- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
O'Hear (philosophy, Univ. of Buckingham; director, Royal Inst. of Philosophy) offers much enthusiasm for, clear summaries of, and moderate insight into 19 of the significant canonical works of Western literature, beginning with The Iliad and The Odyssey and ending with Goethe's Faust. Citing with approval philosopher David Hume's remark that the same Homer who pleased in Athens and Rome still pleases in London and Paris, O'Hear assumes an ahistorical stance, passing over historical contexts and the vast secondary literature. He defines the great books as possessing an objective significance that goes beyond individual and subjective interpretation. The point is not what we feel about the work or how we make it conform to us but how we are transformed by it. His readings are clear and his writing fluent, but his discussions do not go far beyond plot summaries. Recommended only for public libraries.