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. Why did Bataille attack Nietzsche?

2. What did Breton call Bataille?

3. How does Bataille describe his thinking in "Popular Front in the Street"?

4. What does Bataille say his father looked like in "[Dream]"?

5. What does the mole stand for in "The 'Old Mole' and the Prefix Sur in the Words Surhomme [Superman] and Surrealist"?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Bataille's religion in childhood.

2. Summarize Nicolai Hartmann's interpretation of Hegel.

3. How does Bataille describe the individual in "The College of Sociology"?

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

5. What flaw does Bataille identify in dialectic philosophy in "The Critique of the Foundations of the Hegelian Dialectic"?

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

7. Describe the change in Bataille's early work to his more mature work and values.

8. Judging by "The Critique of the Foundations of the Hegelian Dialectic" and his other essays, what does Bataille see as the value of dialectics?

9. What does Bataille say is the only true liberating act, in "Propositions"?

10. What is the importance of the obelisk in "The Obelisk"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Describe the importance of Nietzsche's ideas and writing in Bataille's work--what did Bataille say by referring to Nietzsche's work?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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