Homer in the Twentieth Century: Between World Literature and the Western Canon (Classical Presences)


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It argues that Homer was viewed both as the founding father of the Western literary canon and as sharing important features with poems, performances, and traditions which were often deemed neither literary nor Western: the epics of Yugoslavia and sub-Saharan Africa, the keening performances of Irish women, the spontaneous inventiveness of the Blues. The book contributes to current debates about the nature of the Western literary canon, the evolving notion of world literature, the relationship between orality and the written word, and the dialogue between texts across time and space.

Daniel Mendelsohn discusses Homer's Odyssey - The Western Canon Podcast

Homer in the Twentieth Century contends that the Homeric poems play an important role in shaping those debates and, conversely, that the experiences of the twentieth century open new avenues for the interpretation of Homer's much-travelled texts. Last Modified: Easter Disclaimer Trading name. A-Z Index Accessibility. You are in: Home Research Durham Research Online Homer in the twentieth century : between world literature and the western canon. Homer in the twentieth century : between world literature and the western canon. Abstract This collection of essays explores the crucial place of Homer in the shifting cultural landscape of the twentieth century.

Their influence extended from Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages into the Renaissance , and his views were not replaced systematically until the Enlightenment and theories such as classical mechanics. In metaphysics, Aristotelianism profoundly influenced Judeo-Islamic philosophical and theological thought during the Middle Ages and continues to influence Christian theology , especially the Neoplatonism of the Early Church and the scholastic tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.

His ethics, though always influential, gained renewed interest with the modern advent of virtue ethics. All aspects of Aristotle's philosophy continue to be the object of active academic study today. Major Western writers and philosophers have been influenced by Eastern philosophy. Through his teacher Ammonius Saccas died c.

AD , the Greek speaking philosopher Plotinus may have been influenced by Indian thought, because of the similarities between neoplatonism and the Vedanta philosophies of Hinduism.


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American modernist poet T S Eliot wrote that the great philosophers of India "make most of the great European philosophers look like schoolboys". Chinese philosophy originates during a period known as the " Hundred Schools of Thought ", [82] philosophies and schools that flourished from the 6th century to B. A porous distinction between analytic and continental approaches emerged during this period. The term "continental" is misleading, as many prominent British philosophers such as R. Collingwood and Michael Oakeshott were non-analytic, and many non-British European philosophers like Wittgenstein were analytic.

Moreover, analytic approaches are dominant in the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Germany, and parts of east-central Europe today. Some argue in English-speaking countries, it is better to distinguish between the dominant approaches of university departments, where Modern Language departments tend to favor continental methods and philosophy department tends to favor analytic ones.

Female philosophers have begun to gain prominence in the last hundred years. Notable female philosophers from the contemporary period include Susanne Langer — , Simone de Beauvoir — , Simone Weil , and Martha Nussbaum —. The term "classical music" did not appear until the early 19th century, in an attempt to distinctly canonize the period from Johann Sebastian Bach to Ludwig van Beethoven as a golden age.

In classical music , during the nineteenth century a "canon" developed which focused on what was felt to be the most important works written since , with a great concentration on the later part of this period, termed the Classical period , which is generally taken to begin around In the s, the standard concert repertoire of professional orchestras, chamber music groups, and choirs tends to focus on works by a relatively small number of mainly 18th- and 19th-century male composers.

Many of the works deemed to be part of the musical canon are from genres regarded as the most serious , such as the symphony , concerto , string quartet , and opera. Folk music was already giving art music melodies, and from the late 19th century, in an atmosphere of increasing nationalism , folk music began to influence composers in formal and other ways, before being admitted to some sort of status in the canon itself.

Since the early twentieth century non-Western music has begun to influence Western composers. Specifically, he was drawn to the Javanese gamelan, [92] which he first heard at the Paris Exposition.

He was not interested in directly quoting his non-Western influences, but instead allowed this non-Western aesthetic to generally influence his own musical work, for example, by frequently using quiet, unresolved dissonances, coupled with the damper pedal, to emulate the "shimmering" effect created by a gamelan ensemble. American composer Philip Glass was not only influenced by the eminent French composition teacher Nadia Boulanger , [93] but also by the Indian musicians Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha , His distinctive style arose from his work with Shankar and Rakha and their perception of rhythm in Indian music as being entirely additive.

In the latter half of the 20th century the canon expanded to cover the so-called Early music of the pre-classical period, and Baroque music by composers other than Bach and George Frideric Handel. Earlier composers, such as Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina , Orlande de Lassus and William Byrd , have also received more attention in the last hundred years.

The absence of female composers from the canon has been debated in the twentieth century, even though there have been female composers throughout the classical music period. Marcia J Citron, for example, has examined "the practices and attitudes that have led to the exclusion of women [sic] composers from the received 'canon' of performed musical works.

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Saariaho's opera L'amour de loin has been staged in some of the world's major opera houses, including The English National Opera [96] and in the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The backbone of traditional Western art history are artworks commissioned by wealthy patrons for private or public enjoyment. Much of this was religious art, mostly Roman Catholic art. The classical art of Greece and Rome has, since the Renaissance, been the fount of the Western tradition. Giorgio Vasari — is the originator of the artistic canon and the originator of many of the concepts it embodies.

