A Buddhist monk, a pig, two dragons, and a mischievous monkey embark on a sacred journey to locate the mystical texts of their faith. Will they complete this holy task, or will they be waylaid by adventures along the way?Stranded in a remote abbey, lords and ladies from the French court pass the time telling stories about life and love. What do their stories reveal about the nature of men and women—and about the storytellers themselves?
Deep in the African continent, members of a native tribe contend with encroachment by European missionaries and conquerors. Will their noble leader find a way to co-exist with the interlopers? Or will their ancient culture be lost forever? Do you recognize these stories? They are drawn from some of the greatest literary masterpieces the world has ever known. As different as they are, these great works each reflect a common impulse: our need to tell stories. Whether around the campfire, between the covers of a great book, or in the theater, this urge to express life's meaning is a human constant. In The History of World Literature, you'll sample these and other brilliant masterpieces that reflect this deep need for self-expression. It's a journey that will take you around the world—from the enormous auditoriums of Ancient Greece, to the dazzling courts of Classical China and Japan, to the prison camps of Stalinist Russia, to a quiet study in the home of a 19th-century New England spinster. Your guide on this enchanting literary tour is distinguished scholar Grant L. Voth. An experienced teacher, critic, and lecturer, Professor Voth provides the perfect introduction to the history of world literature, offering concise summaries and thought-provoking interpretations of each work.