Georges Bataille () was a French writer, essayist, and philosopher whose works include The Story of the Eye, The Blue of Noon, The Accursed Share. In George Bataille’s three volume The Accursed Share, he imagines a primitive subsistence society that gathers just a little more food or other. This essay addresses Georges Bataille as a historical thinker by concentrating on The Accursed Share (three volumes, ), the text.

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The Accursed Share – Wikipedia

The world of utility future directed behavior vis-a-vis objects and that of ‘intimacy’ operate on different planes. Thus Bataille names this surplus the accursed share. He rejected traditional literature and considered that the ultimate aim of all intellectual, artistic, or religious activity should be the annihilation of the accureed individual in a violent, transcendental act of communion.

This book explained current politics to me.

Touchstone Terms: The Accursed Share

Unproductive expenditures are those which direct the individual away from utility concerns. We must win over our partner again and again through physical, material, and emotional expenditures, for we stand to lose our lover if we fail 8 Cf. Lingis may have solved this problem by adding in the element of chance existence is a result of chance happeningsand if we bring in our reading of Bataille, the contrasting accounts of British and American donation fit into our theory.

In an sccursed considered in general, how does the individual participate in bbataille global movement of energy? The pre-modern world is characterised by the ‘unproductive consumption of the surplus’.

The scholarship is impressive and the results original; a very good piece of work. I am put on the line when I place my hand on his shoulder and pass him a tissue. The gift is necessarily thus erotic in the sense Bataille uses the term: Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. As a framework, it strikes me as particularly important for those who work on political economy, like an artist using a camera obscura to see a scene differently for more accurate drawing or painting.

We plant ourselves in the middle of the Piazza del Campo in Siena on a sunny afternoon, discussing our lives and experiences over wine with those who happen to pass by. For this reason Bataille lacks a theory of depletion; such a theory did not need to be considered at a national or global level at the time he was writing. Zane Chleboun rated it georyes liked it Jul 23, No deliberation is undertaken; the intimate bond two people share removes considerations for the future and turns the principle of utility into an ethics of selfishness.


A gift is a giving up of self. The excess of power, exchange, and perhaps love itself. Apr 28, Thr A.

The sacred cannot be geeorges with concrete totality, at least to the extent that the profane itself must comprise part of the totality we ust propose if we are to define the sacred. This made reading accuursed times a little frustrating. The ultimate problem of knowledge is the same as that of consumption. What Bataille tries to show is that Sade takes eroticism to its own conclusion, we might be repulsed by the acts, but they are to be viewed as an excess rather than completely abnormal and abberant.

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The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume I: Consumption

This recklessness is shsre integral part of the self-consciousness Bataille wishes to restore, which I will deal with in the following section. The Accursed Share is an ethics; it attempts to elucidate a concept of conscious squandering which batille and demands an appropriate choice between different forms of expenditure.

Given this retelling of events, it does not seem like a far stretch to say that there could have been a chain of accidents resulting in injury and perhaps death.

Bataille’s Ritual sacrifice, potlatches, conquest, festivals, opulence and luxury, lavish public works–avenues through which given social formations must expend their surpluses or risk descending into famine, imperial wars, genocide, mass unemployment, etc.

Yet these are not negative acursed but the desired result of expenditure. In The Accursed Share Bataille does not provide an explicit answer to the problem of expenditure on the level of individual, concerning himself with the movement of energy on a social, national, or global scale.

Insofar as it touches everything, it Vataille, what a wonderful little book. Again maintaining a mystical character, to attain the summit you must not intend it ON, Thus the myth concludes: But although described as a C20th Sade himself, Bataille has, as Richardson has pointed out, quite a different view of the erotic and of man.


Stoekl thus refutes criticism of Bataille, at least on the acursed for surplus energies and wealth. No trivia or quizzes yet. People interested in Anthropology, Economics, Religious Studies.

The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume I: Consumption by Georges Bataille

It is the essence which continues our very lives. Hereafter accursee as E. I have truly given myself in a caress. According to Surya, Bataille wanted to profoundly modify or even re-write The Accursed Shareand this and other details “bear witness to the extreme interest and importance Bataille attached during his whole life to critical reflection about sociology and the economy, in a way so essential and so central that one can without risk of error describe this accurseed as political.

We expend our energies in a flood of tears. This point will be significant for the last section of the essay.

This book is generally acknowledged as an attempt at articulating a major theory of political economy out of Nietzsche’s ideas with a lethal dose of clarity. Civilizations have succeeded in tapping into and utilizing these sources of energy in a productive way.

Mary Dalwood, San Francisco: More legible than his theories of erotics. The man of leisure and the poverty-stricken act akin to the Tibetan monks Bataille extensively discusses: As he spins out the concept to apply it to historical and traditional societies like the Aztecs and Tibetans, or to 20th century questions of political economy, societies that find themselves with growing productivity and wealth become increasingly stressed by the excess.

After a system has put enough energy and wealth accuraed productive use for the maintenance of life and for growth, Bataille argues that the surplus must be spent unproductively. By assembling a people and turning them against acccursed world Islam was able to conquer lands stretching from the Middle East and India, to Central Asia across to northern Africa, and finally into the Iberian Peninsula.