It is curious the way certain books can insinuate themselves into your consciousness. I am not necessarily talking about favourite books, or formative ones that evoke a particular time and place, but those stray books that seem to have been acquired almost inadvertently (all bibliophiles possess such volumes, I’m sure), and taken up without any particular expectations, books that have something intriguing about them that keeps drawing you back.
Sometime in the mid-1990s, I rescued a heavily discounted copy of Georges Bataille’s The Accursed Share, Volumes II & III from an outdoor bargain table. Volume I was nowhere to be seen. I had no real idea who Bataille was, though I was a literature student, so I had probably heard his name mentioned in connection with the abstruse French theorising that was in vogue at the time. At some later date – I have no idea where or when – I acquired the first volume to complete the set. I have been returning to The Accursed Share ever since, not constantly or obsessively, but on a semi-regular basis, lured by its odd combination of audacity, insight, and obliqueness.