Article Details

In: KulturPoetik 2020, Issue 2


Stefan Bub


Höhlenmalerei als Stimulus philosophischer Betrachtung des Todes. Georges Bataille und der Puits de Lascaux




In 1955 the French philosopher Georges Bataille published a book about the Lascaux cave he had visited two times before. Especially the so-called ›scène du puits‹ which he initially qualifies as »énigme et drame« occupies his mind. In Lascaux ou la naissance de l’art, but also in LʼÉrotisme (1957) Bataille reflects on this scene. The depiction of the wounded bison becomes an unsurpassed paradigm of the overcoming of death  through the experience of a sacred transgression. This article analyses Bataille’s ideas in the context of prehistoric research where attempts to interpret cave paintings and in particular the unique ›scène du puits‹ often turn out to be difficult. Furthermore, it takes a closer look at the connection between Bataille and the Lascaux poems of René Char.