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Comparative Literature and Culture
Comparative Literature and Culture 1020
Laurence De Looze

Title Author Genre/Affiliated Main Characters Possible Terms/Themes and Movements Explanatory Notes The Odyssey Homer Ancient Greek Odysseus, Nostos (home), Andra (man, epic Penelope, hero, husband), Nohbody, Telemachus, Eumaeus (the faithful Athena (goddess of swineherd turns out to be the wisdom), Cyclops, real nobleman, while the Circes, Calypso, court noblemen act Elyopenor, Laertes, disgustingly; like in Oedipus Eumaeus (faithful where the blind Tiresias can swineherd) actually “see” the truth, and Oedipus is “blind” to the truth); parallels between Odysseus and Athena: both always in disguise, one is a goddess and one is a hero = both positions of power, worthy of admiration. Oedipus Rex/ Sophocles Ancient Greek Oedipus, Jocasta, Basileus (inherited, sacral Oedipus the play Antigone, Creon, kingship--handed over to King Tiresias son), Tyrannos (chosen king, elected when no inheriting king is present; Oedipus is both: a Tyrannos who discovers he's a Basileus); Lysistrata Aristophane Ancient Greek Lysistrata, “Lysistrada” = “disbander of s play Kleonike, Myrrhine, armies; confusion of public/ Lampito private sectors, The Apology Plato Ancient Greek Socrates, Meletus Socratic method (answering of Socrates dialogue a question with a question, learning involves dialogue between two people, emphasis on the process over the product), Plato’s the “chairness of the chair” (divine form has greater reality than imperfect articulations); Anamnesis. all of knowledge is a return to knowledge that has been lost; when the soul fell into the body, it forgot what it knew. The Old God. Or Job, Jonah, Theme of separationni( Testament maybe Abraham and Isaac, creation, separation of Israel (Job, Jonah, ordinary and Egypt, towel of Babel, Isaiah, Song people who barren and fertile; i.e. the of Songs) called women as well as the land; themselves Egypt is fertile, Canaan is “prophets” not); theme of privileging and really one over the other (the knew shit second over the first). Jesus/ all. …I Socrates connection: both won’t write speak in parables. o that on the exam. The New Jesus. Jesus are Socrates both speak Testament in parables. (Luke, Matthew) The Aeneid Virgil Ancient Roman Aeneas, Dido, Destructive love, Opening epic, written in Ascanius, Mercury lines “I sing of arms and the verse (messenger god), man” (Homer wrote two epics Juno, Venus one is about arms -Trojan (Aeneas’ mother) War- and one is about a man –Odyssey- Virgil is pointing out that Homer wrote two books, and he himself is going to compound two epics into one = he is even better than Homer); Carthage, Ekphrasis (the description of a literary work within a literary work) Pius Aeneas (Pius = conscientious, devoted, responsible, does not mean modern "pious"), PATER AENEAS (“Father Aeneas” – Father to Ascanius and father to Italy), eros (love between two people), Amor/ Pudor: Love without pudor (“Pudor”= sense of being ashamed to do certain things); viviam = “I will live”- last lines of Aeneid, Virgil ends up being immortal in a sense, living through his works. Metamorphos Ovid Latin poetry Daphne, Apollo, es Europa, Jupiter, Io Confessions Augustine Latin Con-verto (“turn toward”- autobiography; you are turning toward God) often vs. per-verto (“to turn considered the away”; you are turning away first Western from God); caritas = loving autobiography. God through his sings; cupiditas = loving the signs for the signs. Inferno Dante Italian epic Dante the Pilgrim, Importance of trinities, first (Divine Alighieri Virgil, Beatrice, death/second death (two Comedy) Francesca/Paolo deaths; in Faust, Faust has two souls); Contrapasso: “counter-passion”; God only created things that are good; Evil = perversion of good; inverted parallel, rejection of theory of papal infallibility (a pope can do no wrong) The Boccaccio Galeotto, five men- five Decameron women. The Marguerite Seven women- three men Heptameron de Navarre The Book of Castiglione Renaissance Debate over whether a courtier the Courtier should be athletic or practiced in the arts; he should be both; Sprezzatura (nonchalance); Ars celare artem = “Art that hides its art”; relates to sprezzatura because art is so perfect and sophisticated that it looks like it just “blossomed”, rather than having had a lot of work put into it; it looks nonchalant. The Prince Machiavelli Renaissance Argues that a political leader has to be immoral; goes against Christian ideals; virtu: Machiavelli argues against this; Fortuna: goddess of happenstance; M. believed that to believe in Fortuna indicated a failure to seize the moment. Don Quixote Cervantes Spanish Don Quixote, Rocinante (Don Quixote’s literature; the Sancho Panza, horse, who is old and first modern Sanson Carrasco. decrepit but viewed as the novel; bridge perfect stallion for a knight; between representative of how Don Renaissance Quixote views the world and Baroque idealistically); “I know who I am, and who I may be if I choose” (opening lines- Don Quixote reinventing himself), parodies romantic genre, chivalric, (theatricality seen in Baroque), picaresque; showing the flaws in the chivalric system; art should be reflecting reality, but doesn’t (like in Madame Bovary and Baudelaire); Theatrum mundi: “theatre of the world”; Don Quixote plays out his fantasies in