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The accursed share : an essay on general economy

Author: Georges Bataille; Robert Hurley
Publisher: New York : Zone Books, 1988-1993.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Most Anglo-American readers know Bataille as a novelist. The "Accursed Share "provides an excellent introduction to Bataille the philosopher. Here he uses his unique economic theory as the basis for an incisive inquiry into the very nature of civilization. Unlike conventional economic models based on notions of scarcity, Bataille's theory develops the concept of excess: a civilization, he argues, reveals its order  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Bataille, Georges, 1897-1962.
Accursed share.
New York : Zone Books, 1988-1991
(OCoLC)571387548
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Georges Bataille; Robert Hurley
ISBN: 9780942299113 9780942299212 0942299213 0942299108 9780942299106 0942299116 9780942299113 0942299205 9780942299205
OCLC Number: 17200091
Language Note: Translation of: La part maudite.
Description: 3 volumes in 2 ; 24 cm
Contents: v. 1 Consumption --
v. 2-3. The history of eroticism. Sovereignty. (1 v. ).
Other Titles: Part maudite.
Essay on general economy
Responsibility: Georges Bataille ; translated by Robert Hurley.

Abstract:

Most Anglo-American readers know Bataille as a novelist. The "Accursed Share "provides an excellent introduction to Bataille the philosopher. Here he uses his unique economic theory as the basis for an incisive inquiry into the very nature of civilization. Unlike conventional economic models based on notions of scarcity, Bataille's theory develops the concept of excess: a civilization, he argues, reveals its order most clearly in the treatment of its surplus energy. The result is a brilliant blend of ethics, aesthetics, and cultural anthropology that challenges both mainstream economics and ethnology. The three volumes of "The Accursed Share" address what Georges Bataille sees as the paradox of utility: namely, if being useful means serving a further end, then the ultimate end of utility can only be uselessness. The first volume, the only one published before Bataille's death, treated this paradox in economic terms, showing that "it is not necessity but its contrary, luxury, that presents living matter and mankind with their fundamental problems." 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 realm of eroticism as so many expressions of the "uselessness" of erotic life. In the third volume, Bataille raises the ethical problems of sovereignty, of "the independence of man relative to useful ends."

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