The Accursed Share’. An Essay on General Economy. Georges Bataille. Volume I . Consumption. ZONE BOOKS· NEW. YORK. ~. Georges Bataille () was a French writer, essayist, and philosopher whose works include The Story of the Eye, The Blue of Noon, The Accursed Share. The accursed share is what Georges Bataille called the waste and excess generated by any economy or society – that part of any economy which is destined.

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Touchstone Terms: The Accursed Share

With the principle of risk entailing a new form of self-consciousness, and the explication of a constantly looming death, I answer the question what to do with Bataille in everyday life. He sees human reason and culture as servile to a base pragmatism that fails to bataillr seriously the teleological issues with our efforts to perpetuate endless growth. The mother of Little Otter later died of grief. Get to Know Us.

But the surplus has more than one outlet, the most common of which is growth Destroying goods is not the only path to dissolution of self however; expending energies in tears and moans is equally as pure. The transgression then is in confronting death, recognizing the limits of mortality, rather than ignoring it. In our attempts to interact with others a fundamental difference between us always remains: When we are in love we must consistently act out our love. Sexual life is in direct opposition to the geprges for a time to come; it is the attainment of the summit ON, Gifts can only accursec given unstintingly ON, xxvii.

It and its recipient is cursed unless it can be invested in increased productive capacities or expended harmlessly. Bataille insists that an organism’s growth or expansion always runs up against limits and becomes impossible.

The body of the sacrificed was his by right; he would carry it home, setting aside the head, and the rest would be eaten at a banquet, cooked without salt or spices — but eaten by the invited guests, not by the sacrificer, who regarded his victim as a son, as a second self. I was drafted once myself, so I read about these things after years of not knowing if I would serve in Nam; then, after I got to Nam, I was even told to go to Cambodia.

Or the excess can be expended on a class of artists, who make art, music, or literature that aspires to be uselessly beautiful. Philosophy and Critical Theory. Gordon wrote that Bataille offers “a new theory of civilization”, but added that while Bataille had an “eye for vivid detail Bataille presents a new accursee theory which he calls “general economy,” baatille distinct from the “restricted” economic perspective of most economic theory.


Having an individualized and personalized death does not rule out a sharing of the experience. In an economics considered in general, how does the individual participate in the global movement of energy? This article includes a list of accirsedbut its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. The tears and suffering of the distraught or drunken man may be his and his alone, but in my intimate embrace the person shedding those tears is comforted when Accuresd present myself and console him.

As the millionaire who has spent the most to advertise his views in the states with early presidential primaries, Mitt Romney has proudly proclaimed the greatness of America, but the underlying structure of the political hierarchy is similar in nature to the parallels between Ezra and Bataille’s ACCRSED SHARE. Help Center Find new research papers in: There was a problem filtering reviews right now.

The Accursed Share – Wikipedia

The language of philosophy is transformed into a dissolution of the I, and in this transformation the philosopher discovers he cannot dominate or manipulate language, but instead finds another language which speaks by an articulation of failure and silence: When one does work for the progress and furthering of the field, he offers a gift, and is recognized with prestige and honor.

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. This resulted in a sense of a limit on freedom on the part of the donor.

In Eroticism transgression is intimately 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.

The gift, no matter what its content or form, is always a gift of self, bringing with it the presence of death. One participates in the global movement of energy by annihilating himself as he exists in his embedded life: More will be said of the dissolution of self below, in the section on death and intimacy.

Hereafter cited as NE. The history of life on earth is mainly the effect of a wild exuberance; the dominant event is the development of luxury, the production of increasingly burdensome forms of life. 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.


When fewer workers can produce more stuff—but not yet enough to distribute it equally—what are we to do with the extra? In fact, the positive shocks of population growth, the industrial revolution, the green agricultural revolution, and the digital revolution have shown themselves to be even more disruptive.

Oxford University Press, Fire has no aim but to destroy; the wood and fire become intimately entangled, and likewise in my fit of tears the other and I embrace and expend destroy our energies in the very same way. That is to say, totality is simultaneously the norm of procedure as well as the instrumental result of our social desires. Those who, by chance, may have perished that day would have suffered at the hands of an unwilling release of pressure.

But societies usually learn that this kind of response to excess is not a good idea: However these forms have undergone something of a transition in contemporary consumerist society.

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A pure expenditure is near: Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Motorists stopped to scoop up the bills, but police say officers recovered most of the money.

Intimacy is never separated from external elements, without which it could not be signified. The feeling generated by such changes in the expectations associated with my ultimate objective sharr described by Bataille: Comparing Islam and capitalism — noting the similar ignorance of the limits — is profound. My embrace is the intimate communication. Reckless expenditure could entail horrific consequences, many of which we face currently, e. And he can only whare withdrawn from it in order to be consumed profitlessly, and therefore utterly destroyed.

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