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

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How long does Bataille ride his bicycle for in "[Dream]"?

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

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

4. What does Bataille say conspicuous consumption was used for?

5. When did Bataille form the Popular Front?

Short Essay Questions

1. What were Bataille's early publications?

2. Describe Bataille's schooling.

3. What is Bataille's relationship with Hegel?

4. How does the mouth in "Mouth" compare with the eyeball in ''The Eye'?

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

6. 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.

7. What is expressed in the language of flowers in "The Language of Flowers"?

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

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

10. Describe Bataille's religion in childhood.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Assess Bataille's place in the rank of surrealists--In what ways is he a surrealist, and in what ways does his art exceed or fail to live up to surrealism?

Essay Topic 2

Describe Bataille's political stance. What parties did he support in his day? What parties or policies would he likely support today?

Essay Topic 3

Analyze Bataille's writing style to comment on his literary personality and temperament.

(see the answer keys)

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