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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It is evidently the latter. Instead, I find the concept of the accursed share most apt when we talk about wealthy societies that somehow, still, face yeorges crises or allocation problems.

Touchstone Terms: The Accursed Share

Imagine you and your friends are splitting a pizza, and there is an extra piece. We expend our energies in a flood of tears.

In this respect, present-day society is a huge counterfeit, where this truth of wealth has underhandedly slipped into extreme poverty. Bataille is arguing for a push towards the limits of existence, of nothingness, rather than a desire to die. When traveling, traversing seas and mountains entirely alone, we communicate with locals and others engaged in the same kind of journey.

If I demand a rekindling of the kind of gift-giving that does not place productive value on objects, and ask to use them, circulate them, and even destroy them for the end of pure expenditure, I fear I may be asking too much. Crucial to the formulation of the theory was Bataille’s reflection upon the phenomenon of potlatch.

In The Accursed Share Bataille does not provide an explicit answer to the problem of expenditure on the level of individual, concerning himself with the movement of energy on a social, national, or global scale.


Expenditure itself becomes utilitarian in this regard.

At the dance that ended the feast, the warrior would hold hsare victim’s head in his hand. The eventual uncovering of? Recognition of our own inevitable end results in dissolution of self, which, as we can geoeges, is brought about by violations and violence, in being pulled out of discontinuous being.

E, 17 In our erotic entanglements we are to lose georfes in the throes of sexual ecstasy and orgasmic bliss. Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. Any further definition of intimacy is difficult. Articles lacking in-text citations from August All articles lacking in-text citations Pages to import images to Wikidata Articles containing French-language text Subscription required using via Pages containing links to subscription-only content. In Body Transformations Lingis identifies three well-known and contemporary practices of potlatch: New York and London: Totality is at once; the attempt to recapture lost intimacy, the orgasm, death as offering continuity after a discontinuous existence.

Bataille subscribes in part to the Weberian idea of the ethic of capitalism, as thrift, profitable investment and accumulation for its own sake. As Bataille puts it: Mankind will move peacefully toward a general resolution of its problems only if this threat causes the U. This entails a cheating of death, a toying with its power E, Limited being is only a particular being.

University of California Press, I am put on the line when I place my hand on his shoulder and pass him a tissue. A community, by removing a member from productive use squandering its surplussaves itself ruination AC1, Contrast this utilitarian decision with kidney transplants. All the more reason to explore alternative framings, just as George Bataille did in his book The Accursed Share. Bataille presents a new economic theory which he calls “general economy,” as distinct from the “restricted” economic perspective of most economic theory.


How might the individual expend his excess energies nonproductively? How this recognition of limits is made manifest is through their transgression.

Touchstone Terms: The Accursed Share – anotherpanacea

Textbooks appropriate the work done by others; the author of the textbook is bataiple for writing at 49 Ibid. Reckless expenditure could entail horrific consequences, many of which we face currently, e. The result is a brilliant blend of ethics, aesthetics, and cultural anthropology that challenges both mainstream economics and ethnology.

When one destroys his possessions he risks his future.

The Logic of the Gift: Yet these are, fundamentally, coping strategies for a problem: London and Sterling, VA: 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. While I will have dealt with instances in which our contemporary practices of gift-exchange are far from a Bataillean ethics, I will also discuss instances when we do participate in expenditure at a loss and without individual gain.

From Human Blood to Social Policy.