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 standing upright do for man in "The Big Toe"?

2. When did Bataille publish his first pamphlet?

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

4. Where was Bataille born?

5. What do flowers witness, in "The Language of Flowers"?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe Bataille's experience with psychoanalysis.

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

4. What was Bataille's relationship with Andrea Breton?

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

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

7. What experience does Bataille elevate in "Rotten Sun"?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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

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

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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