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The Skeptic's Guide to the Great Books | [The Great Courses]

The Skeptic's Guide to the Great Books

Daunted by the "great big books" of the Western canon? Looking for the same pleasures, satisfactions, and insights from books that are shorter, more accessible, and less dependent on classical references and difficult language than tomes such as Moby-Dick and Ulysses?
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Publisher's Summary

Daunted by the "great big books" of the Western canon? Looking for the same pleasures, satisfactions, and insights from books that are shorter, more accessible, and less dependent on classical references and difficult language than tomes such as Moby-Dick and Ulysses?

The truth is that there are so many works that are just as engaging, just as enjoyable, and - most important - just as insightful about great human themes and ideas as anything you'd encounter on a college-level reading list. These 12 highly rewarding lectures offer you an introduction to 12 works that redefine what great literature is and how it can reveal startling truths about life-all without being such a chore to read. Here you'll discover alternatives to the traditional "great books" - Dead Souls as an alternative to War and Peace, and The Master and Margarita as an alternative to Faust. You'll also encounter books from genres that traditionally fall outside the purview of the Western canon. For example, you'll learn how John le Carré's The Spy Who Came In from the Cold transforms the spy novel into serious literature, and how Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons injects the comic-book format with a startling level of realism.

Professor Voth excels at both unpacking the significance of a literary work and instilling excitement for it, be it a novella, a collection of short stories, or a play. If you're new to these works, he will have you running to your nearest bookstore or library to discover what you've been missing. And if you've already encountered some of these books, you'll be eager to revisit them and explore what you may have missed on your first reading.

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.

©2011 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2011 The Great Courses

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