Invention of Literature
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Division: University-wide Programs
Department: University Lecture Program
Course Number: ULEC 2740
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
This course introduces students to literature through an examination of its early masterpieces from the story of Genesis, to the famous epics and dramas of antiquity (Homer, Aeschylus, Ovid, Virgil) and the immortal achievements of Dante, Shakespeare and Cervantes. How do narratives come into being or acquire their distinctive voice and form? How do they enter the social world, enduring in historical memory through the millennia? In this semester-long journey combining fifteen lectures that will challenge students with complex problems and powerful interpretations followed by workshop style discussions you will learn how to comprehend the origin and social function of storytelling, as well as the qualities of voice and form that explain the enduring power of the classics, and how to trace the genesis and genealogy of literary tradition by engaging not only with the historical and philosophical backgrounds of each work, but also with the intricacies of the language and rhetoric. By emphasizing the echoes, allusions, and influence, we learn how these works, spanning centuries, amount to a grand literary conversation. This course satisfies one of the Foundations requirements for Lang Literary Studies majors.
Students must register for both the lecture and discussion section of this course.
Open to Undergraduate students.