Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939 Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. Describe Bataille's birth and family origins.

Bataille was born in 1897 in Reims France to a blind and syphilitic father, whom Bataille and his mother abandoned in 1915.

2. Describe Bataille's religion in childhood.

Bataille rebelled against his father by quitting school and becoming Catholic in 1913, and he published his first pamphlet in praise of Cathedral Notre Dame des Reims but denied his faith by 1920.

3. Describe Bataille's schooling.

Bataille quit school in 1913, but returned to school to train as a medieval librarian at the Ecole des Chartres.

4. What were Bataille's early publications?

Bataille's first pamphlet was in praise of the Cathedral Notre Dame des Reims, and after he was introduced to surrealism, he published "W.C.", which was violently opposed to dignity. While he worked as a medieval librarian, he also wrote a medieval romance.

5. Describe Bataille's experience with psychoanalysis.

Bataille entered into psychoanalysis after Dr. Dausse arranged for it. The discovered that he had Oedipal terrors that were the animating force of the critical theories he developed as a mature philosopher. Bataille recorded a childhood sketch in "[Dream]".

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