Topics in Comparative Studies 1

Semester 1

Wednesdays, 10 am -2 pm

Room: Cave C2

“Doing Things” with Words – Helena Buescu

The starting point of this seminar is the realisation that there are a number of different actions and events that seem to recur in a variety of different literatures around the world. Among these we will single out: 1) constructing heroes ; 2) plots and counterplots; 3) loving; 4) making and unmaking worlds. Yet, these phenomena are differently elaborated in different cultures and literatures. In this seminar we will investigate how some of these literatures may enter into dialogue over a common set of phenomena. The comparative grounding of World Literature is therefore a theoretical position that the work in the seminar must also interrogate. Literary works to be dealt with might include selections from: Ancient Egypt; Mayas; Oral texts of Africa; The Bible; Sophocles; T’ang poetry; Dante; Machiavelli; Camões; Racine; Alfred de Musset; Dostoyevsky; Pepetela; Haruki Murakami.