The Great Books: A Journey Through 2,500 Years of the West's Classic Literature

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"The Odyssey, Paradise Lost, The Canterbury Tales: great literature can be read by anyone, with a little help. The eminent British philosopher Anthony O'Hear leads the way with this captivating journey through two-and-a-half millennia of books as powerful, thrilling, erotic, politically astute, and awe-inspiring as any modern bestseller." "O'Hear begins with Homer, whose poems of epic struggle have made him the father of Western literature. After Greek tragedy, Plato, and Virgil's Aeneid comes Ovid, whose encyclopedic Metamorphoses is an
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Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your purchase ... benefits world literacy! Read more Show Less

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2009 Hard cover Good. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 351 p. Contains: Illustrations, color.

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Overview

"The Odyssey, Paradise Lost, The Canterbury Tales: great literature can be read by anyone, with a little help. The eminent British philosopher Anthony O'Hear leads the way with this captivating journey through two-and-a-half millennia of books as powerful, thrilling, erotic, politically astute, and awe-inspiring as any modern bestseller." "O'Hear begins with Homer, whose poems of epic struggle have made him the father of Western literature. After Greek tragedy, Plato, and Virgil's Aeneid comes Ovid, whose encyclopedic Metamorphoses is an inexhaustible source for European art and literature. Via Saint Augustine, O'Hear reaches Dante and his terrifying and sublime Divine Comedy. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Milton, Pascal, Racine, and finally Goethe complete the cast list. In each case, O'Hear patiently draws out themes, focuses on key passages, and explains why they are important." Not simply a grand work of reference, The Great Books is also a narrative history shot through with a love of literature and the author's deeply held belief in its power to enrich and enliven everyone's world.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

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.
—T.L. Cooksey

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933859781
  • Publisher: ISI Books
  • Publication date: 5/21/2009
  • Edition description: 2
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 4.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony O’Hear is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Buckingham in England, Director of The Royal Institute of Philosophy (London), and editor of the journal Philosophy. His books include Karl Popper, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science, After Progress, and Plato’s Children. He has contributed to all the major national newspapers in Britain, where he is a frequent guest on many national radio and television programs.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Author's Preface

Introduction

Homer

The Iliad

The Odyssey Greek Tragedy

Aeschylus's Oresteia: Agamemnon

Sophocles' Theban Plays: Antigone

Euripides: The Baccbae

Plato and the Death of Socrates

Virgil and TheAeneid

Ovid's Metamorphoses

Saint Augustine's Confessions

Dante: The Divine Comedy

Inferno

Purgatorio

Paradiso

Dante: Summing Up

Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales

Shakespeare

Henry V

Hamlet

The Tempest

Cervantes: Don Quixote

Milton: Paradise Lost

Pascal: Pensees

Racine: Pbedre

Goethe: Faust

Faust, Part One

Faust, Part Two

Epilogue

References

Index

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