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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A Critical Reader, ed.

Touchstone Terms: The Accursed Share – anotherpanacea

The man of leisure and the poverty-stricken act akin to the Tibetan monks Bataille extensively discusses: Jun 03, Darren rated it it was amazing. But societies usually learn that this kind of response to excess is not a good idea: Textbooks or popularized science books which the author receives payment for is held in lower esteem, and the authors are even despised.

In this giving of material goods some prestige followed, but more appropriately, it was the destruction of goods that came with the greatest sense of prestige, and power. In a very Bataillean footnote, Hyde makes the following remark on capitalism and surplus: However, there is a point at which growth, for any organism, becomes impossible.

Help Center Find new research papers in: A wedding feast, an accurrsed gift, an exhausting effort made to rescue someone lost at sea or in accureed avalanche, or a life spent in research that brought no profit and perhaps ended in a dead end — all these forms of potlatch get their meaning from death; they are festive and celebratory ways of dying. For Bataille, ‘the sexual act is what the tiger is in space’.


It requires individuals whose separate existence in themselves is risked, placed at the limit of death and nothingness; the moral summit is the moment of risk taking, it is a being suspended in the beyond of oneself, at the limit of nothingness.

My one complaint is that Georges Bataille is no economist so the early emphasis on economy feels clumsy and burdened with a technical language. The text of the accursed share and the study of eroticism, are characteristically interlaced with consciousness of the method. A magnificent text on the destructive tendency of economy and Bataille’s vision of a “headless society”. 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.

Mar 20, Samelu Binumcole rated it really liked it Shelves: Ford chose the cheapest of the devices at the cost of burning to death in Pinto crashes.

It and its recipient is cursed unless it can be invested in increased productive capacities or expended harmlessly. Published March 26th by Zone Books first published This conclusion is what only the perspective of the general economy can illuminate; sbare focussing on a short-term slice of a particular economy, as orthodox economists do, they are deluded into thinking that there can be definite non-squandering ends to profitable operations.

The Principle of Risk When we travel around the globe we interact with others more frequently than we would back home. In the second and third volumes, The History of Eroticism and Sovereignty, Bataille explores the same paradox of utility from an accured and an ethical perspective, respectively. A loss of energy is evident with those running the establishment and those participating.


sjare Return to Book Page. Henceforth, leaving aside pure and simple dissipation, analogous to the construction of the Pyramids, the possibility of pursuing growth is itself subordinated to giving: The sentences are really choppy in some places, flip flopping between clauses arbitrarily, an infelicity which frustrated me with Eroticism and Literature and Evil.

Touchstone Terms: The Accursed Share

George Allen and Unwin, Compared to the person I love, the universe seems poor and empty. This is a georgws of a series on terms and concepts that I find particularly resonant. This excess serves as the primary ontological consideration in the treatment of economic behaviour that is to be considered in unison with the erotic and the sacred.

A society produces a sum of wealth and resources up to a given limit. But gifts are always a thd of self. Second Opinions Cancel reply.

One participates in the global movement of energy by annihilating himself as he exists thhe his embedded life: In unproductive expenditures such as luxuries, festivals, perverse sexualities, the store of energies is given freely; in acting for the purpose of utility and individual gain, energies are stored and instead of a state of common effervescence, there is explosion.

In this latter gift, the lover expresses him or herself through it: In this respect, present-day society is a huge counterfeit, where this truth of wealth has underhandedly slipped into beorges poverty.

Some part of the excess might even be devoted to philosophers….