There and Back Again

Notes from Stallings, Uncategorized. Wed, Jun 24th, 2009 at 10:35 am

Themes: , , , ,

How’s summer going? I had planned on updating throughout, but things have been busy. If any of you are still checking, drop me a comment below. Might give me motivation to share the coolness I come across.
So, I’ve been working on the syllabus for the Great Stories class I’ll be teaching in the fall, and thought I’d ask for your input. What stories from religious texts, fairy tales, myths, fables, and such should we read? What were the stories you loved as a child, or only recently discovered? Basically, what stories should every person know?
This will be a chance for us to increase our cultural capital, and better understand Western life.
My list:

5 Responses to “There and Back Again”

  1. okie says:

    Aesop’s fables

    The Little Prince

    The Giving Tree

    The Sandman (Neil Gaiman)

    Everything That Rises Must Converge 😉

    Zarathustra (light reading 😉

    Buffy (according to Dana the vampire archetype has become ingrained in the collective unconscious)

    Stories of Rebirth

    Stories of Self Discovery (coming of age)

    Stories of the Fool

    Stories of Rebellion (real difficult in America)

    I could go on……..

  2. JStallings says:

    Awesome! I think you should. What of the stories that gave us Sandman, Buffy, and Zarathustra? I’m thinking along the lines of Orpheus, Morpheus, Hypnos, Abraham, Sarah, Cain and Abel, Judith and Holofernes (and Salome and John the Baptist)…
    The challenge is to narrow the list to the specific stories that the class might not otherwise read (or pay attention to), but that are necessary for their understanding of later works.

  3. Ellen says:

    Ok, this is going to take some thought. You have strict criteria of “What stories should every person know”, so I want to really ponder before I respond. I know the stories that are nearest and dearest to me, but that is too narrow. So, I will respond after coffee and thought.

  4. JStallings says:

    Perhaps I should change my criteria? I guess my assumption was that earlier works are more often alluded to. This can’t be accurate, and I am wary of reproducing the canon, but for time’s sake I’d like to get the most out of each story that we read as possible.

  5. Ellen says:

    I guess I would hit a Greek tragedy, but a really weird one, like Medea. Then, fairy tales–the really old gory ones. I would suggest George MacDonald’s fairy tales, C.S. Lewis felt that of making myths MacDonald was without peer. Of course the standard Greek myths and Niebulungenlied stuff, and Bible stories. What about Tolkien–really pretty remarkable what he did, or Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle or Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendek (all have profoundly influenced our culture). What about the genre of visual and auditory myths in movies? As in Star Wars, Terminator, etc.?

    Food for thought.