Wednesday, March 2, 2011

World Literature - HACC

In the past month I have listened to an entire course I found on iTunesU. It is a series of short lectures about a large variety of stories from World Literature, delivered by Rick Albright at the Harrisburg Area Community College. (feed)

Albright takes the Norton Anthology of World literature and sort of chronologically travels the world and its ages. Albright retells and discusses classics such as Gilgamesh, the Iliad and the Odyssey as well as the Aeneid and European Medieval literature and also non-western stuff from India, China, Japan and the Americas. What he also does not shy away from are the Bible and the Koran. You get a good feeling of the stories and the poetry while you are also informed about some of the tropes and some of the historic frame - though I would have loved to get a little bit more from that.

I did not exactly follow Albrights order, which seems strictly chronological and this explains why he kicks off with age-old Gilgamesh and ends with Popul Vuh, which was inscribed rather recently. I have taken the culturally linked stories in batches. So that I took the Greek and Roman classics together, which made the literary discussion more coherent. The same method worked while taking the Chinese stories in one blow and so on. Very informative and great, narrative, fun.