Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Welcome to English 121

Map of the World as a "Tube" Map © Michael Tompsett
The idea that literature, like food or music or dance, should possess or embody a national culture, is quite a recent one in terms of world history. The older dream was of a universal literature, written in Greek or Latin and readable around the world and for all time. This dream, for better or worse, faded with the collapse of the ancient empires, particularly that of Rome. It wasn't until some centuries later, when nations were beginning to emerge from the medieval checkerboard of duchies and domains, that the idea of writing literature in one's own native language, and expressing the natural and national character of its speakers, began to emerge. It was this vernacular writing with which national literatures were born, and with them the sense that each nation ought to have its own pantheon of literary and artistic giants.

Today, while we can use terms like "American Literature," "Irish Literature," or "Japanese Literature," it's not always easy to separate them off.  People emigrate from country to country; most nations contain many languages, ethnicities, and faiths; the most successful literature is translated and read around the world. Still, each country's literary heritage has something of the essence of the nation in it, both as it might be perceived internally, and as it might be seen by others.

3 comments:

  1. In the reading Dante's Inferno Canto I-IV, Dante encounters Virgil who is his guide through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. Later, Dante learns that his lover Beatrice went to speak to Virgil, in Hell to take care of Dante. One stanza supports this, "Fly to him and with your high counsel pity, and with whatever need be for his good and soul's salvation, help him, and solace me." As Dante traveled further through the gates of Hell, he learned about the opportunists, the Laws of Dante's hell, where when they sin, they are punished, and the denying of people into Heaven or hell because of the way they lived in the past. These souls have been rejected, where they remain in Limbo. It is interesting to see Dante travel through these levels, where both Dante and I learn more about the three gates and other obstacles that are about to come.

    Response done by: Jennifer Gesualdi

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  2. In the middle of Dante’s life, he became lost in a forest. He came across the sight of a hill, and attempted to climb it when a leopard, lion, and she-wolf blocked his way. Therefore, he headed back to the forest, and met Virgil on his way. Virgil was going to take Dante to salvation, which meant they were going to pass through hell. Upon arriving to the gates of hell, Dante passed out after hearing all of the noises coming from hell. Once he woke up, Virgil began telling him that it would be okay. They continued through the gates and found men, women, and even infants along the way. Virgil told Dante that the people they were seeing had never been baptized, therefore, they had no choice but to remain in hell.
    Submitted by: Rebecca Flores

    ReplyDelete
  3. In the middle of Dante’s life, he became lost in a forest. He came across the sight of a hill, and attempted to climb it when a leopard, lion, and she-wolf blocked his way. Therefore, he headed back to the forest, and met Virgil on his way. Virgil was going to take Dante to salvation, which meant they were going to pass through hell. Upon arriving to the gates of hell, Dante passed out after hearing all of the noises coming from hell. Once he woke up, Virgil began telling him that it would be okay. They continued through the gates and found men, women, and even infants along the way. Virgil told Dante that the people they were seeing had never been baptized, therefore, they had no choice but to remain in hell.
    Submitted by: Rebecca Flores

    ReplyDelete

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