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Hardcover | Out of Print | 200 pp. | 6 x 9 in | June 1988 | ISBN: 9780942299106
Paperback | $22.95 Trade | £18.95 | 200 pp. | 6 x 9 in | March 1991 | ISBN: 9780942299113
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The Accursed Share, Volume 1

Volume 1: Consumption
Translated by Robert Hurley


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.

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.


“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