Comparative Literature | Genesis and Myth
S103 | 0079 | Marks, H

Meets:  3:30-6:00p W BH321

This course offers an introduction to the field of comparative
literature. We shall focus on the biblical book of Genesis read
against the background of ancient Near Eastern and classical
mythology (Egyptian hymns and incantations, the Gilgamesh Epic, the
Enuma Elish, Hesiod's Theogony).  Drawing on anthropology and the
history of religion, as well as different modes of literary
criticism, we shall be asking questions about the psychological,
social, and scientific functions of myth, about adaptation
and "demythologization," and about resemblances between myth on the
one hand and legend, history, and narrative fiction on the other.
As time allows, we shall also look briefly at the evolution of
modern mythologies and at some of the ways modern writers have
interpreted the biblical stories, transforming them into a source of
fresh myths.

The course will be conducted as a seminar with an emphasis
on student participation.  Written work will include three short

**Meets Arts & Humanities Requirement