2BW Comparative Lit: Week 1 Lecture Notes
2BW Comparative Lit: Week 1 Lecture Notes 2BW
Popular in 2BW-Survey of Literature: Middle Ages to 17th Century
Popular in Hispanic Studies
This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Taylor Leong on Monday October 12, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to 2BW at University of California - Los Angeles taught by D.W. Macfayden in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 44 views. For similar materials see 2BW-Survey of Literature: Middle Ages to 17th Century in Hispanic Studies at University of California - Los Angeles.
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Date Created: 10/12/15
Tuesday October 6 2015 Comparative Literature Lecture 1 Subject Chronology usually runs from Middle Ages gt Medieva gt Renaissance Circa 5 AD to 1500 AD Iong stretch of time Basically the end of the Roman Empire era to the start of the Reinaissance Fall of Roman Empire around AD 746 Definition of EMPIRE Imposing your culture on others to produce a kind of homogeneity Explains why Roman style culturearchitecture to be found all over the Mediterranean and Europe When the Roman Empire falls apart there is a POWER VACUUM and CRISIS OF IDENTITY previously conquered peoples struggle to define themselves without the imposition of the Empire before Medieval pejorative term used to describe something old and backwards You re using a flipphone so medieval During Medieval period there was no one great political power the CATHOLIC CHURCH was the main power structure Not just a societal structure also a major financial power as well thanks to Tithes Tithe Barns where local churches would store collected money Not just spiritual inspiration very economic and practical Meanwhile in the Middle East Rise of Islam Another Big Influential Religion Unification of the Islamic Empire by 661 thanks to the Caliphs Cairo Baghdad Damascus important economic stations Big emphasis on SCIENCE in the Islamic world Back then manuscripts were all written by hand therefore literacy and spread of ideas is a lot slower Church is main center of learning STLL that doesn t mean that there WERE NT scientific innovations in the Medieval times Windmills Surgery Flying machine attempts Either way inhere were some specific combined forces that had big lasting effects The Crusades Crusades Church said ur sins will be forgiven if you fight in the Crusades but also soldiers got financial benefits as well remember super economic Helped unite the various parts of europe Since they shared the same faith they had a sense of purpose against a common enemy Tuesday October 6 2015 Ongoing attempts to conquer the Holy Land All failed technically BUT gave Europe exposure to Islamic technology and culture Shaped a sense of unity throughout Europe as shown in the church architecture which became similar throughout Showed Spiritual Unity Visual Art at this time mostly DEVOTIONAL Spiritual art the artistcreator is not important Arrogant to individualize Feudalism Societal system in which protection is exchanged for service aka the Feudal Lords of the manor provide protection to the peasants via knights each level benefits somehow Changes drastically after the invention of the plow and crop rotation less labor needed to farm Less labor gt people had a bit more freedom to move far away Movement of people gt movement of ideas Invention of SHIPPING is a big thing since Horses don t get much faster Helped with mobility of goods and ideas Also the Printing press Huge democratic force upped the literacy rate Literature as we know it now as an individualistic expression kind of art didn t really exist yet Early Medieval Period Dominated by Anglo Saxons Old English Period preNorman Invasion in 1066 1000 years of hipster beards if engraving plates of the time are to be believed After Norman Invasion start of the Cultural Prestige of French Marie de France wrote in Anglo Norman Canterbury Tales Chaucer s choice to NOT write in French at the time is a pretty big deal Mystery Plays were a pretty big thing Traveling Bible Story plays Beowulf An older Oral story that gets written down much later Why do things get written down It s very costly and time consuming to write things down at this time so it has to be a pretty good reason For Beowulf probably reasons of Faith Questions to ask What kinds of beliefs is it expressing The events that take place in the narrative take place earlier in SwedenDenmark The story of a community invaded by a Monster representing unpredictability fate disaster TL DR Medieval Culture was a time of shared identity in the wake of the power vacuum left by the Fall of the Roman Empire It was changed by the rise of new technology that allowed people to read move around and share ideas with each other 2 Thursday October 8 2015 Comparative Literature Lecture 2 Literature as we know it today is a work that has a distinct AUTHOR written for a specific PURPOSE Beowulf is an Oral Story Written down by a Christian Monk whose name we don t know Literature reflects the values of its time Example 18th century literature focused on themes of universal experiences while 19th century lit was much more focused on geographic and sensual difference with Folklore playing a HUGE part of determining distinct national identity Difference between Oral stories and Written stories ORAL Stories Impermanent Usually has a lot of repetition involved to make it easier to remember is unfixed fleeting ephemeral changes from the teller to teller Main medium is SOUND TEXTUAL Stories Fixed and silent Moral response is Permanent has a kind of fixed value to it Why would someone write an ORAL story down We write down stories that can TEACH us stuff in this case mixing pagan folklore with a Christian message Pagan folklore helps with distinguishing a kind of identity in the wake of the Roman Empire falling BEOWULF is a link to ethnic roots Beowulf text written AD 725ish but the events within happened 200 years earlier Main themes GODFATE the same thing Atheme shared between the Christian and pagan elements Tales songs produced at feasts to help enhance the sense of community Fun Facts Tolkien gave a lecture on Beowulf a major figure in bringing attention to treating Beowulf like a legitimate text worthy of study IDENTITY Who are you What do you stand for Where do you come from Paternal lineage is a BIG thing Heroes say I am the son of to assert their legitimacy BOASTING Physical exploits make the man SIGNIFICANCE OF DEATH Stories have values that go beyond death Epics have WIDE ranges in both geography and time Thursday October 8 2015 Story could be called CHRISTOLOGICAL Meaning a story that uses the logic of Christ s life as a structure TLDR Medieval AngloSaxons looked back at Beowulf for a source of Cultural identity after losing the shared identity of the Roman Empire