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. How does Bataille describe the mandrake root?

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

3. How does Bataille describe the Mithraic cult ritual of the sun in "Rotten Sun"?

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

5. Where does Bataille recall riding his bicycle in Reims, in "[Dream]"?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. What were Bataille's early publications?

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

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.

Essay Topic 2

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

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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