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. Why did Bataille attack Nietzsche?

2. How does surrealism rebel at first, in "The 'Old Mole' and the Prefix Sur in the Words Surhomme [Superman] and Surrealist"?

3. What kind of eye does Victor Hugo describe in a poem Bataille cites?

4. How does Bataille describe his memory of his father pulling down his pants in "[Dream]"?

5. How does Bataille describe producing and selling in "The Use Value of D. A. F. de Sade"?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

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

3. What were Bataille's early publications?

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

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

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

7. Describe Bataille's schooling.

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

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

10. What type of essay is "Formless"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How did the Popular Front fulfill Bataille's ideal of heterogeneity? Analyze his description of the organization in relation with his other essays about revolution and order.

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

In what ways is Bataille a sacrificial victim? Analyze his essays where sacrifices appear, in addition to the essays where he talks about his role as an author, and describe him as either the sacrificing priest or the sacrificial victim himself.

(see the answer keys)

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