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This literature course explores how great writers refract their world and how their works are transformed when they intervene in our global cultural landscape today.
No national literature has ever grown up in isolation from the cultures around it; from the earliest periods, great works of literature have probed the tensions, conflicts, and connections among neighboring cultures and often more distant regions as well.
Focusing particularly on works of literature that take the experience of the wider world as their theme, this course will explore the varied artistic modes in which great writers have situated themselves in the world, helping us to understand the deep roots of today's intertwined global cultures.
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Texts/authors considered in the course:
Section 1:Goethe and the Birth of World Literature
Section 2: The Epic of Gilgamesh
Section 3: Homer, The Odyssey
Section 4: The 1001 Nights Section 5: Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji
Section 6: The Lusiads Section 7: Voltaire, Candide Section 8:Lu Xun and Eileen Chang
Section 9: Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones
Section 10:Wole Soyinka, Death and the King's Horseman
Section 11:Salman Rushdie and Jhumpa Lahiri
Section 12: Orhan Pamuk, My Name is Red
completed this course, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
"Masterpieces of World Literature" is a great lecture-centered MOOC about introducing one to the most fundamental works of world literature. I personally did not know most of the key works featured in the course, but that wasn't a hindrance in the long run. Since the course doesn't require one to read...
"Masterpieces of World Literature" is a great lecture-centered MOOC about introducing one to the most fundamental works of world literature. I personally did not know most of the key works featured in the course, but that wasn't a hindrance in the long run. Since the course doesn't require one to read the text beforehand, the student can go through the lecture videos without having an idea at all of the material, which I think is a huge plus.
However, I do find it disappointing that only the first 2 assessments were accessible for the audit program, and applying for a certificate is too expensive. Because of this, I found it a bit hard to retain new information in the succeeding modules, but they were interesting all the same. As with the discussion forums, I found it difficult to engage much, because, as I mentioned, I wasn't able to read a lot of the materials. But, nonetheless, it was fun browsing through the other students' answers to gain additional ideas about the authors and their respective texts.
On the other hand, what I like most about this course is its clear layout: Professors Puchner and Damrosch first introduce the context and general sense of the text before delving deeper into the issues it tackles and other specifics. It gives me a sense of familiarity, as it's also the way in which my Literature professors outlined their lessons at university. Also, I like how the professors feature colleagues, and even the authors themselves (for the more modern works), to the lectures, and I found their insights to be highly valuable and fruitful as well.
Overall, this MOOC is very enjoyable and interesting, and it doesn't require one to be well-read or well-versed in works and authors of world literature for it to be understandable and digestible. Although the limited access to the assessments became quite a bummer for me, I was still able to finish the whole course anyway, since world literature is a great interest of mine. Hopefully, other people who are interested in this MOOC would be able to do so, too.
is taking this course right now, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I enjoyed this course and found it both enriching and enjoyable. Even though having an experience with any of the works discussed or invoked can deepen your understanding of the subject matter, it's by no means a requirement.