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. When was "Acephale" published?

2. When did Bataille publish his first pamphlet?

3. Where did Bataille work until 1942?

4. How do philosophers use natural forms, in "The Language of Flowers"?

5. What did "Acephale" primarily consist of?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is Bataille's interpretation of Veblen's theory of conspicuous consumption?

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

4. What is Bataille's relationship with Hegel?

5. What does contemporary society offer men in "The Sacred Conspiracy", and what does man demand for himself?

6. How does the notion of parody apply to the sun in "The Solar Anus"?

7. Describe Bataille's religion in childhood.

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

9. What is the importance of the obelisk in "The Obelisk"?

10. What is fascism's relationship with homo- and heterogeneity?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Describe Bataille's development as a person and as a writer over the course of his career. How did Bataille learn and grow? What were the primary questions or conflicts he grew by resolving?

Essay Topic 3

How did the Popular Front fulfill Bataille's ideal of heterogeneity? Analyze his description of the organization in relation with his other essays about revolution and order.

(see the answer keys)

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