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

2. How does Bataille describe the mandrake root?

3. Whom does Bataille refer to as untouchables in "Psychological Structure of Fascism"?

4. How would you describe the images Bataille presents?

5. What paradoxical action does Bataille describe in "Materialism"?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. 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.

4. Describe Bataille's experience with psychoanalysis.

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

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

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

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

9. What was Bataille's objection to Nietzsche?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Bataille uses the thoughts of Thorstein Veblen in "The Notion of Expenditure", but he is not merely following Veblen. What use does Bataille put Veblen's thoughts to, and how does Veblen's idea of conspicuous consumption fit into Bataille's overall value scheme?

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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