Georges Albert Maurice Victor Bataille (/bəˈtaɪ/; French: [ʒɔʁʒ batɑj]; 10 September 1897 – 9 July 1962) was a French intellectual and literary figure working in literature, philosophy, anthropology, economics, sociology and history of art. His writing, which included essays, novels, and poetry, explored such subjects as erotism, mysticism, surrealism, and transgression. His work would prove influential on subsequent schools of philosophy and social theory, including poststructuralism.
Georges Bataille was the son of Joseph-Aristide Bataille (b. 1851), a tax collector (later to go blind and paralysed on account of neurosyphilis), and Antoinette-Aglaë Tournarde (b. 1865). Born on 10 September 1897 in Billom in the region of Auvergne, his family moved to Reims in 1898, where he was baptized. He went to school in Reims and then Épernay. Although brought up without religious observance, he converted to Catholicism in 1914, and became a devout Catholic for about nine years. He considered entering the priesthood and attended a Catholic seminary briefly. However, he quit, apparently in part in order to pursue an occupation where he could eventually support his mother. He eventually renounced Christianity in the early 1920s.