Great Literature authors
Novelists, poets, dramatists, historians, biographers, essayists, and philosophers—whether famous or anonymous, many of Western culture's greatest figures have been writers. Ranging from the anonymous author of the Epic of Gilgamesh in ancient Mesopotamia to William Faulkner writing about 19th- and 20th-century Mississippi 3, 600 years later, Western writers have each played important parts in establishing the West's rich literary tradition. Their landmark themes, unique insights into human nature, dynamic characters, experimental storytelling techniques, and rich philosophical ideas helped create the vibrant storytelling methods we find reflected in today's authors. They've also played critical roles in Western history and culture as well, influencing everything from religion to politics.
Great Authors of the Western Literary Tradition, 2nd Edition is your chance to survey over 70 literary geniuses and masterpieces of Western literature. In 84 lectures taught by five award-winning professors who are experts in particular literary time periods, you explore the vast collection of Western writers and their respective works.
With its broad historical scope and its depth of insight, this course is a veritable encyclopedia of Western literature's greatest writers. It's your chance to get a look at their works, styles, themes, and relationships with one another without having to pour through thousands upon thousands of pages of their writing. And you'll see the role they played both within the context of their own time and within the larger span of literary history.
What Is the Western Literary Tradition? What do the words "Western" and "literature" mean in the context of writers as diverse as the ancient Greek poet Homer, the anonymous author of Beowulf, the metaphysical poet William Blake, and Modernist Samuel Beckett? How can we draw connections between writers who lived throughout the centuries in places as widely separated as the Near East and the New World?
The Western literary tradition, you discover in this course, derives as its main sources of inspiration the Bible and ancient Greek and Roman literature. While we sometimes think of literature as anything written, it is in fact writing that lays claim to consideration on the grounds of beauty, form, and emotional effect. To present you with an effective and comprehensive survey of Western writers, this course considers history, biography, essays, and philosophical works in addition to poems, plays, and prose fiction.
Great Authors of the Western Literary Tradition is divided into seven parts consisting of 12 lectures each. The parts are grouped around various themes in the history of Western literature, from its origins in the Near East and the Mediterranean world to the literary heavyweights of the Renaissance and the men and women who defined the traditions of Modern literature in the 20th century. The end result is a course that spans 40 centuries of literary masterpieces.
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