Bataille considered The Accursed Share, his radical critique
of economic theories based on rational categories of need, scarcity,
and utility, his most important project. In Volume I, he announced
two further volumes, The History of Eroticism and Sovereignty,
but he never published them in book form. This Zone edition includes
in a single volume a reconstruction of completed versions of these
texts as published in Bataille’s posthumous collected works.
Here, Bataille expands on the notion developed in Volume I of an
economics based not on the management of scarce resources but on
the exuberant consumption of excess production, the accursed
share. In its first part, Bataille identifies eroticism as
an ideal form of consumption, since in his view it is useless, purposeless.
As this expenditure of excess energy demarcates the realm of human
autonomy, the study of eroticism leads naturally to an examination
of sovereignty, in which Bataille defines the sovereign individual
as one who consumes and does not labor, creating a life beyond the
realm of utility.
Also by this author:
The Accursed Share, Volume I
The Cradle of Humanity: Prehistoric Art and Culture
Theory of Religion