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Understanding Literature and Life: Drama, Poetry and Narrative cover art

Understanding Literature and Life: Drama, Poetry and Narrative

Written by: Arnold Weinstein,The Great Courses
Narrated by: Arnold Weinstein
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Publisher's Summary

The major texts of Western culture are a gateway to wisdom that can widen your views on self and society in enduring ways. The extraordinary body of literature given us by writers from antiquity to the present day, as Professor Weinstein notes, "is potent stuff, serving not only as transcription of history but also as a verbal Pandora's box, capable of shedding light on those transactions which remain in the dark for many of us: love, death, fear, desire. We are talking about more than artful language; we are talking about the life of the past and the life of the world."

It is truly a monumental legacy. And now you can examine its most important works - whether drama, poetry, or narrative - in this series of 64 penetrating lectures that reveal astonishing common ground. You'll see how this award-winning teacher uses several different analytical perspectives, including Feminism, Marxism, Freudianism, Deconstruction, Postmodernism, and New Historicism, to give us fresh insight into persisting human themes like rites of passage; the "fit" or "misfit" between self and society; the creation of an identity; and the play, weight, and presence of the past in understanding our present.

You learn how drama makes visible the conflicts and wars of culture in ways other forms cannot manage. How poetry can go to the heart of human existence with a purity and power akin to surgery, bidding us to challenge and change the way we usually do business. And how narrative can tell life stories in ways that enable a possession of that life that is hardly imaginable any other way.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©1995 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)1995 The Great Courses

What listeners say about Understanding Literature and Life: Drama, Poetry and Narrative

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Worth purchasing

I have found these lectures interesting and thought provoking, going back and listening again to topics that particularly piqued my interest. Heartely recommend this course to any who enjoy the written word.



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Excellent course

Professor Weinstein presents this course with a wide range of topics and sufficient depth to allow us to understand how literature does indeed reflect life. 64 lectures is long, but once I started listening the course few by.

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Sorry it had to end

With 64 lessons one would think they’d be glad to be finished them all but I was left wanting more. Very engaging lectures by a prof who clearly loves what he does. They are accessible and at the same time insightful and thought provoking. Lessons build nicely on one another. The high falutin’ horn section ushering in each lecture is a tad cheesy but I suppose the odd person is made to feel more intellectual.

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great if you like to learn very in depth

awesome sauce. took me a while to finish as it's so long. but worth every second.

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