The Accursed Share’. An Essay on General Economy. Georges Bataille. Volume I . Consumption. ZONE BOOKS· NEW. YORK. ~. The Accursed Share is a brilliant product of [Bataille’s] loony-tunes coupling of critical genres: pseudo/antisurrealist manifestos, leftist political treatises, erotics. This essay addresses Georges Bataille as a historical thinker by concentrating on The Accursed Share (three volumes, ), the text.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Consumption by Georges Bataille. The three volumes of The Accursed Share address what Georges Bataille sees as accuursed paradox of utility: In the second and third volumes, The History of Eroticism and Sovereignty, Bataille explores the same paradox of utility from an anthropological and an ethical pe The three volumes of The Accursed Share address what Georges Bataille sees as the paradox of utility: In the second and third volumes, The History of Eroticism and Sovereignty, Bataille explores the same paradox of utility from an anthropological and an ethical perspective, respectively.
The History of Eroticism analyzes the fears and fascination, the prohibitions and transgressions attached to the bahaille of eroticism as so acxursed expressions of the “uselessness” of erotic life.
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Lists with This Book. Nov 30, Maxwell rated it really liked it. We receive more energy from the sun than can be spent productively; so it must be expelled unproductively. And this ritual euthanasia of unspent energy is not merely primary to our survival; disbursal of the explosive plethora of solar residue flows into joy, art, eroticism and transcendence.
Still, for all its research, The Accursed Share will never be taught in an economics class and cannot be arbitrated except by the stiffest criteria of falsifiability–which would be seriously missing the point. Bataille brought this to speed with the contemporary post-war environment and you could continue to do so long after his death.
Think of our depraved piracy of smaller nations, seizing the glut of resources interred there; energy sources converted into a surfeit of corpulent exuberance which are binged to resource our next imperial adventure. My only gripe is stylistic.
The sentences are really choppy in some places, flip flopping between clauses arbitrarily, an infelicity which frustrated me with Eroticism and Literature and Evil. View all 4 comments. This book is generally acknowledged as an attempt at articulating a major theory of political economy out of Nietzsche’s ideas with a lethal dose of clarity. First, however, this is a very “Heideggerian” Nietzsche though, no surprise as Heidegger’s work was the only major systematic apprehension of Nietzsche’s philosophy at the time.
Touchstone Terms: The Accursed Share
Heidegger’s claim that for Nietzsche, nihilism defines some kind of a-historical key to understanding all of Western history seems to me to be reproduced in its e This book is generally acknowledged as an attempt at articulating a major theory of political economy out of Nietzsche’s ideas with a lethal dose of clarity.
Heidegger’s claim that for Nietzsche, nihilism defines some kind of a-historical key to understanding all of Western history seems to me to be reproduced in its entirety and fallibilityby suggesting that the economy has its own ‘will to nothingness’. Some of the most interesting ideas, further explored in volumes II and III is a kind of positing of Heidegger’s ‘cleared’ stage of authentic, pre-metaphysical knowledge as refigured through the Hegelian concept of totality, certainly used in a much more “french” way, thus building up a kind of historical ontology of the material world, as dependent on the symbolic order of the economy.
What is less Heideggerian is a setting up of a dialectic of production and consumption that is materialized in the concept of ‘excess’ that comes up with its own historical and peculiar incarnations. I’d say that as much as Mick Dillon’s book “Security” uses the concept of security to suggest there is a much richer ‘lifeworld’ of politics that we can start to see if we handle that is, deconstruct the term properly, here the same could count with respect to the use of ‘excess’ that as well borders on the now somewhat deflated concept of ‘affect’ as a key to our economic imagination.
Having read more Bataille, I no longer think this is really the case, and I no longer think based on texts prior to the Accursed Share, where some of the differences are stated [for example, a footnote to Method on Meditation] that Heidegger marks as much influence on his thought as I did before.
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.
I think that comparison to Dillon’s book “politics of security” I’ve made before are however quite correct, as indeed, the book gives us a richer, deeper and nuanced i. The nicest thing about Bataille, however, isthat despite his fallacies and his own ‘brand’ of nihilismthis conceptual system allows for its own broadening and corrections without a need of falsifying. A major and badly ‘overlooked’ book. View all 5 comments.
Nov 04, Tosh rated it really liked it Shelves: A combination of the Erotic with the Economic. How does Georges Bataille combine the two. One of the most original thinkers in contemporary 20th Century literature. Bataille not only sees economy as a means to exchange goods but also the the extras that are there and how one uses the ‘extras’.
The excess of power, exchange, and perhaps love itself. Difficult at times, but also incredibly rewarding. A good introduction to Bataille’s work is for sure his fiction The Story of the Eye, etc.
It is like reading just the noir novels of Boris Vian – you need to read everything by this man to get a complete picture of who and what he is. And that is a very rewarding journey my friends. Nov 19, Reuben rated it really liked it Shelves: He calls this perspective the general economy.
