The History of World Literature : The Great Courses: World Literature

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Grant L. Voth
  • Series: The Great Courses: World Literature
  • 24 hrs and 37 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

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. You'll explore: the ancient world, where tribal bards created national myths and founded religious texts out of legends, history, philosophy, and local lore; the countryside and aristocratic courts of India and the Middle East, collecting stories and folklore of magical men, terrifying beasts, alluring women, and conniving tricksters that live on in today's fairy tales and bedtime stories; the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment to trace the evolution of storytelling from the poetic masterpiece of Dante's Inferno to the great drama pioneered by Shakespeare to sophisticated narratives such as Wu Ch'eng-en's Monkey and Voltaire's Candide; and the rise of Realism in the works of Flaubert, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov and the development of experimental modes by Brecht, Beckett, and Borges.
Offering concise summaries and thought-provoking interpretations of some of the world's greatest literary masterpieces, this course gives you the tools you need to appreciate these great literary works and understand how authors, playwrights, and poets throughout the centuries have practiced their craft.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Brilliant summation

Would you consider the audio edition of The History of World Literature to be better than the print version?

Yes, this course of lectures are well read, without unnecessary theatrics, at an easy listening pace, all of which make an exceptional difference to the usability of an audiobook.

What other book might you compare The History of World Literature to, and why?

In my mind this compares to a lit review magazine more than just another book as it takes the best and most notable works from history and consecutively describes the gist of each story as it were and briefly analyses its' effects in its own time as well as its impact on any following literature as well as the reach of its effect.

What does Professor Grant L. Voth bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Professor Grant L. Voth brings in a wealth of experience in analyses as well as the remarkable understanding of a well read mind and allows the listener the benefit of both.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The collection and progression of man's wisdom through literature throughout recorded history.

Any additional comments?

His voice is pleasant, non-monotone, non-drowsy and not theatrically animated with different pitches for different characters. Its really good.

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- Jo Armani


Would you consider the audio edition of The History of World Literature to be better than the print version?

Yes Because the lecturer is excellent in the way the course is structure.

The Course itself is best to do chapter by chapter as it is intensive.

What other book might you compare The History of World Literature to, and why?

Any of the Great courses within the literature subjects.

Which character – as performed by Professor Grant L. Voth – was your favourite?

All of the course. It is a long format, so do take your time. The narrative of the characters of the first half of the course which explained about the nature of the novel is the main bases for me to understand.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes all of it.
The subjects are divided section by section so its easy to learn, it is intensive so please please take your time.

Any additional comments?

Great Book Well Worth A++++++++++++++++++++++++

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- Jean -Manchester

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses