Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939 Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. How does Bataille describe the Mithraic cult ritual of the sun in "Rotten Sun"?
(a) A priest spatters a bull's blood on worshipers underneath.
(b) A worshiper puts out a priest's eye.
(c) A priest cuts a victim's throat on an altar.
(d) A priest stares into the sun to have a vision.

2. What principles does Bataille say men associate with the feet in "The Big Toe"?
(a) Labor and evil.
(b) Powerlessness and subservience.
(c) Subversion and power.
(d) Evil and dark.

3. Where was Bataille born?
(a) Pau.
(b) Paris.
(c) Reims.
(d) Nancy.

4. What paradoxical action does Bataille describe in "Materialism"?
(a) The attempt to rid one's thoughts of spiritualism.
(b) The attempt to free the eye from aesthetics.
(c) The desire to stop using language for natural functions.
(d) The attempt to translate sex into language.

5. In what piece of writing did Bataille record his childhood?
(a) [Dream].
(b) The Lugubrious Game.
(c) The Eye.
(d) The Language of Flowers.

Short Answer Questions

1. Where did Bataille work until 1942?

2. Whom did Bataille join with to form the Popular Front?

3. When did George Bataille die?

4. How does Bataille describe his father?

5. How does dialectic operate in "Notion of Expenditure"?

Short Essay Questions

1. What distinguished the big toe in "The Big Toe"?

2. What does Bataille say about surrealism in "The 'Old Mole' and the Prefix Sur in the Words Surhomme [Superman] and Surrealist"?

3. How does self-mutilation in "Sacrificial Mutilation and the Severed Ear of Vincent Van Gogh" relate to Bataille's description of body parts in other essays.

4. Describe the importance of myth in Bataille's writing and thinking.

5. What is the value of Gnosticism in "Base Materialism and Gnosticism"

6. Describe Bataille's religion in childhood.

7. What claim did Bataille make in "The Lugubrious Game"?

8. How was Bataille's first book received?

9. Describe Bataille's involvement with the Popular Front.

10. Describe the paradox at the heart of "Materialism".

(see the answer keys)

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