Trips of a Lifetime
Experience the wrath of Achilles and survive
this trial by fire.
Ponder with Aristotle the nature of happiness,
virtue and work.
Go to hell with Dante and live to
tell about it.
Quest with Sir Gawain for the elusive Green Knight.
Be a member of King Henry V's gallant band on
St. Crispin's Day.
Rationale for English 2123: Odysseys
Odysseys is "about the
greatest theme of all: the act of learning,
which, though it must be mentored, is
interior and individual.
It is not a mere linear movement forward,
collecting an aggregate of information and
skills. Nor is it simply an optimistic outlook that
ignores real complications and obstacles. Rather, learning is a genuine making,
an act of gathering and forming, by persistence and struggle. Each act of
learning reorganizes reality, each
is an authentic creation. And, as Dorothy
Sayers' translation of the Divine Comedy has it, 'the eye by
seeing learns to see.'
"As we encounter these fictional characters
in their struggles toward
wisdom, we undergo, in the depths of our
psyches, in the channels of our
minds, the same struggle. It is acted out,
at the control center, one
might say, of one's being. And by our
efforts to bring together and to
understand the conflicts from within that
are engendered by images of
conflicts from without, somehow,
miraculously, we learn."
--Louise Cowan, Classic Texts