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 feeling does Bataille exaggerate in "The Lugubrious Game"?

2. When did Bataille publish "W.C."?

3. What did Bataille write while he was working?

4. When did Bataille and his mother abandon his father?

5. What strategy does Surrealism use for presenting images?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does Bataille say about surrealism in "The 'Old Mole' and the Prefix Sur in the Words Surhomme [Superman] and Surrealist"?

4. What type of essay is "Formless"?

5. What was Bataille's relationship with Andrea Breton?

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

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

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

9. What were Bataille's early publications?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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

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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