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Humanités et sciences sociales - HSS301 : Masterpieces of Western Literature: Sea and Sailors

Domaine > Humanité et sciences sociales.

Descriptif

HSS301 : Sea and sailors

This course proposes a fuller understanding of the role played by the sea and seafarers in literature from Homer and the Odyssey up to the twentieth century.

 

The sea is not only a backdrop in literature. In many masterpieces of the Western canon, the sea is at the very heart of narrative development. It is a place that puts the human will to the test, thus revealing the true nature of men, for better or for worse. More often than not, the sea features as a living being, a character per se.

 

Oceans have provided opportunities for adventure, discovery, the pursuit of wealth, and encounters with other civilisations. The sea and seafarers have played a decisive part in cultural exchange, political conquest, and scientific knowledge. Studying them, we shall be carried into a history of crime, war, and death. We shall also find them functioning as pervasive metaphors in metaphysics and poetry, in music and painting.

 

The sea is the habitat of fascinating, awe-inspiring creatures that connect the natural with the supernatural. The sea is probably the best example of a threshold (in the twofold sense of limes and limen), of a border that keeps some people out and allows others in. It can also mark the frontline where holidaymakers enjoy – or not - the summer through life on the beach, an invention of the late-nineteenth century.

 

Based on multidisciplinary analyses, this course aims to discuss the multifarious aspects of the sea and of sailors in fiction.

 

I/        Maritime Empires : Athens, Venice, Portugal

II/       Outlaws of the ocean

III/     Nature and the supernatural

 

Works

The Odyssey, Homer

The Persians, Aeschylus

The Metamorphoses, « Ceyx and Alcyone », Book 11, Ovid

The Lusiads, Camões

Robinson Crusoe, Defoe

« Ode on Venice », Byron

« On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic », Wordsworth

The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, Coleridge

Moby Dick, Melville

Treasure Island, Stevenson

The Ebb-tide, Stevenson

Within a Budding Grove, Proust

 

 

Format des notes

Numérique sur 20

Littérale/grade américain

Pour les étudiants du diplôme Bachelor of Science de l'Ecole polytechnique

Le rattrapage est autorisé (Note de rattrapage conservée écrêtée à une note seuil)
    L'UE est acquise si note finale transposée >= D
    • Crédits ECTS acquis : 2 ECTS

    La note obtenue rentre dans le calcul de votre GPA.

    Pour les étudiants du diplôme Echanges PEI

    Le rattrapage est autorisé (Note de rattrapage conservée écrêtée à une note seuil)
      L'UE est acquise si note finale transposée >= D
      • Crédits ECTS acquis : 2 ECTS

      La note obtenue rentre dans le calcul de votre GPA.

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