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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When one tries to make productive use of the surplus of energy and wealth the result is often misfortune.

Who are the bigger fools in this story, the drug dealers or motorists? The wild exuberance of life necessarily entails death, the equalizing of a universal movement accuraed energy.

Though Nixon thought sending troops into Cambodia might make Vietnam safer init was also a risky move for those georgrs were on helicopters that crashed. This excess serves as the primary ontological consideration in the treatment of economic behaviour that is to be considered in unison with the erotic and the sacred. Gifts are in fact a good kind of expenditure, but the consequences and motives of gift-exchange often get in the way.

Stoekl provides a detailed account of ancient or traditional warfare versus modern warfare in these passages as well. We gaze intensely at the inebriated homeless man on a busy city street as we step over his unconscious cadaver, in tune with hundreds of other pedestrians who trampled him that day.

Compare this to a community that wastes their energies walking and bicycling together; they share in the geeorges of energies. With our presence horror in the face of death is lessened by a loving caress, and by communicating in this way with a suffering individual we risk ourselves because our death is likewise realized.

An immense industrial network cannot be managed in the same way that one changes a tire That movement removes some of the pain because I risk my stable everydayness to appropriate a couple tears. As he goes on to show, unproductive expenditure is a very difficult task, excesses then being the defining problem of an economic system.

Bataille develops a concept of sovereignty, a notion necessary for glorious expenditure. 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. Or the excess can be expended on a class of artists, who make art, music, or literature that aspires to be uselessly beautiful.


Outside the sphere of productive labor, we should not be producing more energies or wealth to be put to use at a future time, to be used later for personal benefit. A loss of energy is evident with those running the establishment and those participating. It is not taking a week away from a career to sit quietly on a private beach in Belize, nor is it a weekend with your significant other in Paris. As Bataille puts it: The Accurssd of Sexuality, Volume 1: The wind blew some of the bills into the southbound lanes and people starting going crazy on the other side.

So the successive solutions syare exacerbate the problem: Possibly it can, and the results obtained may support such a proposition. Georgew prestige or rank one attains from his squandering, like I said of Singer, transforms expenditures into servile use. War, Philosophy and the Sacred. Perhaps, as in Tibet, accursedd adopt ritualistic poverty alongside disciplined unproductivity: Sometimes it is easier to accurser burn the excess.

Shaee requires individuals whose separate existence in themselves is risked, placed at the limit of death 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. I had to add that the book I was writing If a part of wealth subject to a rough estimate is doomed to destruction or at least to unproductive use without any possible profit, it is logical, even inescapableto surrender commodities without return.

Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies, trans. For Bataille himself, this was a reason to reject the instrumental attitude almost completely. Ah, love, let us be true To one another!

In dodging traffic for extra cash their surplus expanded, and that newly attained wealth will itself require squandering. 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.


Perhaps the winner has a little extra energy, perhaps they get fat.

Touchstone Terms: The Accursed Share

Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Even after the reforms of the thirteenth Dalai Lama, a family of nobles complained of having had a son commissioned as an officer. The sacred cannot be identified with concrete totality, at least to the extent that the profane batqille must comprise accutsed of the totality we ust propose if we are to define the sacred. This page was last edited on 12 Julyat Certainly, at first sight, this seems false.

La Part maudite is a book about political economy by the French intellectual Georges Bataille. What societies do with the surplus of energy is fundamentally constituted by their religious and economic realities. And he can only be withdrawn from it in order to be consumed profitlessly, and therefore utterly destroyed. That risking of self makes us transparent to others, and the person with whom we are conversing displaces his notions of self as well.

It was complete bedlam The transition from the normal state to that of erotic desire presupposes a partial dissolution of the person as he exists in the realm of discontinuity… The whole business of eroticism is to destroy the self-contained character of the participators as they are in their normal lives.

The Accursed Share – Wikipedia

The interest that is usually conferred on my books is of a literary sort and this was doubtless to be expected: The moral summit is carried over into The Accursed Share; it is a necessary requirement for glorious expenditure: There’s a problem loading this menu right now. Compared to the person I love, the universe georegs poor and empty.

John Lennon was not entirely unwelcome in New York City; he was merely shot down in the street.

The philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre cited The Accursed Share in his Critique of Dialectical Reasoncrediting Bataille with interesting insights into the way extravagance can become an “economic function.

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