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HSS - Cours - HSS_0F007_EP : Masterpieces of Western Literature: The Sea and Seafarers

Domaine > Humanités et sciences sociales.

Descriptif

This course is not open to International Exchange program students

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 nineteenth century.

Objectifs pédagogiques

This course is not open to International Exchange program students

This course aims at providing a better knowledge and understanding of literature through a series of extracts ranging from Homer to the XXIst century.

 

 

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

An interest in fiction and things maritime

Format des notes

Numérique sur 20

Littérale/grade américain

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

Vos modalités d'acquisition :

Oral presentation (70%)

Participation in class (15%)

Field trip (15%)

Le rattrapage est autorisé (Note de rattrapage conservée écrêtée à une note seuil de 10)
    L'UE est acquise si Note finale >= 9
    • Crédits ECTS acquis : 2 ECTS

    La note obtenue rentre dans le calcul de votre GPA.

    Pour les étudiants du diplôme Programmes d'échange internationaux

    Programme détaillé

    This course is not open to International Exchange program students

    1/ Greece : The Odyssey, Odysseus as a sailor and a hero

    Authors : Homer, Shakespeare.

     

    2/ The Second Odyssey

    Authors : Dante, Tennyson, Cavafis

     

    3/ Maritime Empires I : Athens

    The battle of Salamis.

    Text : The Persians, Aeschylus

     

    4/ Maritime Empires II : Venice

    Romanticism and the fall of the Republic of Venice.

    Authors : Byron, Wordsworth.

     

    5/ Maritime Empires III : Portugal

    The Age of Great Discoveries.

    Text : The Lusiads, Camões.

     

    6/ The Age of Sail I : Robinson Crusoe and the robinsonade

     

    7/ The Age of Sail II : Pirates, privateers and freebooters and the sea novel of adventure

    Fletcher Christian and the Bounty.

    Treasure Island, Stevenson.

     

    8/ The Scilly Islands maritime disaster and the quest for Longitude

     

    9/ Storms and shipwrecks

    The Metamorphoses, Ovid and the alcyon up to the XXth century.

     

    10/ Sea monsters and the deep I

    Moby Dick, Melville.

     

    11/ Sea monsters and the deep II

    20 000 Leagues under the Sea, Verne.

     

    12/ More robinsonades

    The Mysterious Island, Verne.

     

    13/ Marshes and waterland

    Great Expectations, Dickens.

     

    14/ The invention of the shore

    Within a Budding Grove, Proust.

     

    15/ The sea and beyond

    Poetry

     

     

     

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