Faculty of Arts


Reading Comparatively: An Introduction

Please note: this is archived course information from 2012 for COMPLIT 100.


Whenever we pick up a novel, or a play or a book of poetry from another culture, whether in the original language or in translation, issues arise which are not present when we read a work from our own culture. Having only a limited knowledge of the cultural context from which the work comes, we are likely to approach it with expectations based in our own culture and our own personal and literary experience. What strategies can the reader adopt to avoid gross misunderstandings of a foreign text? Are some literary forms, themes or motifs universally found in all cultures? How can we prepare ourselves to handle forms and themes we have never met before? What sorts of comparison are possible between pieces of writing (and oral literature) in different cultures? What kinds of interaction occur between the literatures of different countries and cultures? These and many other questions are discussed in this course as texts written in many languages and from different historical periods are studied in English in the light of a range of contemporary approaches to literature.

Availability 2012

Not taught in 2012




Coursework + exam


COMPLIT 100: 15.0 points


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