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 was Bataille afraid of as a child?
(a) Spiders.
(b) Rats.
(c) The Rain.
(d) Snakes.

2. What characterizes man in "The Eye"?
(a) Longing for sacrilege.
(b) Horror of eyes and insects.
(c) Desire for violence and violation.
(d) Longing for purity.

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

4. Where does Bataille recall riding his bicycle in Reims, in "[Dream]"?
(a) Through the streets.
(b) In the schoolyard.
(c) In his house.
(d) On the beach.

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

Short Answer Questions

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

2. Why was it a mistake for Bataille to use his intellectual violence on Breton?

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

4. In "Sacrificial Mutilation and the Severed Ear of Vincent Van Gogh", how long does Bataille say it took Van Gogh to paint suns after his self-mutilation?

5. What does the other self-mutilator (besides Van Gogh) do in "Sacrificial Mutilation and the Severed Ear of Vincent Van Gogh"?

Short Essay Questions

1. What experience does Bataille elevate in "Rotten Sun"?

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

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

4. What were Bataille's early publications?

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

6. What was Bataille's relationship with Andrea Breton?

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

8. Describe Bataille's religion in childhood.

9. What type of essay is "Formless"?

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

(see the answer keys)

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