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Five Feet of Books

"During his days as Harvard’s influential president, Dr. Charles W. Eliot made a frequent assertion: If you were to spend just 15 minutes a day reading the right books, a quantity that could fit on a five-foot shelf, you could give yourself a proper liberal education. Publisher P. F. Collier and Son loved the idea and asked Eliot to compile and edit the right collection of works. The result: a 51-volume series of classic works from world literature published in 1909 called Dr. Eliot’s Five Foot Shelf, which would later be called The Harvard Classics." (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 11, 2013 - 89 comments

The Mythical Quest

The Mythical Quest, an old exhibition at the British Library. 'Throughout the world, tales have always been told of heroes and heroines embarking on perilous quests in search of lost loved ones, the secret of immortality, earthly paradise or simply great riches. Many of these stories have elements in common, such as clashes with monsters, battles with the elements, interventions by the gods and tests of moral character, mental cunning and physical strength. These tales have been expressed in songs, literature, art and dance for thousands of years, and are still being reinterpreted today in books, comic strips, interactive games and adventure films.'
More British Library exhibits here, from early Indian photography to the secret life of maps.
Examples of mythical quests :- Monkey: Journey to the West (another version here, not to mention the TV series); the Ramayana (and the Ramakian, the Thai version); Cupid and Psyche at the Classics Pages (subject of a previous thread); the Holy Grail (more at the Catholic Enyclopaedia); the journey of Alexander the Great; Pilgrim's Progress and John Bunyan; the world of Dante and a map of Hell.
posted by plep on Jul 11, 2003 - 17 comments

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