Great Ideas in the Western Literary Canon
This book examines 'great ideas'- the term used generically to refer to the deep-seated anxieties that art, religion and philosophy all seek to address- in relation to a selection of great literary texts. The texts chosen are those that remain, often centuries after their appearance, beacons of illumination and wisdom. The twelve chapters of this book each deal with one great text and the central idea that propels it. The ideas are examined as events possessed of their own field of resonance, and it is by tracing them in their narrative, dramatic or lyrical development that one can appreciate how these great texts speak as powerfully as they do to generations of readers.
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The Religion of Fear
The Power of Love
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Achilles action appear Baudelaire Baudelaire's become beginning believe bring Brother Caliban called chapter character Chitterlings Christian Church claims comes complete condition creates Dante death desire devil divine Dmitry Don Quixote dream effect everything evil existence experience expression eyes fact faith fall father Faust fear feeling follow forces freedom give hand heart Hell hero hope human idea important individual Italy Ivan kind knowledge leave less live lost means Milton Miranda moral move nature never novel objects Pantagruel play poet poetry political position possible pride Prospero provides Purgatorio question Rabelais reader reading reason remains response romantic Satan says sense serve shows social soul spirit suffering suggests tells things thought truth understand University values virtue vision wants wisdom wish women writes Zossima