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 did Bataille write while he was working?

2. In "Sacrificial Mutilation and the Severed Ear of Vincent Van Gogh", how long does Bataille say it took Van Gogh to paint suns after his self-mutilation?

3. What was Bataille being punished for in "[Dream]"?

4. What was the "Acephale" group's primary purpose?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Describe Bataille's experience with psychoanalysis.

5. Describe Bataille's birth and family origins.

6. Describe Bataille's schooling.

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

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

9. What claim did Bataille make in "The Lugubrious Game"?

10. What is the value of intellectual violence in Bataille's work?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

Describe Bataille's political stance. What parties did he support in his day? What parties or policies would he likely support today?

(see the answer keys)

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