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 does standing upright do for man in "The Big Toe"?

2. How does Bataille describe producing and selling in "The Use Value of D. A. F. de Sade"?

3. Why did Bataille leave his job in 1942?

4. What two stances did Bataille combine?

5. When did Bataille publish "W.C."?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Bataille say about 'freaks' in "The Deviations of Nature"?

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

4. What was Bataille's objection to Nietzsche?

5. Describe Bataille's birth and family origins.

6. How does the notion of parody apply to the sun in "The Solar Anus"?

7. Describe Bataille's religion in childhood.

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Assess Bataille's place in the rank of surrealists--In what ways is he a surrealist, and in what ways does his art exceed or fail to live up to surrealism?

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

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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