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 conspicuous consumption was used for?

2. Why was it a mistake for Bataille to use his intellectual violence on Breton?

3. What does the other self-mutilator (besides Van Gogh) do in "Sacrificial Mutilation and the Severed Ear of Vincent Van Gogh"?

4. Whom did the Popular Front join with?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What is Bataille's relationship with Hegel?

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

6. What was Bataille's objection to Nietzsche?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How has the importance of obscenity in literature changed since Bataille's time? Research the reactions to Bataille and to other writers who used disorienting or profane language during Bataille's time, and describe the changes that have taken place in readers' response to obscene or profane or sacrilegious material.

Essay Topic 2

Which does Bataille consider more horrifying, freaks, or violence to eyeballs? Describe what Bataille sees as horrific about these concepts and experiences.

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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