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 did Bataille and Andre Masson dream about as Bataille was writing "The Labyrinth"?

2. What does the homogeneous part of society purchase?

3. How did Andre Masson establish the tone of his book of drawings?

4. What movement does Bataille say in "The Sacred" was heir to Vincent Van Gogh and Rimbaud?

5. What does Bataille use as evidence of his position on dialectics?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Andre Masson create the tone of the drawings in the book for which Bataille wrote a preface?

3. What flaw does Bataille identify in dialectic philosophy in "The Critique of the Foundations of the Hegelian Dialectic"?

4. How does Bataille describe the individual in "The College of Sociology"?

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

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

7. How does Bataille portray Engels' interpretation of Hegel's philosophy in "The Critique of the Foundations of the Hegelian Dialectic"?

8. Briefly describe the theory of conspicuous consumption.

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

10. Summarize Nicolai Hartmann's interpretation of Hegel.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Bataille uses the thoughts of Thorstein Veblen in "The Notion of Expenditure", but he is not merely following Veblen. What use does Bataille put Veblen's thoughts to, and how does Veblen's idea of conspicuous consumption fit into Bataille's overall value scheme?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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