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 what piece of writing did Bataille record his childhood?

2. How does Bataille describe the mandrake root?

3. How does dialectic operate in "Notion of Expenditure"?

4. What does Bataille claim the world is in "The Solar Anus"?

5. How do the rats appear in "[Dream]"?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was Bataille's objection to Nietzsche?

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

3. What is Bataille's relationship with Hegel?

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

5. Describe Bataille's birth and family origins.

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

7. Describe Bataille's involvement with the Popular Front.

8. 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.

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

10. How was Bataille's first book received?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the role and importance of creativity in Bataille's thinking about art and politics.

Essay Topic 2

Assess the claim that Bataille's thinking cannot be reduced to a particular theme or set of values. What is the role of multiplicity and contradiction in Bataille's writing?

Essay Topic 3

What exactly is it that Bataille wants people to see about reality and human experience? Describe the value of pornographic or chaotic or revolutionary things in Bataille's work.

(see the answer keys)

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