come to recognize Bataille's profound influence on a number of the most important contemporary French thinkers such as Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, and Kristeva--an influence much more important than that of existentialists such as Sartre or Camus." -- Allan Stoekl, Yale University "We receive these hazy illusions like a narcotic necessary to bear life. But what happens to us when, disintoxicated, we learn what we are? Lost among babblers in a night in which we can only hate the appearance of light which comes from babbling. The self-acknowledged suffering of the disintoxicated is the subject of this book." -- Georges Bataille, from the Preface His is a journey marked by the questioning of experience itself, until what is reached is sovereign laughter, non-knowledge, and a Presence in no way distinct from Absence, where "The mind moves in a strange world where anguish and ecstasy coexist."