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 effect do flowers have on love, in "The Language of Flowers"?

2. What did Bataille describe in "The Lugubrious Game"?

3. Why was Bataille annoyed while riding his bicycle?

4. When was "Acephale" published?

5. What were Bataille's feelings for Breton?

Short Essay Questions

1. What were Bataille's early publications?

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

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

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

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

6. How does self-mutilation in "Sacrificial Mutilation and the Severed Ear of Vincent Van Gogh" relate to Bataille's description of body parts in other essays.

7. Describe Bataille's schooling.

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

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

10. Describe Bataille's birth and family origins.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Bataille aligned himself with Catholicism before he broke with it as a young man--but what religion can we interpolate from Bataille's writing? Analyze his writings and describe the religion or lack of religion in Bataille's writing.

Essay Topic 2

Research Andre Breton's personality and his effect on surrealism, and assess the value of the proposition that Bataille was better off with Breton as an enemy than he would have been with him as a friend.

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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