Singers and Tales: Oral Tradition and the Roots of Literature
Date: November 2014
Duration: 4 hours 40 minutes
In this course, Professor Michael D. C. Drout traces literature back to its ultimate sources in oral tradition. Drout shows us how works as varied as the Odyssey, Beowulf, the Finnish Kalevala, and epic songs from the former Yugoslavia were shaped by their origins as songs sung - and composed - before a live audience. Understanding the oral roots of these great works lets us see them in a whole new light. From classical texts to contemporary digital media, Drout demonstrates how the dynamics of oral tradition shape the verbal art that makes us who we are.