The Great Courses: World Literature

6 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 2,982 ratings

A Day's Read Publisher's Summary

Join three literary scholars and award-winning professors as they introduce you to dozens of short masterpieces that you can finish - and engage with - in a day or less. Perfect for people with busy lives who still want to discover -or rediscover - just how transformative reading can be, these 36 lectures range from short stories of fewer than 10 pages to novellas and novels of around 200 pages. Despite their short length, these works are powerful examinations of the same subjects and themes that longer "great books" discuss.

And with three great professors coming together to offer their own looks at literature, you'll get a multitude of ways to approach and think about grand human themes, including

  • the nature of love and the mysteries of fate;
  • the riddle of identity and the trials of growing up;
  • the complex ties between individuals and their societies;
  • the ways we make sense of personal and public history.

In the company of these three professors, you'll also approach the evolution of the modern novel, the development of literary genres such as graphic novels and creative nonfiction, the role of politics and culture in inspiring authors, and much more.

What's more, by exploring literature through three perspectives instead of one, you'll get an opportunity to see how literature professors - just like everyone else - approach and read books in their own unique way. It's like getting three distinct learning experiences, all in one single, affordable package.

©2012 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2012 The Great Courses
Show More Show Less
    • A Day's Read

    • By: The Great Courses, Emily Allen, Grant L. Voth, and others
    • Narrated by: Arnold Weinstein, Emily Allen, Grant L. Voth
    • Length: 18 hrs and 24 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 95
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 85
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 86

    Join three literary scholars and award-winning professors as they introduce you to dozens of short masterpieces that you can finish - and engage with - in a day or less. Perfect for people with busy lives who still want to discover-or rediscover-just how transformative an act of reading can be, these 36 lectures range from short stories of fewer than 10 pages to novellas and novels of around 200 pages. Despite their short length, these works are powerful examinations of the same subjects and themes that longer "great books" discuss.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Wonderful Introduction to Short Fiction

    • By Tracy Rowan on 01-17-18

    Regular price: $41.95

    • The History of World Literature

    • By: The Great Courses, Grant L. Voth
    • Narrated by: Professor Grant L. Voth Ph.D. Purdue University
    • Length: 24 hrs and 37 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 237
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 209
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 206

    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.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Excellent introduction to world literature

    • By Richard on 12-16-14

    Regular price: $52.95

    • Masterpieces of Short Fiction

    • By: The Great Courses, Michael Krasny
    • Narrated by: Professor Michael Krasny Ph.D. University of Wisconsin
    • Length: 12 hrs and 13 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 40
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 35
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 35

    More than simply a shorter version of the novel, the short story is a unique and rewarding literary form in itself. It offers a world in miniature faithfully captured by the author's mastery of character, plot, setting, image, and theme. The time it takes to read a short story may be brief, but its impact lasts much longer. Short story writers see by the light of the flash," says author and Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer. "Theirs is the art of the only thing that one can be sure of-the present moment."

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • A Few New Ideas for Short Fiction

    • By David L. Wilson on 12-18-13

    Regular price: $34.95

    • Heroes and Legends

    • The Most Influential Characters of Literature
    • By: The Great Courses, Thomas A. Shippey
    • Narrated by: Professor Thomas A. Shippey Ph.D. University of Cambridge
    • Length: 12 hrs and 15 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,039
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 937
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 924

    Odysseus. Robinson Crusoe. Harry Potter. What do these memorable characters have in common? Why do we turn to certain stories again and again? And what impact have they made on world history? These 24 eye-opening lectures give fresh insight into some of the greatest heroes in world literature, from warriors such as Beowulf and Odysseus to unexpected heroes such as Uncle Tom and Sancho Panza. Professor Shippey gives you an inside glimpse into the writer's process.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Entertaining Look at Western Literary Characters

    • By Teri-K on 10-11-14

    Regular price: $34.95

    • 36 Books That Changed the World

    • By: The Great Courses, Andrew R. Wilson, Brad S. Gregory, and others
    • Narrated by: Andrew R. Wilson, Brad S. Gregory, Charles Kimball, and others
    • Length: 18 hrs and 40 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 313
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 274
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 273

    Certain works of literature, history, science, philosophy, political theory and religion offer powerful examples of how books can spark revolutions, birth great religions, spur scientific advancements, shape world economies, teach us new ways of thinking, and much more. And with this fascinating collection crafted from our extensive library of courses, you can now get a single course that represents 36 of our best lectures on literary works that changed the world.

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • too many trees not enough forest

    • By Pegeen on 10-11-14

    Regular price: $41.95

    • Great Mythologies of the World

    • By: The Great Courses, Grant L. Voth, Julius H. Bailey, and others
    • Narrated by: Grant L. Voth, Julius H. Bailey, Kathryn McClymond, and others
    • Length: 31 hrs and 35 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,258
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 1,111
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,100

    The deep-seated origins and wide-reaching lessons of ancient myths built the foundation for our modern legacies. Explore the mythologies of Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Learn what makes these stories so important, distinctive, and able to withstand the test of time. Discover how, despite geographical implausibilities, many myths from across the oceans share themes, morals, and archetypes.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • mostly awesome

    • By Dan on 03-16-16

    Regular price: $59.95