Great Authors of the Western Literary Tradition ePUB

Great Authors of the Western Literary Tradition In the back of my mind I always knew but this lecture series really reinforced it; I have basically no interest in 19th century Western literature with the exception of philosophy and Russian literature Luckily there are about 80 other lecturers which are all really well done One of my favorite Teaching Company set of lectures Great Authors of the Western Literary Tradition is a great introduction to the vast ocean of authors in the West today Some of the summaries were really fun and some were really boring; a mixed bag from different professors This took me 84 hours to get through so you can imagine that there were some good days and bad and that they are all a little vague to me now I love The Great Courses but I didn't love this one After a while I began to ask myself did I really need to be stepped through the plots especially of familiar works such as The Importance of Being Earnest? Heffernan who teaches this section disects the plot of one major work by each author He provides a rather conventional analysis of the characters' motivations and actions and this focus on a single work leaves too little room for the author's life and other works and even less for his influence on other writers or society at large Heffernan also has an annoying lecture style in which like an evangelist preacher he swoops up up up and then down down down to a whisper to emphasize point after point edging towards bombastic I got the most out of the lectures on authors that I had not read such as Stendahl or hadn't understood such as Goethe So it might have been better if I had listened to of the earlier authors such as Virgil and Ovid with whom I am unfamiliar and will probably never read but I focused on the period in which I have the most interest starting with lecture 60 Goethe and gave up after lecture 73 of 84 James I just didn't want to hear all about the plot of a novel that I might yet read 1 Foundations 2 The Epic of Gilgamesh 3 Genesis and the Documentary Hypothesis 4 The Deuteronomistic History 5 Isaiah 6 Job 7 HomerThe Iliad 8 HomerThe Odyssey 9 Sappho and Pindar 10 Aeschylus 11 Sophocles 12 Euripides 13 Herodotus 14 Thucydides 15 Aristophanes 16 Plato 17 Menander and Hellenistic Literature 18 Catullus and Horace 19 Virgil 20 Ovid 21 Livy Tacitus Plutarch 22 Petronius and Apuleius 23 The Gospels 24 Augustine 25 Beowulf 26 The Song of Roland 27 El Cid 28 Tristan and Isolt 29 The Romance of the Rose 30 Dante AlighieriLife and Works 31 Dante AlighieriThe Divine Comedy 32 Petrarch 33 Giovanni Boccaccio 34 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 35 Geoffrey ChaucerLife and Works 36 Geoffrey ChaucerThe Canterbury Tales 37 Christine de Pizan 38 Erasmus 39 Thomas More 40 Michel de Montaigne 41 François Rabelais 42 Christopher Marlowe 43 William ShakespeareThe Merchant of Venice 44 William ShakespeareHamlet 45 Lope de Vega 46 Miguel de Cervantes 47 John Milton 48 Blaise Pascal 49 Molière 50 Jean Racine 51 Sister Juana Inés de la Cruz 52 Daniel Defoe 53 Alexander Pope 54 Jonathan Swift 55 Voltaire 56 Jean Jacues Rousseau 57 Samuel Johnson 58 Denis Diderot 59 William Blake 60 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 61 William Wordsworth 62 Jane Austen 63 Stendhal 64 Herman Melville 65 Walt Whitman 66 Gustave Flaubert 67 Charles Dickens 68 Fyodor Dostoevsky 69 Leo Tolstoy 70 Mark Twain 71 Thomas Hardy 72 Oscar Wilde 73 Henry James 74 Joseph Conrad 75 William Butler Yeats 76 Marcel Proust 77 James Joyce 78 Franz Kafka 79 Virginia Woolf 80 William Faulkner 81 Bertolt Brecht 82 Albert Camus 83 Samuel Beckett 84 ConclusionListening Length 42 hours and 55 minutes I just love all the great courses but this one was satisfying edifying and a joy to listen too 84 lectures on Great Authors A long slog but I 'feel like I learned something today' Great stuff is listening with wandering attention the audiobook euivalent of skimming? This is as far as it goes an excellent series of lectures on one collection of professors' and probably editors etc version of the Western Canon While their selected authors reflect a generally traditional interpretation of what constitutes the Western Literary Tradition it would be impossible to tackle so large a topic without innumerable lamentable omissions or without stepping on one set of toes or another in the canon wars that have raged over the years In my opinion as an English teacherprofessor for what it's worth I think they've done an admirable job given the inevitable constrictions of length etc If one is willing to take the course with the caveat I used at the beginning that this series reflects just one of many possible renditions of the western literary canon there is an admirable amount of material to be learned and authors to meet The professors often do an admirable job of suggesting the continuance between the author's they're covering Hookiesot essentialon fictionhis is laid out in seven sections and the first of which is entitled The Writings of Greece and Ancient Jerusalem so we kick off withChapter 1 Arnold Weinstein; The Value of LiteratureChapter 2 Arnold Weinstein; The Interpretation of LiteratureChapter 3 S Georgia Nugent; Introduction to HomerArnold Weinstein is a catarrhal slobbering sipping pain in the ear; the content is brilliant but I wish he had handed over the reading to someone that didn't have me reaching for the meeses dumbells and a face maskNeed to go back and listen to that Nero section again it was fably gruesome hahahah Oh how I loved that Friedrich Nietzsche wrote 'I cannot forgive what Christianity did to Blaise Pascal'


About the Author: Elizabeth Vandiver

Elizabeth Vandiver is Associate Professor of Classics and Clement Biddle Penrose Professor of Latin at Whitman College in Walla Walla Washington She was formerly Director of the Honors Humanities program at the University of Maryland at College Park where she also taught in the Department of Classics She completed her undergraduate work at


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