What, might we say, is the outside? Is it not a placeholder for the unsayable – that which is beyond the bounds of all speech, all signification? The impossible, the outside exceeds all conception, all possibility, and, in a way, all thought. And yet it ever returns, breaking in. We constantly find it in the shadowy depths of all our internal searches and struggles. Are we not ever faced with this unknowable alterity, this unassimilable shade, this unanswerable and evasive question? Is not death one such manifestation of the outside which exceeds our grasp and yet ever demands an avowal from us, in being inextricably entwined with what we term life?


Review of Georges Bataille's Visions of Excess