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. Who arranged Bataille's psychoanalytic cure?

2. When did Bataille and his mother abandon his father?

3. Why was Bataille annoyed while riding his bicycle?

4. What was Breton's response to Bataille?

5. Where did "[Dream]" originate?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What was Bataille's involvement with "Acephale"?

6. Explain the title of the essay "The Use Value of D. A. F. de Sade".

7. What does Bataille say about 'freaks' in "The Deviations of Nature"?

8. Describe Bataille's schooling.

9. Describe the paradox at the heart of "Materialism".

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Bataille uses the thoughts of Thorstein Veblen in "The Notion of Expenditure", but he is not merely following Veblen. What use does Bataille put Veblen's thoughts to, and how does Veblen's idea of conspicuous consumption fit into Bataille's overall value scheme?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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