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 did Bataille publish "W.C."?

2. What kind of eye does Victor Hugo describe in a poem Bataille cites?

3. What does Bataille say coitus is associated with, in "The Solar Anus"?

4. When did George Bataille die?

5. What does Bataille feel about the rats in "[Dream]"?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Describe Bataille's schooling.

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

5. What type of essay is "Formless"?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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