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 were Bataille's feelings for Breton?

2. How long does Bataille ride his bicycle for in "[Dream]"?

3. How does Bataille describe his father?

4. Whom did the Popular Front join with?

5. What does Bataille feel about the rats in "[Dream]"?

Short Essay Questions

1. What distinguished the big toe in "The Big Toe"?

2. Describe Bataille's birth and family origins.

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

4. Describe Bataille's schooling.

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

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

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

8. Describe Bataille's experience with psychoanalysis.

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

10. What were Bataille's early publications?

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

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 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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