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By Jacques Barzun

This 3rd variation back makes on hand to latest readers the vintage and accomplished examine of 1 of the main radical and influential composers.
Two quantity set with illustrations.

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Religion also r e d u c e s h u m a n s to things, as w e c o m e to s e r v e e n d s beyond ourselves. Religion, then, which ostensibly s e e k s to r e s c u e u s , is not to b e seen as t h e way of uniting ' M a n ' with what is beyond, b u t as t h e desperate, mortal attempt to control and dispose of this beyond which Bataille will label t h e sacred - in opposition to religion. T h e individual writer is not e x e m p t from this c o m m u n a l exist e n c e that constitutes h i s or h e r belief in their individuality ('the foundation of one's t h o u g h t is t h e t h o u g h t of another' [9; 285]).

In any case, the notion of general economy can be seen, clearly, at first in T h e Notion of Expenditure', and fully in The Accursed Share. It is on these two texts that this chapter focuses, via a consideration of the importance of Mauss for Bataille. The theorization of the general economy is only possible in the light of Mauss's writing on the gift. Bataille accepts the bulk of Mauss's work, The Gift, as given, but brings out the more 'metaphysical' aspect, extending the theory in a way that reduces the problems in Mauss, at the same time as it seems to exaggerate them (insofar as Bataille is happy to take all that Mauss says as fact).

But real life, composed of all sorts of expenditures, knows nothing of purely productive expenditure; in actuality, it knows nothing of purely nonproductive expenditure either. (12; 22) The acknowledgement of this inevitable linkage permeates the book and gives rise to some of its seeming contradictions, as often we are presented with what seems to be a system that is very much one of utility - it has a purpose, it lays out its arguments in a coherent way (means) in order to convince (end). That this end is to demonstrate the existence of an economy not based on utility is the essential paradox that forms the sacrificial character of Bataille's writing, even when it is not being explicitly destructive.

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Berlioz and the romantic century by Jacques Barzun

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