Many of literature's greatest works, from ancient myths to the works of Nobel laureates, rely on fantasy. Even when there has been a dominant preference for realism, generation after generation of readers have been drawn to stories of the fantastic - not only for what they help us learn about ourselves as individuals or as members of society, but also for what they show about our social values. And now one of the world's foremost authorities on the literature of the fantastic and science fiction has created a series of 24 lectures that take you on a journey through some of the most remarkable feats of imagination in all of literature. You'll study strange tales of talking frogs and cannibal witches, from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to Arthur C. Clarke's astonishing 2001: A Space Odyssey and beyond. Ranging from the early 1800s to contemporary times, Professor Rabkin casts a wide net for fantastic works and delves deeply into some of the most astonishing. You'll learn about the works and times of Edgar Allan Poe, the Brothers Grimm, Virginia Woolf, Lewis Carroll, Franz Kafka, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ray Bradbury, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and many others. And you'll see how artists you might not have even considered in this context - such as writers like Nathaniel Hawthorne, or composers like Offenbach and Tchaikovsky - owe a creative debt to this remarkably vibrant genre.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2007 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2007 The Great Courses
I have already listened to this lecture twice. The professor is knowledgeable and provides multiple theoretical view points. The subject matter ranges widely enough to keep you on your toes.
I thoroughly enjoyed his treatment of early fairy tales, Edgar Allan Poe, and Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass. These were by far the best parts of the discussion. Detailed and thought provoking, these discussions challenged the listener to reread many of these stories with a new perspective.
I also very much enjoyed his discussion and treatment of J.R. Tolkien as well as the Sci Fi genre.
Fantasy is a wonderful genre because it allows us to pull back from our assumptions about the world, examine issues and concepts we wouldn't normally question, and take a deeper look at our own selves.
I quite liked this course. The approach reminded me of other books from The great Courses by prof Robert Greenberg - presenting works and authors in a historical and artistic context. After listening to the course I am encouraged to explore further specific books or authors and read the books. Also, reading them after the course is more enjoyable compared to not having as much context.
If you're looking for concentrated learning about literature this is not the course to get, if instead you like fantasy as a genre and are would like a good foundation from where to explore new authors, then this course is a very enjoyable way to do it.
One of the best courses I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. This is an experience. Professor Rabkin knows his stuff, but most importantly - knows how to pass on that information. Loved it !!!!!
start well, but it get bogged down in sci-fi problematics which, though interesting and complementary, do not exhaust the title subject. maybe 24 chapters are not enough.
If you're someone who wants to learn about the vaginal symbolism of The Pit and the Pendulum, or you want to hear about the significance of the fact that John Carter and Jesus Christ share the same initials. Seriously, those are both supposedly cogent points that the lecturer makes in this series.
Another lecture series, but one less based around opinion.
The early lectures around the academic research that has been done around folk tales were interesting.
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