'Bataille draws a sharp distinction between eroticism and sexuality, the latter of which is utilitarian in its mechanical pursuit of procreation. Eroticism on the other hand is expenditure, perhaps the most immediate form of expenditure. It has no goal beyond the immediate expression of desire. Bataille’s understanding of desire confounds Hegel with Sade, the Hegelian quest for identity thourgh recognition with Sade’s interplay of animality and indifference. Where the Hegelian consciousness acts, desiring while remaining simultaneously indifferent to those desires. Sade’s sovereign questions his or her animality and hence also his or her humanity. Where the Hegelian hero masters himself by enslaving others, Sade’s sovereign sacrifices herself and others in a potlach of desire. As a question posed to both animality and to the others, eroticism proposes a means by which human beings can rupture their isolation from one another and from the natural continuum of the world.'
Stuart Kendall, Georges Bataille, publisher: Reaktion Books