Phrases chain themselves to one another with their feeble power.
They describe, they measure the world, but the world passes through, like liquid through one’s fingers.
Why attempt to summon, one more time, a world that escapes from itself?
It is as with every question to which one only responds by a stroke of luck [chance]. I have wanted the world to escape me, I have wanted to escape from the world. In the moment when I write, I breathe with all my strength, and I breathe free. Free in the world where my submission is nevertheless required, how could [being] free have here any meaning other than happy?
My freedom, my strength is only chance, scandalous fortune that will escape me, to the extent that, as soon as its enjoyment ends, I will fear it, to the extent that I will feel I have to justify it.
How, starting from habitual life when it appears as a prison — something that inevitably happens, at some point or other, and the reasons for which, the conditions behind whose occurrence we do not yet need to become clearly conscious of — how human life escapes from the net of adherences that limits its agitation under the implacable empire of misery, of mud, of the cold, and of hunger: this is what I’d like to express today, not only for the other but for me, thus not only to clarify, but to burn.
~ Georges Bataille, “Critique of Heidegger,” trans. Stefanos Geroulanos, October 117 (Summer 2006)