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 claim does Bataille discuss in "The Deviations of Nature"?

2. How do the rats appear in "[Dream]"?

3. What relationship between events and things is Bataille describing in "The Solar Anus"?

4. What description fits with the "Acephale" group?

5. When did Bataille deny his faith?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Bataille's schooling.

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

3. How does Bataille describe his role in "The Jesuve"?

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

5. Describe Bataille's birth and family origins.

6. What are the terrifying images in "[Dream]"?

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

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

9. Describe Bataille's religion in childhood.

10. What was Bataille's objection to Nietzsche?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the role and importance of creativity in Bataille's thinking about art and politics.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Describe the importance of Nietzsche's ideas and writing in Bataille's work--what did Bataille say by referring to Nietzsche's work?

(see the answer keys)

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