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Art & Literature
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Current Classes & Activities
Introduction to World Literature
World Literature is defined as "The body of written works
of a language, period, or culture".
We will explore "literature" in a very broad way, allowing
ourselves a chance to learn about 'oral", "ceremonial" and
"religious" literature as well as the traditional body of
Let's Let's begin our explorations at the beginning... with
Literature has many forms. Spoken, Written, Painted, Acted
and Ceremonialy Danced. When seen as the method a people
use to convey "their story", we see World Literature as
the way people "remember" history and "tell their story".
The first myths were not only origin myths and creation
The immediacy of survival made for ceremonies having to
do with weather and food and perhaps geography as it helped
in mapping where the best hunting areas were.
These necessary things, knowing what the weather was likely
to be like and knowing how to "remember" or tell how to
get back to important hunting grounds, all served to shape
an early literature which today we only find in the oral
and ceremonial stories of indeginous peoples living outside
Thoughts about rituals and ceremonies having to do with
birth and death would have followed once the leisure time
to sit and wonder became possible.
Much early literature is about "origins".
The origin of all things has captured the imagination of
people for many thousands of years.
Some of the most difficult questions which we see repeated
in World Literature are:
- Is there a "beginning" to time or has it always been
- If "time" has always been then creation myths must
- Why do we see a universe with "something" and with
"nothing"? Where does the "nothing" or the idea of the
"nothing" come from?
- Where do I come from?
- Is there an original source of rules for what is right
Literature and Art are two of the main tools or methods
people have always used to communicate these ideas and the
possible answers to each question.
Some unusual forms of Literature we will explore are:
- Folk Tales (sometimes called Folklore)
- Fairey Tales
- Religious Literature
- Literature about Science and History
- Digital Literature