The major texts of Western culture are a gateway to wisdom that can widen your views on self and society in enduring ways. The extraordinary body of literature given us by writers from antiquity to the present day, as Professor Weinstein notes, "is potent stuff, serving not only as transcription of history but also as a verbal Pandora's box, capable of shedding light on those transactions which remain in the dark for many of us: love, death, fear, desire. We are talking about more than artful language; we are talking about the life of the past and the life of the world."
It is truly a monumental legacy. And now you can examine its most important works - whether drama, poetry, or narrative - in this series of 64 penetrating lectures that reveal astonishing common ground. You'll see how this award-winning teacher uses several different analytical perspectives, including Feminism, Marxism, Freudianism, Deconstruction, Postmodernism, and New Historicism, to give us fresh insight into persisting human themes like rites of passage; the "fit" or "misfit" between self and society; the creation of an identity; and the play, weight, and presence of the past in understanding our present.
You learn how drama makes visible the conflicts and wars of culture in ways other forms cannot manage. How poetry can go to the heart of human existence with a purity and power akin to surgery, bidding us to challenge and change the way we usually do business. And how narrative can tell life stories in ways that enable a possession of that life that is hardly imaginable any other way.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©1995 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)1995 The Great Courses
I have already recommended to several friends and my family; Prof. Weinstein is a thoughtful, intelligent and humorous teacher.
Prof. Weinstein's reading I Am Ceded by Dickinson.
I laughed, I cried, and I will listen to it again.
I am an old English major, retired librarian, and this was the best course I have ever taken. Thank you for offering it and thank you Professor Weinstein.
I wasn't the best student, so the hallowed halls of the Ivy League wouldn't be open to someone like me. That makes this series of lectures so profound. It's as if I met a whole new world of depth and thought. All I really want to say is thank you.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
This is an analysis of a select few classic literary works and discussing the themes within it to a contemporary audience, with a consideration of the societal elements present when it was written.
It could have been doubled in length and not have covered everything available to analyse. It is an excellent, ambitious attempt in a subject that is massive in scope.
Absolutely. The professor lectures in his southern accent but does a phenomenal job of mimicking speech as he recites texts from diverse sources.
There was a consistent theme of "finding ones own voice" throughout.
His passion, his focus, his voice, especially the latter: he can blend in to his object of interest so well as to transmit its essence to the listener, as if the listener were discovering it on his or her own.
By no means. This is one which ought to be interrupted by forays into source texts.
This is the best course I've listened to so far--intensely interesting topics, captivating teaching style and beautifully written lecture full of thought provoking ideas,. I finished the course within a week, often forgetting what I was doing. I cannot wait to listen to this course again.
Novelist, & Graphic illustrator.
This first part of these lectures is amazing. The delivery is astoundingly good. Did here and stood firm principles of psychoanalysis as well as literary analysis or great.
When I look for something non-fiction and academic I look for quality .i.e Poets corner by John Lithgow.
I doubt it.
It is clear that the presenter is very very capable but maybe I am not the market you are looking for.
Disappointment. There is so much uplifting quality stuff available. Maybe this is an academic situation and I am looking for something that is not so in-your-face. I believe that I want to be entertained as well as being educated. I don't expect that sex has to be such an issue in an academic presentation.
"Interesting, Informative English Literature course"
A great, if sometimes heavy listen. The issue for me was that I'm not particularly well read (one of the reasons I listen to The Great Courses!) so I hadn't heard of some of the poets and playwright's discussed here. T Weinstein's strength his he gets across the information in an easy listening way. Like all the Great Courses that I've listened to, well worth a listen!
"A great intoduction"
This is a great and wide sweeping introduction. Professor Arnold Weinstein is engaging and interesting.
This book has expanded my understanding greatly.
"Really great lectures but poor sound quality."
The lessons are great and show a great insight.
Great scope too, though some authors can be said missing.
By improving the recording!
The sound is really poor, it's like listening to radio on AM bandwaves. Any small local independent radio or studio can have a better recording quality. It's really a shame because because the lessons are really interesting.
Also, I'm not a native English speaker but I'm still able to get most Great Lectures series without a problem - and I sometimes find that the professor doesn't articulate enough, or mumbles a bit- which added to the poor sound quality, makes him hard to understand.
Which has never been the case for someone like Elisabeth Vandiver for instance.
"Very enjoyable narrative to listen"
Prof. Weinstein's way of presentation is engaging and interesting. The lectures are chronologically structured and different literary genres are introduced. I would definitely recommend the course.
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