|6||Man, God, & Society in Western Literature||Dreyfus||TuTh 2-3:30||141 McCone|
This course will compare and contrast the Greek, Medieval and Modern worlds as expressed in their greatest literature. We will follow in detail how in the West polytheism gradually became more and more monolithic until everything was understood in relation to a single God, and then how this synthesis fell apart and left our culture with a choice between nihilism and a return to polytheism.
The goal of the course is both to illustrate how to read difficult texts and to provide an understanding of the cultural paradigms that have formed and focused our shared beliefs and practices.
Reading: Homer, Odyssey; Dante, Divine Comedy; Melville, Moby Dick.
Requirements: An average of 100 pages of reading per week, two 7-8 page papers, a final exam, and attendance at weekly discussion sections.