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The Accursed Share: an Essay on General Economy, Vol. 1: Consumption Paperback – March 26, 1991

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0942299113 ISBN-10: 0942299116 Edition: 1st

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Frequently Bought Together

The Accursed Share: an Essay on General Economy, Vol. 1: Consumption + The Accursed Share, Vols. 2 and 3: The History of Eroticism and Sovereignty + Visions Of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939 (Theory and  History of Literature Vol 14)
Price for all three: $58.84

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A serious book of political economy that also claims 'the sexual act is in time what the tiger is in space.'... The Accursed Share is a brilliant product of [Bataille's] loony-tunes coupling of critical genres: pseudo/antisurrealist manifestos, leftist political treatises, erotics, Hegel 'n' Nietzsche studies, mysticism, anthropology, and sun worship. " Erik Davis , The Voice Literary Supplement

About the Author

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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Zone Books; 1st edition (March 26, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0942299116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0942299113
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By suhravardi@hotmail.com on March 6, 1998
In this book, Georges Bataille explores the connection between man's religious and economic pursuits. By focusing in on such divergent practices as human sacrifice and ritualized warfare in Aztec society, the practice of "potlach" in native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest, Tibetan Lamaism, and the conflagrations of our most recent World Wars, the author seeks to overturn classical models of economics. Instead of economics being driven by individuals seeking to satisfy their personal needs, Bataille proposes that economics is actually a social process that seeks to destroy, excrete, and expend excess goods and services. His unique perspective centers around the idea that the systematic destruction and loss of goods and services is intimately connected to our age old struggle to attain the Beyond. The French philosopher Michel Foucault once stated that Bataille said what had never been said before. After reading this first volume of Bataille's three volume work "The Accursed Share", you can begin to understand why Foucault believed as he did.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 2000
Read both books that contain all three volumes: in a way, the summation of Bataille's thoughts and written with clarity. It's not just the consumption-expenditure approach to analysing human activity that's orginial, he is (as he states towards the end of vol. 3) the closest thinker to Nietzsche. That is an assertion that bears merit as Bataille examines in as thorough a way possible (and in many ways supplements and is a good commentary on) Nietzsche's ideas of the overman, which he calls the sovereign man. At the core of his thoughts is Hamlet's last line, 'The rest is silence'. Sovereignty is NOTHING. A brilliant and vital contribution to the century's history of ideas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on March 30, 2015
Georges Albert Maurice Victor Bataille (1897-1962) was a French philosopher, novelist, and literary critic (and a librarian by profession); he wrote many books, including The Accursed Share, Vols. 2 and 3: The History of Eroticism and Sovereignty, On Nietzsche, Visions Of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939, The Impossible, The Tears of Eros, etc.

He wrote in the Preface to this 1949 book, "For some years, being obliged on occasion to answer the question, `What are you working on?' I was embarrassed to have to say, `A book of political economy.' Coming from me, this venture was disconcerting, at least to those who did not know me well. (The interest that is usually conferred on my books is of a literary sort and this was doubtless to be expected: One cannot as a matter of fact class them in a pre-defined genre.) ... I had to add that the book I was writing ... did not consider the matter the way qualified economists do, that I had a point of view from which a human sacrifice, the construction of a church or the gift of a jewel were no less interesting than the sale of wheat. In short, I had to try in vain to make the notion of a `general economy' in which the `expenditure'... of wealth, rather than production, was the primary object.
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Georges Albert Maurice Victor Bataille (1897-1962) was a French philosopher, novelist, and literary critic (and a librarian by profession); he wrote many books, including The Accursed Share, Vols. 2 and 3: The History of Eroticism and Sovereignty, On Nietzsche, Visions Of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939, The Impossible, The Tears of Eros, etc.

He wrote in the Preface to this 1949 book, "For some years, being obliged on occasion to answer the question, `What are you working on?' I was embarrassed to have to say, `A book of political economy.' Coming from me, this venture was disconcerting, at least to those who did not know me well. (The interest that is usually conferred on my books is of a literary sort and this was doubtless to be expected: One cannot as a matter of fact class them in a pre-defined genre.) ... I had to add that the book I was writing ... did not consider the matter the way qualified economists do, that I had a point of view from which a human sacrifice, the construction of a church or the gift of a jewel were no less interesting than the sale of wheat. In short, I had to try in vain to make the notion of a `general economy' in which the `expenditure'... of wealth, rather than production, was the primary object.
Read more ›
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The Accursed Share: an Essay on General Economy, Vol. 1: Consumption
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