real life; like Shakespeare’s “All the world’s a stage” Meta-fiction = fiction about fiction; parody of the character- you are always aware you are reading literature because Don Quixote is reading literature; he has to alter the people in his life in order to fit into his story- he constructs archetypes; Sancho Panza as the “reader” of the story; willing suspension of disbelief;Sanson Carrasco: friend of Don Quixote's and Sancho Panza's who Phaedra Racine French; Baroque “Quarrel of the Cid”: love story; son is in love with the girl; girl’s father doesn’t approve; man kills girl’s father; similar themes of families being destroyed by love, violence of love; Mimesis = art imitates what is possible, not necessarily probably; similarity to real life. Vraisemblance = verisimilitude. “Drama of language”: blood, gore and violence are not shown on stage; tension of what is said/what should be said/what is not said. Nom fatale: “the name is fatal”; fate; Phaedra believes she was fated because of her “bad blood”, so she doesn’t take full responsibility; like Oedipus. Terme fatale: terme = French for “term”, and “length of time”; Phaedra has reached her fatal term/time; her death is foreshadowed by her constantly saying “I’m dying”. The Princess Madame de French; Baroque Salons: men and women of of Cleves Lafayette the court go to smoke, drink and discuss; people getting together to talk. Ancien Regime: the old regime; centralization of power; King Henry II; a king from the Valois dynasty; the old regime marked the end of the Valois dynasty; period in France in which the kings are all about becoming absolute monarchs who rule with divine right and take power away from the nobles; Louis XIV was the king in Madame de Lafayette’s time. Bildungsroman: German for a coming of age story; the Princess de Cleves grows up. Augustine- the intent to sin; therefore the Princess has already sinned. Or has she? Like in Madame Bovary; the husband is in love with the wife, but the wife doesn’t feel the same; sense of duty/ obligation vs. sense of desire; conflict also seen in Aeneid, Phaedra, Confessions. Also, loving the sign for the sign, rather than loving the sign as a sign of God; letter of love that they write together. Acts of love metaphorically and not physically; dancing, writing a love letter. Faust Goethe German; Faust, Faust has two souls: the Romanticism Mephistopheles, earthly, and the spiritual; Gretchen, Marthe Mephistopheles only (Gretchen’s understands Faust’s earthly neighbour), desire for Gretchen, and does Valentin not understand spiritual love. (Gretchen’s brother) Madame Flaubert French; reaction Emma Bovary, Arsenic poisoning, Emma as Bovary against Charles Bovary, a female Don Quixote; ennui; Romanticism; Rudolph, Leo, depicts aspects Felicite (servant; of realism. means “happiness”) Fleurs de Mal Baudelaire French; poetry; Fleur de Mal associates reaction against flowers (symbolizing rebirth Romanticism and fertility) with evil; evil can blossom and grow in the same way a flower can; “You are my brother”- you’re as evil as I am; art for art’s sake: art does not need justification or utilitas beyond its own art; rejection of the practical, industrial world that believed in rationality and progress. “Symbolisme”; symbolists put emphasis on ambiguity, mysticism; artist’s task is not to give clear expositions of things; Baudelaire is the father of symbolism; Spleen: related to spitefulness; melancholy/apathy that is tinged with spitefulness; Baudelaire embodies this. Synethesia; Baudelaire says all the senses “speak” to each other; correspondences between things; the world is more mysterious and the correspondences are present all the time; perfumes are various colours, or rich, or triumphant; The Albatross: the poet is like an albatross; grand in the sky, but when he is pulled down into society, he looks lame and stupid, but it is because he has been hobbled by this world; Notes from Dostoyevsk Russian; The Underground Frustrated Romantic; Pretty the y realism Man Woman (prostitute with a Underground heart of gold) theme; fails miserably; inability to see Liza as a human being; ends up humiliating her instead of helping; tries to script his life. Man of Action: man who goes out and does things; this is what the Underground Man strives to do. Ubermenschen: “Superman” in German. UM’s goal in life: trying to impact the world; to feel significant. Spiritual crisis of the 19 century man: society is materialistic, but the UM wants to focus on spirituality. Russian (east) soul vs. Western soul/influence; every Russian nobleman spoke/ wrote French; influence of the Western world. Crystal Palace- spectacular steel + glass structure; built for London exhibition (architect John Nash); symbol of modern movement and technological innovations; Underground Man rejects it; attempt to “script” life fails, just like in Madame Bovary; philosophy of malice- every human is innately bad; like Baudelaire. The Death of Tolstoy Russian novella Ivan Ilyich, Stewed prunes, black sack, Ivan Ilyich Gerasim, Peter Gerasim, happiness = material Ivanovich, wealth; interest in life of the Praskovya poor (like Van Gogh, Evans)- Fedorovna Golovina anti-materialism; metaphor of (Ivan Ilyich’s wife), sickness = social sickness; Vladimir Ivanich syllogism: (i.e. Caius is a man; (Ivan Ilyich’s son), all men are mortal; therefore Lisa (
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