The Reception of Homer in the Twentieth Century [Book Review]

His Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects covers only artists working in Italy, [97] with a strong pro-Florentine prejudice, and has cast a long shadow over succeeding centuries. Northern European art has arguably never quite caught up to Italy in terms of prestige, and Vasari's placing of Giotto as the founding father of "modern" painting has largely been retained. In painting, the rather vague term of Old master covers painters up to about the time of Goya. This "canon" remains prominent, as indicated by the selection present in art history textbooks, as well as the prices obtained in the art trade.

Homer in the Twentieth Century : Barbara Graziosi :

But there have been considerable swings in what is valued. In the 19th century the Baroque fell into great disfavour, but it was revived from around the s, by which time the art of the 18th and 19th century was largely disregarded. The High Renaissance , which Vasari regarded as the greatest period, has always retained its prestige, including works by Leonardo da Vinci , Michelangelo , and Raphael , but the succeeding period of Mannerism has fallen in and out of favour.


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In the 19th century the beginnings of academic art history, led by German universities, led to much better understanding and appreciation of medieval art , and a more nuanced understanding of classical art, including the realization that many if not most treasured masterpieces of sculpture were late Roman copies rather than Greek originals.

The European tradition of art was expanded to include Byzantine art and the new discoveries of archaeology , notably Etruscan art , Celtic art and Upper Paleolithic art. Since the 20th century there has been an effort to re-define the discipline to be more inclusive of art made by women; vernacular creativity, especially in printed media; and an expansion to include works in the Western tradition produced outside Europe.

At the same time there has been a much greater appreciation of non-Western traditions, including their place with Western art in wider global or Eurasian traditions. The decorative arts have traditionally had a much lower critical status than fine art , although often highly valued by collectors, and still tend to be given little prominence in undergraduate studies or popular coverage on television and in print. Women were discriminated against in terms of obtaining the training necessary to be an artist in the mainstream Western traditions.

In addition, since the Renaissance the nude , more often than not female, [ citation needed ] has had a special position as subject matter. In the s, feminist art criticism continued this critique of the institutionalized sexism of art history, art museums, and galleries, and questioned which genres of art were deemed museum-worthy. Whereas men experience presence in our art institutions, women experience primarily absence, except in images that do not necessarily reflect women's own sense of themselves. The preface to the Blackwell anthology of Renaissance Literature from acknowledges the importance of online access to literary texts on the selection of what to include, meaning that the selection can be made on basis of functionality rather than representativity".

One is "unabashedly canonical ", meaning that Sidney, Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Jonson have been given the space prospective users would expect. It also includes texts that may not be representative of the qualitatively best efforts of Renaissance literature, but of the quantitatively most numerous texts, such as homilies and erotica.

A third principle has been thematic, so that the anthology aims to include texts that shed light on issues of special interest to contemporary scholars. The Blackwell anthology is still firmly organised around authors, however. It is arguable that such an approach is more suitable for the interested reader than for the student. Der Kanon , edited by Marcel Reich-Ranicki , is a large anthology of exemplary works of German literature. Several of these works are lists themselves; such as early dictionaries, lists of songs, recipes, biographies, or encyclopedic compilations of information such as mathematical, scientific, medical, or plant reference books.

Other items include early translations of literature from other countries, history books, first-hand diaries, and published correspondence. Notable original works can be found by author name. The Danish Culture Canon consists of works of cultural excellence in eight categories: architecture , visual arts , design and crafts , film , literature , music , performing arts , and children's culture. An initiative of Brian Mikkelsen in , it was developed by a series of committees under the auspices of the Danish Ministry of Culture in — as "a collection and presentation of the greatest, most important works of Denmark's cultural heritage.

The list was compiled through votes from members of the Svenska Akademien , Swedish Crime Writers' Academy , librarians, authors, and others. Approximately 30 of the books were Swedish. For the Spanish culture , specially for the literature in Spanish language , during the 19th and the first third of the 20th century there were similar lists trying to define the literary canon.

Other Spanish languages have also their own literary canons. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses. Home FAQ Contact.

Homer in the Twentieth Century: Between World Literature and the Western Canon (Classical Presences)
Homer in the Twentieth Century: Between World Literature and the Western Canon (Classical Presences)
Homer in the Twentieth Century: Between World Literature and the Western Canon (Classical Presences)
Homer in the Twentieth Century: Between World Literature and the Western Canon (Classical Presences)
Homer in the Twentieth Century: Between World Literature and the Western Canon (Classical Presences)
Homer in the Twentieth Century: Between World Literature and the Western Canon (Classical Presences)
Homer in the Twentieth Century: Between World Literature and the Western Canon (Classical Presences)
Homer in the Twentieth Century: Between World Literature and the Western Canon (Classical Presences)
Homer in the Twentieth Century: Between World Literature and the Western Canon (Classical Presences)

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