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ENGL379T Folklore, Themes, and Archetypes in Literature

This course covers the idea of Folklore and its role in the invention of, and continuing stimulus to, literature.

We shall review the principles of myth, legend, modern urban myths, African and Irish folklore, folktale, folksong, joke cycles, proverbs, placenames, themes and archetypes in lit, ethnography, etiology, eschatology, and lots of homage to Sir James George Frazer and the Brothers Grimm. Literary texts suffused with folklore that may be selected include "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," "Macbeth," Keats, T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land," short stories by William Faulkner, novels by Chinua Achebe, Alan Garner, Marina Carter, Zora Neale Hurston, and Thomas Hardy, and some Irish plays by Brian Friel, Colin MacPherson, or Yeats. Required: 25 pages of writing (including a literary study of 10 pages; and a ethnographic interview about the beliefs of a relative or a recent immigrant to America), and three quizzes.

0101 - Michael Olmert

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