Texts for World Literature
English V: World Literature
What does World Literature cover?
World Literature is a college-prep literature survey course. Focus works, including novels, short stories, poems, and drama, have been selected for literary quality, and for their place in the historical development of literature. Context readings provide background information about the author, the historical time and place, and the literary and artistic context of the focus work.
Students will gain an understanding of the development of world literature and will practice the skills of close literary analysis through essays, approach papers, and other evaluative and creative writing. You may learn more about how I chose the literature for Excellence in Literature in How I Chose Books for Excellence in Literature .
World Literature is a challenging course, and I recommend it for older students (11-12th grade). You may wish to take longer than four weeks for each unit, or you may even decide to skip a unit or two (some parents may not wish to cover Inferno and Faust). Whatever you choose, your student will grow in many ways through the study of some of the greatest literary works from around the world.
World Literature: English 5
This World Literature study guide is available for purchase at the Everyday Education website, where you’ll also find many more details about the curriculum and guidance on how to use it. In addition to the study guide, you will also need the focus texts for World Literature. These are the classic books your student will read.
There is also an honors track available for this course. You can view a list of the honors texts here.
By the end of the course, students will:
- Possess a broad knowledge of significant works of world literature.
- Have specific understanding of selected representative texts by major authors of the times and places studied.
- Have a general understanding of the historical and cultural contexts of the works.
- Be able to analyze literary texts and present thoughtfully developed ideas in writing.
- Demonstrate competence in essay organization, style, and mechanics.
- Demonstrate competence in the MLA style of source documentation
Focus Texts for World Literature
Each book is linked to the preferred edition or translation at Amazon. These are affiliate links, of course — that means EIL gets a few cents from each book purchase, but it doesn’t change your cost at all.
Unit 1: The Odyssey by Homer
Module 1: The Odyssey by Homer
Honors: The Iliad by Homer
Module 2: Antigone by Sophocles
The Burial at Thebes: A Verson of Sophocles’ Antigone by Seamus Heaney
Honors: Oedipus Rex by Sophocles (included in the same volume as Antigone)
Module 3: The Aeneid by Virgil
Honors: Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans by Plutarch
Module 4: Divine Comedy: Inferno by Dante
Honors: Paradiso and/or Purgatorio by Dante
OR Confessions by Augustine of Hippo
Module 5: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Honors: The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
Module 6: Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Honors: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
OR Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
Module 7: The Portable Nineteenth Century Russian Reader edited by George Gibian
Honors: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Module 8: Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Honors: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (if you didn’t read it in English II) AND The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde
OR Frankenstein by Mary Shelley or Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
Module 9: Out of Africa and “Babette’s Feast” by Isak Dinesen
Honors: Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by C.S. Lewis
Other chapters include . . .
Formats and Models 107
Approach Paper Format 108
Historical Approach Paper Format 112
Author Profile Format 114
Literature Summary Format 114
Sample Poetry Analysis 118
What an MLA Formatted Essay Looks Like 120
Excellence in Literature Evaluation Rubric 123
Excellence in Literature Evaluation Rubric for IEW Students 125
Student Evaluation Summary 127
Selected Resources 139
Your student will need a good writer’s handbook in order to develop the habit of looking up things when a question arrises. Every professional writer and editor I have encountered has several handbooks, as each has a different focus and use; but for your student, one or two should be adequate. Here are two options:
Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers
This writer’s handbook has two parts. The first section provides detailed instructions on how to construct essays and arguments, and the second second is a manual of grammar, style, and usage. This is a book that will be useful from high school into college.
Writer’s Inc. is a time-tested high school handbook that is chock-full of helpful tips and advice on writing, style and usage, and more. This is especially useful as a first handbook for writing students.
Catalog – Other levels of EIL
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