Georges Bataille’s conception of the sun is as complex as it is contradictory. Serving as the trigger of mania and self-harm, a conduit of sexual arousal, the pinnacle of destruction, and the catalyst for somatic expulsion, Bataille’s sun simultaneously fuses and personifies life’s most grotesque acts. Consequently, we are compelled, made whole, set free, and torn asunder at once beneath its rays. “Everyone is aware that life is parodic and that it lacks an interpretation,” writes Bataille, before explaining that the solar system’s rigid rules are the cause of humanity’s most elaborate absurdities. “In opposition to celestial fertility there are terrestrial disasters, the image of terrestrial love without condition, erection without escape and without rule, scandal, and terror.”
The Solar Anus is the membrane connecting our volcanic impulses to our farcical immolation. It is our genesis and our grave, our glorified self-abjection.
For this issue of Ceaseless Fun, we ask that you draw influence from the sun. Channel its power into transformative photosynthesis or annihilating heat stroke. Below, we have collected related sources from which you may draw inspiration. Be sure to view our guidelines before submitting.
It occurred to me that all I had to do was turn around and that would be the end of it. But the whole beach, throbbing in the sun, was pressing on my back. I took a few steps toward the spring. The Arab didn’t move. Besides, he was still pretty far away. Maybe it was the shadows on his face, but it looked like he was laughing. I waited. The sun was starting to burn my cheeks, and I could feel drops of sweat gathering in my eyebrows. The sun was the same as it had been the day I’d buried Maman, and like then, my forehead especially was hurting me, all the veins in it throbbing under the skin. It was this burning, which I couldn’t stand anymore, that made me move forward. I knew that it was stupid, that I wouldn’t get the sun off me by stepping forward. But I took a step, one step, forward. And this time, without getting up, the Arab drew his knife and held it up to me in the sun. The light shot off the steel and it was like a long flashing blade cutting at my forehead. At the same instant the sweat in my eyebrows dripped down over my eyelids all at once and covered them with a warm, thick film. My eyes were blinded behind the curtain of tears and salt. All I could feel were the cymbals of sunlight crashing on my forehead and, indistinctly, the dazzling spear flying up from the knife in front of me. The scorching blade slashed at my eyelashes and stabbed at my stinging eyes. That’s when everything began to reel. The sea carried up a thick, fiery breath. It seemed to me as if the sky split open from one end to the other to rain down fire. My whole being tensed and I squeezed my hand around the revolver. The trigger gave; I felt the smooth underside of the butt; and there, in that noise, sharp and deafening at the same time, is where it all started. I shook off the sweat and sun. I knew that I had shattered the harmony of the day, the exceptional silence of a beach where I’d been happy. Then I fired four more times at the motionless body where the bullets lodged without leaving a trace. And it was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness.
— Albert Camus, The Stranger
“They rode on and the sun in the east flushed pale streaks of light and then a deeper run of color like blood seeping up in sudden reaches flaring planewise and where the earth drained up into the sky at the edge of creation the top of the sun rose out of nothing like the head of a great red phallus until it cleared the unseen rim and sat squat and pulsing and malevolent behind them.”
— Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West