See beneath the surface of 13 great works of world literature that have traveled the globe with this course resource for teachers, students, and lovers of literature.






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Series cast summary:
David Damrosch ...
 Himself (13 episodes, 2010)


Invitation to World Literature features more than 100 artists, actors, writers and scholars including Alan Cumming, Harold Ramis, Kristen Chenoweth, Tim Blake Nelson, Mo Rocca, Aisha Tyler, Robert Thurman, Chris Ware and Philip Glass. Each episode goes beneath the surface of a classic piece of literature to reveal ideas, emotions and themes that are relevant today. Episodes include The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, Journey to the West, Candide and The God of Small Things. Written by WGBH Educational Foundation & Seftel Productions

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See beneath the surface of 13 great works of world literature




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10 October 2010 (USA)  »

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"Fight through life...breathe your way through"
15 July 2012 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

This series's segment on the "Bhagavad Gita" is a beautifully narrated and illustrated commentary on an ancient Hindu text that wasn't known to the West until the early 1800's.

I enjoyed how experts from the Asia Society, universities, and the arts elucidated how a Sanskrit classic can provide tools for navigating through our modern lives.

Protagonist Arjuna has been wronged but balks at committing genocide against the aggressors, who are his own cousins.

The god Krishna descends to earth in the form of a humble servant. His conversations with Arjuna possess an "intimacy that allows for communication of secrets." Krishna is able to pause the passage of time -- much in the way each of us must take a time-out to consider our course of action when emotions become intense. Krishna advises Arjuna to enter into battle -- not literally to kill, the commentators point out, but rather to find some resolution within his warring self.

The Gita, it turns out, was Gandhi's mentor in composing his philosophy of non-violence.

Masterfully done!

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