The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy

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Zone Books, 1993 - Business & Economics - 460 pages
11 Reviews

The three volumes of The Accursed Share address what Georges Bataille sees as theparadox of utility: namely, if being useful means serving a further end, then the ultimate end ofutility can only be uselessness. The first volume of The Accursed Share, the only one publishedbefore Bataille's death, treated this paradox in economic terms, showing that "it is not necessitybut its contrary, luxury, that presents living matter and mankind with their fundamental problems."This Zone edition includes in a single volume a reconstruction, based on the versions published inBataille's posthumous collected works, of his intended continuation of The Accursed Share.In thesecond and third volumes, The History of Eroticism and Sovereignty, Bataille explores the sameparadox of utility, respectively from an anthropological and an ethical perspective. He firstanalyzes the fears and fascination, the prohibitions and the transgressions attached to the realm oferoticism as so many expressions of the "uselessness" of erotic life. It is just this expenditure ofexcess energy that demarcates the realm of human autonomy, of independence relative to.useful" ends.The study of eroticism therefore leads naturally to the examination of human sovereignty, in whichBataille defines the sovereign individual as one who consumes and does not labor, creating a lifebeyond the realm of utility.Georges Bataille, a philosopher and novelist sui generis, died in1962.

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Review: The Accursed Share 2-3: The History of Eroticism and Sovereignty

User Review  - Alexander Panagiotou - Goodreads

An exhausting, but fascinating read. From ritual sacrifice to gift giving, love and prostitution, kings and communists, Nietzsche and Jesus - Bataille roves though the archives of humanity to give ... Read full review

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


Part One Introduction
The Problem of Incest

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About the author (1993)

Georges Bataille (1897-1962) was a French writer, essayist, and philosopher whose works include The Story of the Eye, The Blue of Noon, The Accursed Share, and Theory of Religion.

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