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Immanuel Kant defined the sublime as “the abyss in which the imagination is afraid of losing itself.” If on reading that last sentence, you involuntarily gasped, thought to yourself “cool,” or screwed up your eyes and said, “huh?” then welcome to the club of the aesthetically brave and curious. In this course, we will use the sublime as a focal point as we explore literary texts ranging from ancient Greek tragedies to modern novels with plenty of poetry along the way. And since this course is an introduction to literature, be prepared for plenty of hands-on work—reading poetry, performing scenes, and writing, both critical and creative, in response to your reading. We will begin the process of locating these texts in their specific historical and cultural contexts as well as in the broader and more contentious context of literary and aesthetic history.

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Last Update: 6/23/2013