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Course Info

  • Course Number / Code:
  • 21L.012 (Fall 2007) 
  • Course Title:
  • Forms of Western Narrative 
  • Course Level:
  • Undergraduate 
  • Offered by :
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
    Massachusetts, United States  
  • Department:
  • Literature 
  • Course Instructor(s):
  • Prof. James Buzard 
  • Course Introduction:

  • 21L.012 Forms of Western Narrative

    Fall 2007

    Course Highlights

    21L.012 Forms of Western Narrative

    Fall 2007

    A photo of a statue of the character Don Quixote.
    A statue of the character Don Quixote. (Image courtesy of florriebassingbourn on Flickr.)

    Course Description

    This course examines some leading examples of major genres of storytelling in the Western tradition, among them epic (Homer's Odyssey), romance (from the Arthurian tradition), and novel (Cervantes's Don Quixote). We will be asking why people tell (and have always told) stories, how they tell them, why they might tell them the way they do, and what difference it makes how they tell them. We'll combine an investigation of the changing formal properties of narratives with consideration of the historical, cultural, and technological factors that have influenced how tales got told. In keeping with its CI-H and HASS-D label, this course will involve substantial attention to students' writing and speaking abilities.

    Recommended Citation

    For any use or distribution of these materials, please cite as follows:

    James Buzard, course materials for 21L.012 Forms of Western Narrative, Fall 2007. MIT OpenCourseWare (, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Downloaded on [DD Month YYYY].


This course content is a redistribution of MIT Open Courses. Access to the course materials is free to all users.

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