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Lecture 1

CLASSIC 60 Lecture 1: Lectures 1-4

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Purves Alex

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CL60 Lecture notes
Nov. 10, 2015
Kublai Khan
Italo Calvino
Bishop 13th c. about East
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
How to read the poem
Three Early Explorers
Christopher Columbus
Nov. 12, 2015
Stephen Greenblatt
Martin Frobisher
Lucian and Jonathan Swift
Journey summary
“Lying Tales”
Lucian’s parodies
Lucian as a sci-fi writer
Nov. 17, 2015
Gulliver’s Travels
Four parts
Targets of Satire
Jonathan Swift
Thomas More
Cyrano de Bergerac
William Dampier
Letter from Gulliver to Cousin Sympson
Part 1: Lilliput
Part 2: Voyage to Brobdingnag
Part 3: Laputa
Part 4: Yahoos and Houyhnhnms
London in 18th century
Nov. 19, 2015
Conversations with the King

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Return home
Modern Fantastic
Lumiere Brothers
Georges Melies
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Nov. 10, 2015
The trip to paradise
Motif of Xanadu as model of paradise
East vs. West: Two sides of earth never meet
Kublai Khan
Travels of Marco Polo (1299)
John Mandeville (1356) (next Khan)
Samuel Purchas (1614)
travel log based on MP
influenced Coleridge
Coleridge (1797)
got high on opium and read Purchas' book
dreamt about the poem
interrupted and lost the rest of the dream
Italo Calvino (1972)
Note: Purchas was link between MP and Coleridge
Designed by Kublai Khan at Inner Mongolia, destroyed in 14th century.
MP visited in c. 1275
Summer residence
palace of marble and fine stone, enclosed by wall (paradeisos)
magic space with slight danger
Is Christianity better when it cannot perform magic?
Samuel Purchas
Italo Calvino
Conversation taking place in heads
Personal experience of travel matters more than the cataloguing of what one sees
Transcending the language barrier and differences between East and West
"You advance always with your head turned back?"
Journey is truly personal, reshapes identity and perception.
Dreamscape / imaginary city reflecting traveler's psychological geography
Greek / Roman tradition
Writing about material wonders, usually linked with geography
Pliny, though takes root as early as Herodotus
Extremely popular in Medieval period
Catalogues of wonders in travel writings
MP also pigeonholed into paradoxography (true that he exaggerated)
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