World Literature

The Great Books: How Many Have You Read?

June 26, 2018

What are “The Great Books”? Professor Rufus J. Fears took up this question in “Life Lessons from The Great Books” and came up with this list. How many have you read? Are there any books you would add? See the whole list on The Great Courses Daily! […]

Image of a Killer pointing the gun at a terrified woman
Literature

Noir and Nationhood in the Twenty-First Century

December 1, 2017

Professor David Schmid examines Film Noir in a new light, suggesting that we need to accentuate the ways in which noir can critique the dominant discourses of nationhood, especially the premium such discourses place on belonging, hierarchy, and the status quo. […]

Theseus fighting the minotaur (Image: delcarmat/Shutterstock)
Literature

Theseus—The Hero of Athens

December 1, 2017

Theseus—a hero who is especially associated with Athens—shows up in a great deal of classic Greek literature. Why is this? […]

sculpture of Constantine
Ancient Literature

How Did Constantine Alter the Course of the Roman Empire?

June 18, 2017

In the course, Books That Matter: The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Professor Leo Damrosch examines this great work from multiple perspectives; as a vast historical chronicle, as a compelling masterpiece of literature, as a sharp commentary on cultural mores, and as a cautionary tale to Enlightenment Europe. […]

Historical painting showing Alexander Pushkin
British Literature

How Pushkin Discovered Shakespeare

February 19, 2017

By Irwin Weil, Ph.D., Northwestern University In 1825, a group of aristocrats attempted an uprising on a St. Petersburg square. Naïvely, given that they had […]

Painting featuring Odysseus and other people
Ancient Literature

Odysseus, Master of Schemes

December 23, 2016

Odysseus was a legendary king of ancient Ithaca, an island in the Ionian Sea. Look at Odysseus as the awed Greek hero celebrated in Homer’s Odyssey and other poems related to the Trojan War. We’ll pay particular attention to the ways in which Odysseus’s scheming and lies lead to heroic triumphs—and nearly kill him. […]

French writer Gustave Flaubert photo portrait (Image: By Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (Nadar) - Here, Public Domain)
Literature

Gustave Flaubert

December 14, 2016

By James A. W. Heffernan, Dartmouth College Born in Rouen, in the French province of Normandy, Gustave Flaubert was the second surviving son of a […]

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