Honors | Ideas & Experience I (HON)
H211 | 11832 | Perry Hodges


TuTh 2:30-3:45pm

“A classic is not a work that transcends time; on the contrary it is
a work that is disconcerting in any time, including its own”
(Antoine Campagnon). In this class we shall read a series of works
that have disconcerted readers through the ages–works that have
shaped the categories with which we think and the values that mark
our civilization. In challenging norms and stretching the boundaries
of imagination they revisit the perennial questions about change and
continuity, morality and expediency, freedom and fate. They
encourage us to think anew about the costs of imperial power, the
pain of exile, the burden of the past, the mysteries of love and
sexuality, the sources of personal identity, and the risks of inner
transformation. Reading them in succession, tracing the development
of a tradition that culminates in the work of Dante, we shall also
reflect on the dynamic movement of literary history, as each author
builds on and transforms the work of his predecessors.

Students will be asked to write two short papers, one longer one,
and regular written responses to the readings raised in class.

Texts will include Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound; Plato, The
Symposium; Vergil, The Aeneid; Ovid, The Metamorphoses; selections
from the Bible, including Genesis and the Gospel of Mark; Dante, The
Divine Comedy: Inferno. Specific editions will be indicated on the
syllabus.