For Bataille, all economies bstaille simply terrestrial activities that correspond to the larger cosmic stimulus of the sun: However, there is a point at which growth, for any bataikle, becomes impossible. At this point the excess energy must be spent unproductively: Eventually, any series of profitable operations becomes merely a machine to fritter away that profit, because there is always a limit to how much a profitable operation can improve itself.
This conclusion is what only the perspective of the general economy can illuminate; by focussing on a short-term slice of a particular economy, as orthodox sare do, they are deluded into thinking that there can be definite non-squandering ends to profitable operations. The surplus resources that a society must expend, Bataille names the accursed share.
It is accursed, because if not spent correctly it can accursev dangerous consequences Bataille specifically sees WWI and WWII as being facilitated by the use of the accursed share to bankroll extensive military developments. Excess thus presents us with far more problems than scarcity does: Where the book becomes extremely interesting is in its implication that the structure of society batail,e inherently tied to the methods it uses to deal with the accursed share: To what extent are cultural norms defined by the accursed share?
To what extent do they themselves influence the accugsed through which we expel it? When Charles Bell, a 20th century British Political Officer, tried to convince bataillw 13th Dalai Lama to increase military expenditure in the interests of national protection it was strongly opposed by the majority of monks.
Their opposition wasn’t just for religious reasons, but also for status reasons: Here the relationship between cultural norm pacifismand surplus expenditure snare monasticismis not one of linear cause and effect. This made reading at times a little frustrating. View all 3 comments.
Jun 03, Darren rated it it was amazing. Bataille’s philosophy of History. Totally cogent and elegant. More legible than his theories of erotics.
Touchstone Terms: The Accursed Share – anotherpanacea
Oct 30, Julian Mathews rated it really liked acchrsed Shelves: Ritual sacrifice, potlatches, conquest, festivals, opulence and luxury, lavish public works–avenues through which given social formations must expend their surpluses or risk descending into famine, imperial wars, genocide, mass unemployment, etc. Focusing on consumption in this first volume, Bataille traces societal mechanisms of expenditure through their archaic, medieval, capitalist and communist iterations and offers a model of a solar economy based on excess rather than batallle.
Bataille’s Ritual sacrifice, potlatches, conquest, festivals, opulence and luxury, lavish public works–avenues through which given social formations must expend their surpluses or risk descending into famine, imperial accursrd, genocide, mass unemployment, etc. Bataille’s prose here is lucid, lacking the sometimes overwrought style of some of his earlier work on eroticism. Aug 01, Nathan rated it really liked it Recommends it for: People interested in Anthropology, Economics, Religious Studies.
Though Bataille continues to deal with religion and ritual in this book, his concerns are more classically Anthropological than in Theory of Religion population growth, scarcity, social structure etc. The project he sets out in the introductory chapters is the development of a “general economy”: From the perspective of general economy, life is a terrific excess that cannot be fully utilize Though Acchrsed continues to deal with religion and ritual in this book, his concerns are more classically Anthropological than in Theory of Religion population growth, scarcity, social structure etc.
From the perspective of general economy, life is a terrific excess that shaee be fully utilized due to the limits of growth and reproduction.
Instead of this excess building up pressure as in a closed container and exploding, it is instead squandered, as heat for example, and disposed of in a “useless” manner. The accursed share is this remainder that escapes utility yet is always present. Through the examination of historical data, Bataille proposes that the definitive structure of human cultures can be found in how they deal with this primary excess. May 05, Left Sr rated it really liked it Shelves: A magnificent text on the destructive tendency of economy and Bataille’s vision of a “headless society”.
The only bad part of it is when he defends Stalinist Russia, arguing against his own thesis to do so- he proposes that Russia needs to accumulate purposefully in order to achieve full capitalism so that it can reach communism, but this contradicts his own vision of societies of wasteful and extravagant use value, as well as accepting the excuses made for Bolshevik dictatorship, a bit shortsig A magnificent text on the destructive tendency of economy and Bataille’s vision of a “headless society”.
The only bad part of it is when he defends Stalinist Russia, arguing against his own thesis to do so- he proposes that Russia needs to accumulate purposefully in order to achieve full capitalism so that it can reach communism, but this contradicts his own vision of societies of wasteful and extravagant use value, as well as accepting the excuses made for Bolshevik dictatorship, a bit shortsighted for him, all understanding given.
May 12, Joe added it Shelves: Bataille is slipping in and out of my mind as I participate in making books. How to produce books that sumptuously consume themselves? Apr 28, Michael A. Everything in this book seems to build off these ideas and it goes in pretty bizarre directions.
The chapters on the Aztecs and Soviet Industrialization were very good. The last section of the last chapter talks about “self-consciousness” and how it is a different kind of consciousness because it is not a consciousness OF anything, but of “pure interiority”. He likens this not yet realized development as the equivalent of the transition from animality to humanity.
He also admits it associates him with mysticism. It was a very strange ending and I can’t say I totally understood where he was going with it or if I’m even interpreting it right!