Monday, October 6, 2014

Daydream Syllabus #2: Modernism and the Classical Heritage

Odilon Redon. Le cyclope. 1914? Rijksmuseum
Kröller-Müller. Wikipedia. 
Modernism, with Pound's rallying cry of "Make it new," is often seen a moment of final decline of classicism in Western art: classical learning diminishes, and artists stop using antiquity as a touchstone, interested instead in shattering traditions. But this view is wrong. In this course, we'll look at a range of relationships between ancient and Modernist art, though, and literature—from the manifest to the latent, the certain to the contested—and ask how artists and thinkers used, absorbed, interpreted, and misinterpreted the classical heritage for their own purposes.

Week 1: The Structure of the Psyche
Freud: Das Ich und das Es (The Ego and the Id), trans. James Strachey (1923)
Plato: Republic 4, trans. C.D.C. Reeve

Week 2: Oedipus
Stravinsky/Cocteau: Oedipus Rex (1927)
Sophocles: Oedipus the King (Oidipous Turannos), trans. Robet Fagles (ca. 429 BC)
Aristotle: Poetics 6-18, trans. Stephen Halliwell
Freud: “Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-year-old Boy (‘Little Hans’)” (1909)

Week 3: Odysseus 1: the Telemacheia
Homer: Odyssey 1-4, trans. Richmond Lattimore
James Joyce: Ulysses, chs. 1-3 (1992 Penguin edition)

Week 4: Alcestis
Virginia Woolf, “On Not Knowing Greek”; “The Window,” from To the Lighthouse (1927)
Euripides: Alcestis, trans. Lattimore (ca. 438 BC)

Week 5: Imperialism’s Face
Horace: the Roman Odes, (Carm. 3.1-6); the “Carmen Saeculare,” trans. M.L. West 
Leni Riefenstahl, dir.: Triumph des Willens (1935)
Ellen Oliensis: “Acts of Enclosure: The Ideology of Form in the Odes,” ch. 3 of Horace and the Rhetoric of Authority (1998)
Susan Sontag: “Fascinating Fascism” (NYRB, 6 February 1975)

Week 6: Odysseus 2: In Medias Res (and Not)
Homer: Odyssey 5-8
James Joyce: Ulysses, chs. 4-9

Week 7: Philomele
Eliot, The Waste Land
Ovid, Metamorphoses 6.424-674
Stephen Medcalf: "T. S. Eliot's Metamorphoses: Ovid and The Waste Land,” in: Ovid Renewed, ed. Charles Martindale



Week 8: Orpheus
Jean Cocteau, dir.: the Orphée trilogy
Virgil, Georgics 4.453-527 
Ovid, Metamorphoses 10.1-85
Karl Kroeber, Retelling/Rereading, ch. 3: “Social Foundations of Narrative”

Week 9: Odysseus 3: The Voyage
Homer: Odyssey 9-13
James Joyce: Ulysses, chs. 10-15

Week 10: Daphnis and Chloë
Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé (1912)
Longus: Daphnis kai Chloē (2nd century)
Frederick Ashton, choreographer: Daphnis and Chloe (1951)
Mikhail Bakhtin: “From the Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse” in The Dialogic Imagination
(optional) Wes Anderson, dir.: Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Week 11: The Artist’s Way
Horace: Sermones 1.6 (ca. 35 BC?)
Lucian: “On the Dream; or, A Life of Lucian” (late 2nd century)
Proust: “Combray,” from Du côté de chez Swann (1913)

Week 12: Odysseus 4: The Return
Homer: Odyssey 14-24
James Joyce: Ulysses, chs. 16-18





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