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Georges Bataille () was a French writer, essayist, and philosopher whose works include The Story of the Eye, The Blue of Noon, The Accursed Share. In George Bataille’s three volume The Accursed Share, he imagines a primitive subsistence society that gathers just a little more food or other. This essay addresses Georges Bataille as a historical thinker by concentrating on The Accursed Share (three volumes, ), the text.

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The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume I: Consumption

Thus Bataille names this surplus the accursed share. Even in a stationary non-consumptive position, Bataille notes, idleness is still consumption of the surplus, but in a different, and I stress, more threatening way.

Yet these are, fundamentally, coping strategies for a problem: 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.

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Touchstone Terms: The Accursed Share – anotherpanacea

May 20, Richard rated it it was amazing. We receive more energy from the sun than can be spent productively; so it must be expelled unproductively.

George Allen and Unwin, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Perhaps you decide to throw it out. Do we not also cry when a loved one is weeping? Oxford University Press, One may also retire from paid work, but the rest of their lives are still spent in research. In Body Transformations Lingis identifies three well-known and contemporary practices of potlatch: But it accursfd be clear, given the accounts of self-consciousness and potlatch, Bataille would not be an advocate of consumer culture.

The whole business of eroticism is to strike to the inmost core of the living being, so that the heart stands still. It is quite possible to have the state own everything and still convert all gifts to capital, as Stalin demonstrated.


The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume I: Consumption by Georges Bataille

The contrast between the acquisition of power from ostentatious destruction and contemporary power from an accumulation of wealth is of interest. In our attempts to interact with others a fundamental difference between us always remains: Science always abstracts the object it studies from the totality of the world.

Bataille is slipping in and out of my mind as I participate in making books. City Lights Books, Bataille’s philosophy of History.

Note that this grade covers just the percentage of the course credit allocated to the paper; the rest comes from your seminar performance. Intellectually stimulating and amusing. Difficult at times, but also incredibly rewarding. 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.

Textbooks appropriate the work done by others; the author of the textbook is paid for writing at 49 Ibid.

Potlatch was for the purpose of humiliating, challenging, and obligating another to return a gift AC1, August Learn how and when to remove this template message. From the perspective of general economy, life is a terrific excess that cannot be fully utilized due to the limits of growth and reproduction. I’ve glimpsed into this and am excited.

By being a gift to another in an emotional way we transgress the norm of rationality, e. As a framework, it strikes me as particularly important for those who work on political economy, like an artist using a camera obscura to see a scene differently for more accurate drawing or painting.


Touchstone Terms: The Accursed Share

The gift is necessarily thus erotic in the sense Bataille uses the term: By looking to his other works and providing my own reading on excess and nonproductive expenditure, I will answer the above questions. It accumulates the results of specialised research.

Nov 04, Tosh rated it really liked it Shelves: More will be said of the dissolution of self below, in the section on death and intimacy. 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. Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World. Such an act is doomed to failure: 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’.

Unproductive expenditures are those which direct the individual away from utility concerns. In an economics considered in general, how does the individual participate in the global movement of energy?

Everything in this book seems to build off these ideas and it goes in pretty bizarre directions. Sometimes it is easier to simply burn the excess. Hereafter cited as TR. Yet these are not negative feelings but the desired result of expenditure. Or perhaps because he felt driven to write both he found ways to meld them.