Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939 Test | Final 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 was the purpose of the Popular Front, in Bataille's account?

2. Under whom does fascism unite society, in Bataille's account?

3. What was Bataille summing up in his "Propositions"?

4. How does bourgeois society enslave and degrade poor men, in Bataille's opinion?

5. What are the two forms of heterogeneity Bataille introduces in "Psychological Structure of Fascism"?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the artist give meaning in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"?

2. How does a man find himself in "The Labyrinth"?

3. What is fascism's relationship with homo- and heterogeneity?

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

5. What does Bataille say is the only true liberating act, in "Propositions"?

6. Summarize Nicolai Hartmann's interpretation of Hegel.

7. Briefly describe the theory of conspicuous consumption.

8. What is the importance of the obelisk in "The Obelisk"?

9. What is the difference between homogeneous and heterogeneous culture as Bataille defines them in "Psychological Structure of Fascism"?

10. What pattern for self-discovery does Bataille offer in "The Sacred"?

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

How has the importance of obscenity in literature changed since Bataille's time? Research the reactions to Bataille and to other writers who used disorienting or profane language during Bataille's time, and describe the changes that have taken place in readers' response to obscene or profane or sacrilegious material.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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