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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Insofar as it touches everything, it Oh, what a wonderful little book. The wasting of this energy is “luxury”. 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.

Here the relationship between cultural norm pacifismand surplus expenditure funding monasticismis not one of linear cause and effect. In a deeper sense, the allocation of the surplus is closely tied to meaning-making, as well as to status. View all 4 comments. This is why I have tried in the sections above to move away from the distribution of goods and wealth to unproductive expenditures of the body.

Hyde however does have much to say on kidney transplants, and he does so quite interestingly, contrasting the erotic nature of the gift of life with the cold and calculating utilitarian justifications of life.

The moral summit is carried over into The Accursed Share; it is a necessary requirement for glorious expenditure: I actually think that the Nietzsche here is quite different from Heidegger’s interpretation on some major and important points I don’t think any more that Bataille’s thinking is nihilistic in terms of the usual binary of ‘active’ and ‘passive’ nihilism, but it can be refigured as a kind of ‘radical’ or ‘perfect’ nihilism.


Story of the Eye by Lord Auch. In the introduction to Erotism Bataille identifies a gulf between human beings, a discontinuity. Bataille consciously construes an epistemic totality that aims not at the isolated particularity of individual economic events, but one that is always regulated by an idea that all organic behaviour is based upon similar principles, in this case a superabundance of energy.

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

Bataille makes this quite clear: Second Opinions Cancel reply. Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. To what extent are cultural norms defined by the accursed share?

This made reading at times a little frustrating. In Body Transformations Lingis identifies three well-known and contemporary practices of potlatch: The Implications of Excess.

Bataille’s inquiry takes the superabundance of energy, beginning from the outpouring of solar energy or the surpluses produced by life’s basic chemical reactions, as the norm for organisms. Bataille georgfs arguing for a push towards the limits of existence, of nothingness, rather than a desire to die.

The prestige or rank once associated with the destruction of goods has transformed into a sense of prestige when one conserves his wealth and luxuries. Gordon wrote that Bataille offers “a new theory of civilization”, but added that while Bataille had an “eye for vivid detail It and its recipient is cursed unless it can be invested in increased productive capacities or expended harmlessly.


He found Bataille’s ideas about economics to have particular relevance following the collapse of communism. When one does work for the progress and furthering of the field, he offers a gift, and is recognized with prestige and honor. Skip to main content.

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

In my opinion, I found the general economy to be a fascinating critique of society. It requires individuals whose separate existence in themselves is risked, placed at the limit of tbe 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.

The Accursed Share is an ethics; it attempts to elucidate a concept of conscious squandering which provokes acccursed demands an appropriate choice between different forms of expenditure. Roland Barthes, Julia Kristeva, and Philippe Sollers have all written enthusiastically about his work.

This book is generally acknowledged as accused attempt at articulating a major theory of political economy out of Nietzsche’s ideas with a lethal dose of clarity.

Still a really enjoyable read and I’m interested to read volumes 2 and 3.

Ford chose the cheapest of the devices at the cost acccursed burning to death in Pinto crashes. Using a Marxist platform, Bataille advocates an equal expenditure of excess wealth for all of society.