Kalevala selections

The structure of the Kalevala as composed by Elias Lonnrot is a topic in and of itself. The following selections emphasize essential themes of creation and art, which I recommend as central to our discussion. The Kalevala is also rich in epic themes of vengeance, rivalry, courtship (Cantos 18 - 19), contests and adventures (Cantos 26 - 27), and the supernatural, including an apocalyptic war and restoration of the world (Cantos 43 - 49), and bear fights! So, I suggest you sample additional Cantos as your reading time permits.

Cantos 1 & 2: creation

Cantos 6 - 10: forging the Sampo

Cantos 16 - 17: the journey to the underworld

Cantos 37 - 38: forging a wife

Cantos 39 - 42: theft and music

Canto 50: the birth


Coming up to Kerouac

Here is a link to the Original Scroll:

On the Road: The Original Scroll

The book I highly recommended in class to consider reading along with On the Road, is the following collection of Allen Ginsberg’s lectures on the Beats:

The Best Minds of My Generation: A Literary History of the Beats

Another great work to consider is Robert Frank’s seminal photobook (Kerouac wrote the Introduction):

The Americans


Preview of recommended editions

For those of you looking to get a head start on next semester, here are a few recommended editions of our upcoming books:

Aeschylus, Persians, translated by Lembke and Herrington (Greek Tragedy in New Translations / Oxford UP)

Elias Lonnrot, The Kalevala, translated by Keith Bosley (Oxford World Classics)

Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron, translated by G. H. McWilliam (Penguin Classics)

Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I, edited by Mowat and Werstine (Folger Library / Simon & Schuster)

George Eliot, Silas Marner, edited by David Carroll (Penguin Classics)

John Steinbeck, East of Eden, intro by David Wyatt (Penguin Classics)

Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony (Penguin Classics)

Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day (Vintage)


George Eliot, Genre Painting, and Street Photography

I can't get the links at Victorian web to work, so I suggest you Google: "George Eliot and the Visual Arts" to find it on victorianweb.org.

The two street photographers we looked at were: Joel Meyerowitz and Bruce Gilden. For a particularly British point of view on the ordinary, consider Martin Parr. Also, at the suggestion of Frank Maresca, consider Rosalind Solomon.