Whether around the campfire, between the covers of a great book, or in the theater, the desire to tell stories has been a common human impulse for thousands of years. These 48 lectures take you on a journey through time and around the world- from the enormous auditoriums of ancient Greece to a quiet study in the home of a 19th-century New England spinster- to introduce the history of world literature.
In this course, you'll sample some of the greatest literary expressions the world has known and experience storytelling in its many forms, including poetry, drama, and narrative. You'll explore: the ancient world, where tribal bards created national myths and founded religious texts out of legends, history, philosophy, and local lore; the countryside and aristocratic courts of India and the Middle East, collecting stories and folklore of magical men, terrifying beasts, alluring women, and conniving tricksters that live on in today's fairy tales and bedtime stories; the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment to trace the evolution of storytelling from the poetic masterpiece of Dante's Inferno to the great drama pioneered by Shakespeare to sophisticated narratives such as Wu Ch'eng-en's Monkey and Voltaire's Candide; and the rise of Realism in the works of Flaubert, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov and the development of experimental modes by Brecht, Beckett, and Borges.
Offering concise summaries and thought-provoking interpretations of some of the world's greatest literary masterpieces, this course gives you the tools you need to appreciate these great literary works and understand how authors, playwrights, and poets throughout the centuries have practiced their craft.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
©2007 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2007 The Great Courses
This is an encyclopaedia of Literature of the World, told with a great knowledge, insight and passion! I loved everything about this edition- the selection of books, the way the lecturer presented his material, and also his soft voice - which is a very important component when we are talking about some 26 hrs of listening! I HIGHLY recommend these lectures to everyone interested in literature and the way it was developing in our world.
I know this is really long, but if you have the time to invest, it's a great overview spanning all history. This professor is excellent!!!
Yes, it's the kind of presentation that covers so much in a given time that going back and hearing it again always increases what the "reader" takes in.
There were several. One was how accessible he made Japanese poetry. Another was his marvelous demonstration of "how to cover Shakespeare in 30 minutes." (Hint: he recognizes up front that it CAN'T be done; but he makes an enjoyable and creative presentation anyhow.) I was also very impressed with how approachable for non-scholars he made some very complex pieces like Gilgamesh and some of the Asian literature.
Yes, and he is always superb, but this is his best.
Not possible because it is very long, and more so because each lecture invites you to run it back in your mind before continuing on to the next.
I recommend this course to everybody I talk to about audiobooks.
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