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. Whom does Bataille refer to as untouchables in "Psychological Structure of Fascism"?

2. In whose hands does Bataille describe conspicuous consumption as a tool?

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

4. Whom does Bataille contrast to the sovereign in "Psychological Structure of Fascism"?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does Bataille see as the value of Christianity of in "The Notion of Expenditure"?

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

5. Briefly describe the theory of conspicuous consumption.

6. What will cause the death and resurrection of God, in Bataille's account in "Propositions"?

7. When does Bataille date the origin of the Popular Front to?

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

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

10. How does self-mutilation in "Sacrificial Mutilation and the Severed Ear of Vincent Van Gogh" relate to Bataille's description of body parts in other essays.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Assess the value of Andre Breton's claim that Bataille was an 'excremental philosopher'. Is this a fair characterization of Bataille's work, or is Breton missing the point?

Essay Topic 3

Bataille aligned himself with Catholicism before he broke with it as a young man--but what religion can we interpolate from Bataille's writing? Analyze his writings and describe the religion or lack of religion in Bataille's writing.

(see the answer keys)

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