The Poetics of Irreparable Loss
Course DescriptionThis course considers classic texts from the Greek and Roman periods. Our aim will be to encounter the most influential texts written during these eras—texts that form the foundation of the Western literary tradition. We will ask why these texts in particular became so important for centuries of later writers, even up to the present moment
Our approach will be primarily literary, with secondary emphases on history, religion, and philosophy. We will organize our readings around a central concern: how do these texts represent loss and mourning in relation to sexuality, gender, sociality, history, and the divine? In Homer, Sophocles, Virgil, and Ovid, characters face the kind of loss from which there can be no return. We see such characters attempt various responses to limitless loss: vengeance, suicide, transformation, inaction, and even heroism.
Fall, 2012 This course will run again in
MW, 12:30-1:45 Fall of 2014. See you then.