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 do flowers witness, in "The Language of Flowers"?

2. Where did Bataille work until 1942?

3. Who arranged Bataille's psychoanalytic cure?

4. What principles does Bataille say men associate with height in "The Big Toe"?

5. What does Bataille say about monsters in "The Deviations of Nature"?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe Bataille's experience with psychoanalysis.

3. What are the terrifying images in "[Dream]"?

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

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

6. Describe Bataille's birth and family origins.

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

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

9. How was Bataille's first book received?

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

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 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 3

In what ways is Bataille a sacrificial victim? Analyze his essays where sacrifices appear, in addition to the essays where he talks about his role as an author, and describe him as either the sacrificing priest or the sacrificial victim himself.

(see the answer keys)

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