The Great Books

The Great Books

A Journey Through 2,500 Years of the West's Classic Literature

Book - 2009
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The Odyssey, Paradise Lost, The Canterbury Tales: great literature can be read by anyone, with a little help. The eminent British philosopher Anthony O’Hear leads the way with this captivating journey through two-and-a-half millennia of books as powerful, thrilling, erotic, politically astute, and awe-inspiring as any modern bestseller.

O’Hear begins with Homer, whose poems of epic struggle have made him the father of Western literature. After Greek tragedy, Plato, and Virgil’s Aeneid comes Ovid, whose encyclopedic Metamorphoses is an inexhaustible source for European art and literature. Via Saint Augustine, O’Hear reaches Dante and his terrifying and sublime Divine Comedy. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Milton, Pascal, Racine, and finally Goethe complete the cast list. In each case, O’Hear patiently draws out themes, focuses on key passages, and explains why they are important.

Not simply a grand work of reference, The Great Books is also a narrative history shot through with a love of literature and the author’s deeply held belief in its power to enrich and enliven everyone’s world.

Book News
This overview of 2500 years of classic Western literature spans from Homer and the evolution of the Greek tragedy to the works of Shakespeare, Cervantes, Milton and Goethe. O'Hear (philosophy, U. of Buckingham, UK) provides general readers with a philosophical introduction to these noted works of literature by concentrating on universal themes of ancient mythology, the afterlife and "the tragic spirit." Rare illustrations from artists such as William Blake, Titian and Peter Paul Reubens are also included. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Wilmington, Del. : ISI Books, c2009
ISBN: 9781933859781
Branch Call Number: 809 Oh
Characteristics: xx, 351 p., [16] p. of plates : col. ill. ; 24 cm

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