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. In "Sacrificial Mutilation and the Severed Ear of Vincent Van Gogh", how long does Bataille say it took Van Gogh to paint suns after his self-mutilation?

2. What was Bataille being punished for in "[Dream]"?

3. What critique does Bataille make in "The Critique of the Foundations of Hegelian Dialectic"?

4. What relationship do the writings in Section II have to the writings in Section I?

5. What did Bataille write while he was working?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What was Bataille's involvement with "Acephale"?

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

6. Describe the importance of the 'cephalus' in Bataille's thinking.

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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

Essay Topic 2

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 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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