or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Trade in Yours
For a £2.33 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Tell the Publisher!
I’d like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Accursed Share: Volume 1 [Paperback]

Georges Bataille , Robert Hurley
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £13.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 24 July? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback £13.95  
Trade In this Item for up to £2.33
Trade in The Accursed Share: Volume 1 for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £2.33, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Book Description

15 May 1991
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.

Frequently Bought Together

The Accursed Share: Volume 1 + The Accursed Share: Volumes II & III + Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-39 (Theory & History of Literature)
Price For All Three: £45.40

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Zone Books (15 May 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0942299116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0942299113
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 149,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

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.

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
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.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking work connecting religion and economics. 6 Mar 1998
By suhravardi@hotmail.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a work of genius 31 July 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars greatness. 1 Feb 2014
By Mark Melchior - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this book is a must read. It is of our time like no other. To bad it isn't in more libraries.
7 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars still relevant geopolitically 1 Nov 2007
By Bruce P. Barten - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am taking an extremely dim view (I was thinking about theology, but the final sentence of volume 1 mentions teleology, an antiquated teleology, at that, instead) of THE ACCURSED SHARE by Georges Bataille by limiting my review to those issues that were mentioned in Ezra, which I believe was written at the time that the earliest books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus, were compiled in the form some people are familiar with today. The first section of Leviticus, The Ritual of Sacrifice, in chapters 1-7, concludes with a portion for Aaron and his sons by orders of Yahweh binding the sons of Israel for all generations. Ezra opens with Cyrus King of Persia declaring that the temple in Jerusalem should be rebuilt and returning vessels of the temple which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem. The greatness and glory associated with this effort is a triumph like "Mankind's Accomplishments Linked to that of the American Economy" on pages 188-189 of ACCURSED SHARE and the final sentence of volume one, "More open, the mind discerns, instead of an antiquated theology, the truth that silence alone does not betray." (p. 190).

The book was written in France to offer support for the American Marshall Plan to rebuild a prosperous global economy after World War II. On the final page of notes, the question, "Why deny the fact that there can no longer be a true initiative toward independence on the part of countries other than the USSR or the USA?" (n. 17, p. 197), states the geopolitical frame of reference that millionaires and billionaires with global interests seem to have risen above today, with the greatness of America as a superpower driving economic expansion in those areas where natural resources, access to capital, and wage levels allow maximum profits to appear when money can flow to those areas where it will accomplish the most. As the millionaire who has spent the most to advertise his views in the states with early presidential primaries, Mitt Romney has proudly proclaimed the greatness of America, but the underlying structure of the political hierarchy is similar in nature to the parallels between Ezra and Bataille's ACCRSED SHARE.

Chapters 9 and 10 of Ezra deal with a problem like the desire of people to move to the United States in order to make more money today. It was reported, "The people of Israel, the priests and the Levites, have not broken with the natives of the countries who are steeped in abominations--Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians and Amorites--but have found wives among these foreign women for themselves and for their sons; the holy race has been mingling with the natives of the countries; in this act of treachery the chief men and officials have led the way." (Ezra 9:1-2). It was such a massive problem that it took from the first day of the tenth month to the first day of the first month to officially process all the separations from foreign wives. This reminded me of Aztec customs which linked the victims to "The individual who brought back a captive had just as much of a share in the sacred office as the priest. A first bowl of the victim's blood, drained from the wound, was offered to the sun by the priests. A second bowl was collected by the sacrificer. The latter would go before the images of the gods and wet their lips with the warm blood. The body of the sacrificed was his by right; he would carry it home, setting aside the head, and the rest would be eaten at a banquet, cooked without salt or spices -- but eaten by the invited guests, not by the sacrificer, who regarded his victim as a son, as a second self. At the dance that ended the feast, the warrior would hold the victim's head in his hand." (Bataille, pp. 53-54).

Certainly the Aztecs were more harsh than the restrictions which the federal government wishes to put on drivers licenses in New York for those who are not American citizens or authorized by the United States government to live within the United States. The question of who is who here can have numerous answers, like questions about whether waterboarding is torture, or how people detained in Iraq compare to illegal combatants. Even a nominee for Attorney General might wish to equivocate about certain questions. Bataille picture people in Tibet willing to maintain a large number of monasteries to keep the young men from serving in an army. "In Tibet, even more so than in China, the military profession is held in contempt. Even after the reforms of the thirteenth Dalai Lama, a family of nobles complained of having had a son commissioned as an officer." (p. 110).

I was drafted once myself, so I read about these things after years of not knowing if I would serve in Nam; then, after I got to Nam, I was even told to go to Cambodia. Though Nixon thought sending troops into Cambodia might make Vietnam safer in 1970, it was also a risky move for those who were on helicopters that crashed. The feeling generated by such changes in the expectations associated with my ultimate objective is described by Bataille:

The victim is a surplus taken from the mass of useful wealth. And he can only be withdrawn from it in order to be consumed profitlessly, and therefore utterly destroyed. Once chosen, he is the accursed share, destined for violent consumption. But the curse tears him away from the order of things; it gives him a recognizable figure, which now radiates intimacy, anguish, the profundity of living beings. (p. 59).

In modern society, people who are not talented enough to be known by millions of people are nobodies. John Lennon was not entirely unwelcome in New York City; he was merely shot down in the street. Government has become so awful at facing any kind of issue, Congress after World War II attempted to define a c.o. as someone who believed in a Supreme Being who prohibits a c.o. from taking part in any war. The Department of Justice was not generous in denying the status to boxer Cassius Clay all the way up to the Supreme Court, where most justices finally agreed that the Department of Justice was wrong about when Cassius Clay needed to file for a determination. Such questions plague anyone who has rules like the clean and unclean beasts in chapter 11 of Leviticus, which then considers leprosy in chapter 13, sexual impurities in chapter 15, nakedness in chapter 18, and handing over any children to Moloch in chapter 20. There are things which must not be worshiped:

"You must make no idols; you must set up neither carved image nor standing stone, set up no sculptured stone in your land, to prostrate yourself in front of it; for it is I, Yahweh, who am your God." (Leviticus 26:1).

It does not directly prohibit saluting the flag or pledging allegiance, but anyone who doesn't is likely to be sacrificed in some other way, like John Lennon certainly was, and Martin Luther King, Jr., both of whom opposed certain aspects of the Vietnam war. The call to support the troops is like something in THE ACCURSED SHARE for me, but so much so that my list will not go on.
4 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars much ado about zilch! 21 Aug 2008
By david 1234 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book was recommended to me as the work of a very great thinker. Having read and re-read it several times I remain distinctly unimpressed. The thesis of the book appears to be that any society, once the most elementry necessities are overcome, inevitably creates a surplus (of time, energy, resources). Soceties differ and are distinguished from one another by how they spend/use this surplus. The productive capacity is not infinite and must inevitably result in "un-productive consumption".

Where is the profoundidty?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback