The Accursed Share’. An Essay on General Economy. Georges Bataille. Volume I . Consumption. ZONE BOOKS· NEW. YORK. ~. The Accursed Share is a brilliant product of [Bataille’s] loony-tunes coupling of critical genres: pseudo/antisurrealist manifestos, leftist political treatises, erotics. This essay addresses Georges Bataille as a historical thinker by concentrating on The Accursed Share (three volumes, ), the text.

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In an economics considered accufsed general, how does the individual participate in the global movement of energy? What societies do with the surplus ahare energy is fundamentally constituted by their religious and economic realities. The government did not need to persuade or coerce for blood donation.

Focusing on consumption in this first volume, Bataille traces societal mechanisms of expenditure through their archaic, medieval, capitalist and communist iterations and offers a model of a solar economy based on excess rather than scarcity. But there is still a hypothetical problem: Again maintaining a mystical character, to attain the summit you must hsare intend it ON, With this requirement to give yourself over daily to your partner, I touch on sovereignty, self-consciousness, the moral summit.

That movement removes some of the pain because I risk my stable everydayness to appropriate a couple tears.

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

A Translation of Sein und Zeit, trans. Any further definition of intimacy is difficult. Motorists stopped to scoop up the bills, but police say officers recovered most of the money. After a system has put enough energy and wealth to productive use for the maintenance of life and for growth, Bataille argues that the surplus must be spent adcursed.

Alan Stoekl, in The Bataille Reader, ed. So in this gulf is bqtaille, or rather, the experience of the continuity of being, the completion we could say, of the life cycle E, 16e.

While I will have dealt with instances in which our contemporary practices of gift-exchange are far from a Bataillean ethics, I will also discuss instances when we do participate in expenditure at a loss and without individual gain.

Language is not appropriate in this case, for the sufferer and the stranger fuse together in a simple gesture. Eventually, any series of profitable operations becomes merely a bataillle to fritter away that profit, because there is always a limit to how much a profitable operation can improve itself.


Potlatch, Bataille describes, is a circulation of wealth excluding bargaining; it is rather an economy of gift-exchange which continues the flow of wealth and goods.

Totality is at once; the attempt to recapture lost intimacy, the orgasm, death as offering continuity after a discontinuous existence In Eroticism transgression is accursedd related to violence and ultimately death, a connection Bataille explores, literally in Blue of Noon and The Dead Man and analytically in his writings on surrealism and the sacred e.

Sometimes it is easier to simply burn the excess. Mauss discovered in Native American potlatch three obligations: This puzzled him greatly for he began with a Hobbesian interpretation of human nature.

The sacred cannot be identified 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. The three volumes of The Accursed Share address what Georges Bataille sees as the paradox of utility: George Allen and Unwin, When Charles Bell, a 20th century British Political Officer, tried to convince the 13th Dalai Lama to increase military expenditure in the interests of national protection it was strongly opposed by the majority of monks.

Apr 28, Michael A. The erotic and the sacred can not be studied anyless in isolation that man and his batailoe.

How this recognition of limits is made manifest is through their transgression. The British people understood their surplus of energies, to be given freely and at a loss. May 20, Richard rated it it was amazing. Death and Sensuality, trans. My embrace is the intimate communication.

London and Sterling, VA: Consumption for itself is glorious; it dissolves the individual into the ebb and flow of planetary energy.

The Accursed Share – Wikipedia

In the case of competitive games, large sums are spent maintaining the arenas and tracks, equipment and labor. Upon hearing such a bold claim, a pressing urge to disagree with Heidegger rises up; we want to tell him that some are nearer to batalle than others.

Charles E Merrill Publishing Co, In organ donation most individuals do not need a 47 Ibid. Crucial to the formulation of the theory was Bataille’s reflection upon the phenomenon of potlatch. Roland Barthes, Julia Kristeva, and Philippe Sollers have acvursed written enthusiastically about his work.


According to Bataille’s theory of consumption, the accursed share is that excessive and non-recuperable part of any economy which must either be spent luxuriously and knowingly without gain in the arts, in non-procreative sexuality, in spectacles and sumptuous shsre, or it is obliviously destined to an outrageous and catastrophic outpouring, in the contemporary age most often in war, or in former ages as destructive and ruinous acts of giving or sacrifice, but always in a manner that threatens the prevailing system.

By assembling a people and turning them against the 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. The chief makes excuses, saying he did not know who Little Otter was.

Touchstone Terms: The Accursed Share

A chief whom the Tsimshian tribe had forgotten one day spots Little Otter and kills him. This point will be significant for the last section of the essay. Bataille’s The Accursed Share: Giving, by abnegating ownership of resources, puts the giver at risk.

Certainly, at first sight, this seems false. 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. Heidegger’s claim that for Nietzsche, nihilism defines some kind of a-historical key to understanding all of Western history seems to me to be reproduced in its e 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.

Bataille presents a new economic theory which he calls “general economy,” as distinct from the “restricted” economic perspective of most economic theory.