The accursed share: an essay on general economy

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Zone Books, 1988 - Business & Economics - 200 pages
11 Reviews
Most Anglo-American readers know Bataille as a novelist. The Accursed Share provides an excellent introduction to Bataille the philosopher. Here he uses his unique economic theory as the basis for an incisive inquiry into the very nature of civilization. Unlike conventional economic models based on notions of scarcity, Bataille's theory develops the concept of excess: a civilization, he argues, reveals its order most clearly in the treatment of its surplus energy. The result is a brilliant blend of ethics, aesthetics, and cultural anthropology that challenges both mainstream economics and ethnology.

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Review: The Accursed Share 1: Consumption

User Review  - Chris Nagel - Goodreads

Intriguing opening salvo. I'm profoundly puzzled by the connection between the analyses of economies and self-consciousness. I gather that the limited economies discussed here, and the limited ... Read full review

Review: The Accursed Share 1: Consumption

User Review  - Michael - Goodreads

After reading this, I now subscribe to Bataille's theory of "general economy." On this view, economies aren't about production but the dissipation of surplus energy. By extension, next time I meet someone who drives a Hummer, I'll shake their hand and smile. Of course I'm joking. Read full review


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About the author (1988)

Bataille was a medievalist librarian by training. Active in the French intellectual scene from the 1920s through the 1950s, he founded the journal Critique and was a member of the Acephale group and the College de sociologie.

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