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Masterpieces of World Literature

Harvard University via edX

students interested
  • Provider edX
  • Subject Literature
  • $ Cost Free Online Course
  • Session Self Paced
  • Language English
  • Effort 5-7 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • Duration 12 weeks long

Taken this course? Share your experience with other students. Write review


This literature course explores how great writers refract their world and how their works are transformed when they intervene in our global cultural landscape today.

No national literature has ever grown up in isolation from the cultures around it; from the earliest periods, great works of literature have probed the tensions, conflicts, and connections among neighboring cultures and often more distant regions as well.

Focusing particularly on works of literature that take the experience of the wider world as their theme, this course will explore the varied artistic modes in which great writers have situated themselves in the world, helping us to understand the deep roots of today's intertwined global cultures.

Texts/authors considered in the course:

  • Goethe
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • Homer, The Odyssey
  • The 1001 Nights
  • Voltaire, Candide
  • Orhan Pamuk, My Name is Red
  • Wole Soyinka, Death and the King's Horseman
  • Lu Xun, Diary of a Madman
  • Eileen Chang
  • Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji
  • Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones
  • Salman Rushdie and Jhumpa Lahiri
  • The Lusiads

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Taught by

David Damrosch and Martin Puchner

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Reviews for edX's Masterpieces of World Literature
4.5 Based on 4 reviews

  • 5 stars 75%
  • 4 star 0%
  • 3 star 25%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 star 0%

Did you take this course? Share your experience with other students.

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  • 1
Ben T
5.0 12 months ago
by Ben is taking this course right now, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I enjoyed this course and found it both enriching and enjoyable. Even though having an experience with any of the works discussed or invoked can deepen your understanding of the subject matter, it's by no means a requirement.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Angy P
5.0 7 months ago
by Angy is taking this course right now.
I want to learn with you because you are a University very World renowned.

Also to practise the language .

I find it wonderful that it is free of charge the course
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
5.0 6 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
An enlightening tour of world literature with interesting speakers. Introduced me to several authors I had not previously considered. Very much worth the time spent.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Zhe L
3.0 2 years ago
by Zhe is taking this course right now and found the course difficulty to be easy.
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Was this review helpful to you? Yes
  • 1

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