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 critique does Bataille make in "The Critique of the Foundations of Hegelian Dialectic"?
(a) He demonstrated why dialectical materialism is inevitable.
(b) He frees dialectical negation from Engels' mechanical abstraction.
(c) He criticizes the Oversoul as a childish fantasy.
(d) He mocks Marx and Engels for their idealism.

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

3. What is the benefit Bataille sees to having more than one meaning in his work?
(a) It keeps the reader uncomfortable.
(b) It gives a clearer statement of his thought.
(c) It keeps all Bataille's options open.
(d) It demonstrates the impossibility of truth.

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

5. What principles does Bataille say men associate with height in "The Big Toe"?
(a) Strength and authority.
(b) Good and light.
(c) Trustworthiness and leadership.
(d) Power and danger.

Short Answer Questions

1. What feeling does Bataille exaggerate in "The Lugubrious Game"?

2. When did George Bataille die?

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

4. What two stances did Bataille combine?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What examples does Bataille cite to illustrate the horror of the eye's vulnerability?

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

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

6. What was Bataille's objection to Nietzsche?

7. What is the value of intellectual violence in Bataille's work?

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

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

10. Describe Bataille's birth and family origins.

(see the answer keys)

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