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"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 And he can only be withdrawn from it in order to be consumed profitlessly, and therefore utterly destroyed.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."--The Accursed Share (1949) by Georges Bataille

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  1. original sense: A living creature which is slain and offered as human or animal sacrifice, usually in a religious rite; by extension, the transfigurated body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist.
  2. Anyone who is physically harmed by another.
  3. An aggrieved or disadvantaged party in a crime (e.g. swindle.)
  4. A person who suffers any other injury, loss, or damage as a result of a voluntary undertaking.
  5. An unfortunate person who suffers from a disaster or other adverse circumstance.



From Proto-Indo-European *weyk- (“to choose, separate out, set aside as holy, consecrate, sacrifice”), same source as Proto-Germanic *wīhą (“sacred place or thing”) (Gothic 𐍅𐌴𐌹𐌷𐍃 (weihs)) and English witch.

In fiction


See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Victim" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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