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. What did Bataille write while he was working?
(a) Articles on philosophy.
(b) Book reviews.
(c) A medieval romance.
(d) Art criticism.

2. What is the first stage of revolution, in "The Use Value of D. A. F. de Sade"?
(a) Staking a claim to a new kind of authority.
(b) Expelling a group from power.
(c) Portraying your revolution as a utopian project destined to succeed.
(d) Appropriating the language with which groups claim power.

3. What do flowers witness, in "The Language of Flowers"?
(a) The architectural order of fields and forests.
(b) Nothing but a moment in the life of the plant.
(c) The reason for the plants' existence.
(d) The life and death of love.

4. Why was it a mistake for Bataille to use his intellectual violence on Breton?
(a) Bataille lost friends over the gratuitous attack.
(b) Breton's friends excommunicated Bataille from the surrealist circles.
(c) Breton might have promoted it.
(d) Breton ruined Bataille in revenge.

5. What effect do flowers have on love, in "The Language of Flowers"?
(a) Celebration.
(b) Sanctification.
(c) Praise.
(d) Sacrilege.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does standing upright do for man in "The Big Toe"?

2. Why did Bataille attack Nietzsche?

3. Who introduced Bataille to surrealism?

4. How would you describe the images Bataille presents?

5. What film does Bataille cite in "The Eye"?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the importance of the obelisk in "The Obelisk"?

2. How does the notion of parody apply to the sun in "The Solar Anus"?

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

4. What pattern for self-discovery does Bataille offer in "The Sacred"?

5. What is Bataille's interpretation of Veblen's theory of conspicuous consumption?

6. How would you characterize Bataille's thoughts on society and economy?

7. Explain the title of the essay "The Use Value of D. A. F. de Sade".

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

9. What are the terrifying images in "[Dream]"?

10. Describe the change in Bataille's early work to his more mature work and values.

(see the answer keys)

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