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. What does Bataille say coitus is associated with, in "The Solar Anus"?

2. How does Bataille describe his father?

3. What did Bataille say about his book "W.C."?

4. What claim does Bataille discuss in "The Deviations of Nature"?

5. What does Bataille feel about the rats in "[Dream]"?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Bataille say is the only true liberating act, in "Propositions"?

3. What does Bataille see as the value of Christianity of in "The Notion of Expenditure"?

4. How does Bataille reconcile the opposition between self and world in "Sacrifices"?

5. How does Bataille portray Engels' interpretation of Hegel's philosophy in "The Critique of the Foundations of the Hegelian Dialectic"?

6. Describe Bataille's notion of potlatch.

7. Summarize Nicolai Hartmann's interpretation of Hegel.

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

9. What is the essence of Bataille's essay "The Practice of Joy before Death"?

10. How was Bataille's first book received?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

What exactly is it that Bataille wants people to see about reality and human experience? Describe the value of pornographic or chaotic or revolutionary things in Bataille's work.

Essay Topic 2

Assess the value of Andre Breton's claim that Bataille was an 'excremental philosopher'. Is this a fair characterization of Bataille's work, or is Breton missing the point?

Essay Topic 3

Analyze Bataille's relationship with other authors or thinkers, and describe how Bataille navigates between keeping the writer's thoughts and rejecting them. He doesn't just throw them out, does he? How would you characterize his relationship with the work that precedes him? Use examples from the text to explain.

(see the answer keys)

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