Read Masterpieces of the Imaginative Mind: Literature's Most Fantastic Works by Eric S. Rabkin Online


Professor Eric Rabkin from the University of Michigan speaking about the world's greatest literary works. This two box set of 24 lectures on 12 cassette tapes covers the following: 1-Brothers Grimm & Fairy Tale Psychology; 2-Propp, Structure, and Cultural Identity; 3-Hoffmann and the Theory of the Fantastic; 4-Poe--Genres and Degrees of the Fantastic; 5-Lewis Carroll -Professor Eric Rabkin from the University of Michigan speaking about the world's greatest literary works. This two box set of 24 lectures on 12 cassette tapes covers the following: 1-Brothers Grimm & Fairy Tale Psychology; 2-Propp, Structure, and Cultural Identity; 3-Hoffmann and the Theory of the Fantastic; 4-Poe--Genres and Degrees of the Fantastic; 5-Lewis Carroll -- Puzzles, Language, & Audience; 6-H.G. Wells -- We Are All Talking Animals; 7-Franz Kafka -- Dashed Fantasies; 8-Woolf - Fantastic Feminism & Periods of Art; 9-Robbe-Grillet - Experimental Fiction & Myth; 10-Tolkien & Mass Production of the Fantastic; 11-Children's Literature and the Fantastic; 12-Postmodernism and the Fantastic; 13-Defining Science Fiction; 14-Mary Shelley --Grandmother of Science Fiction; 15-Hawthorne, Poe, and the Eden Complex; 16-Jules Verne and the Robinsonade; 17-Wells -- Industrialization of the Fantastic; 18-The History of Utopia; 19-Science Fiction and Religion; 20-Pulp Fiction, Bradbury & the American Myth; 21-Robert A. Heinlein -- He Mapped the Future; 22-Asimov and Clarke -- Cousins in Utopia; 23-Ursula K. LeGuin -- Transhuman Anthropologist; 24-Cyberpunk, Postmodernism, and Beyond....

Title : Masterpieces of the Imaginative Mind: Literature's Most Fantastic Works
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ISBN : 9781598032895
Format Type : Audio CD
Number of Pages : 0 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Masterpieces of the Imaginative Mind: Literature's Most Fantastic Works Reviews

  • Jim
    2018-12-02 20:08

    Audio download...during a really good sale.I usually spend a great deal of time reading the reviews of lectures series before committing both the cash and the time to them. It took me a long while (and a very good sale + coupon) to get around to this one...mainly because the reviews are so negative. Many of those negative reviews (on The Great Courses site) focus on Dr Rabkin's interpretations of some of the literary works (books)...some of them may be valid...some may be pure speculation. After listening to these lectures I've come to the conclusion that those criticisms are a bit too harsh, and really don't reflect what a solid, well-presented course this really is. I've taken several upper-level lectures in undergrad and grad school in which the prof waxes philosophical and offers opinions about whatever subject on which he's lecturing. I'm sitting there, listening, and either thinking, 'hmmmm...good point; I never considered that point of view.' Or I'm thinking...'what the heck is that moron talking about?' But most importantly, I'm thinking.That's where I found myself in these lectures. I have read some (certainly not all) of these books...currently being reintroduced to the fairy-tale classics by my grandchildren (they don't give a hoot about Freud)...and have enjoyed them without much deep-meaning-thoughts. Dr Rabkin give me another point of view to think about and perhaps motivate me to reread some of them ("A Canticle for Leibowitz" comes to mind).This course will push me to investigate enlarging my reading list to include more Hugo Award winners...but I probably won't spend too much time worrying about why Little Red Riding Hood's cloak is red....Recommended for the patient reader

  •  ~Geektastic~
    2018-11-23 22:07

    This is excellent; the professor is great and his material is top-rate. I only have two minor complaints: there is not enough fantasy covered compared to SF, and the last few lectures are very spoiler-y.

  • sabisteb
    2018-12-16 21:02

    The Great Courses Series hat zwei Vorlesungen zum Thema Sci-Fi im Katalog. Diese hier ist die ältere. Ursprünglich Kurs Nummer 296, also einer der sehr frühen Kurse dieser Reihe, wurde die Vorlesung überarbeitet und mit Fantasy ergänzt.Die Vorlesung besteht also nun aus zwei Teilen. Teil1 Fantasy und Teil 2 Sci-Fi.=== Fantasy ===1. The Brothers Grimm & Fairy Tale Psychology 34 min 2. Propp, Structure, and Cultural Identity 30 min 3. Hoffmann and the Theory of the Fantastic 31 min 4. Poe—Genres and Degrees of the Fantastic 31 min 5. Lewis Carroll: Puzzles, Language, & Audience 31 min 6. H. G. Wells: We Are All Talking Animals 31 min 7. Franz Kafka—Dashed Fantasies 30 min 8. Woolf—Fantastic Feminism & Periods of Art 30 min 9. Robbe-Grillet, Experimental Fiction & Myth 31 min 10. Tolkien & Mass Production of the Fantastic 31 min 11. Children’s Literature and the Fantastic 30 min 12. Postmodernism and the Fantastic 28 min === Science Fiction ===13. Defining Science Fiction 31 min 14. Mary Shelley—Grandmother of Science Fiction 30 min 15. Hawthorne, Poe, and the Eden Complex 31 min 16. Jules Verne and the Robinsonade 30 min 17. Wells—Industrialization of the Fantastic 32 min 18. The History of Utopia 30 min 19. Science Fiction and Religion 31 min 20. Pulp Fiction, Bradbury, & the American Myth 31 min 21. Robert A. Heinlein—He Mapped the Future 32 min 22. Asimov and Clarke—Cousins in Utopia 31 min 23. Ursula K. Le Guin: Transhuman Anthropologist 31 min 24. Cyberpunk, Postmodernism, and BeyondVorgestellt werden Literaturwissenschaftliche Theorien wie Vladimier Propps Theoreme des Morphologie der Märchen, Freuds Uncanny, Roland Barthes Writing Degree Zero.Die Genre Fantasy und Science Fiction werden in den Literaturhistorischen Kontext, in den geschichtlichen Kontext und in den ökonomischen Kontext eingebettet.Es werden sowohl die Entwicklung des Fantasy Genres und des Science Fiction Genres hergeleitet und erklärt als auch die literarischen Meilensteile verschiedener Entwicklungsphasen vorgestellt und interpretiert (in Ansätzen).Das Skript dieses Kurses ist sehr gut. Alles Wichtige aus den Vorlesungen ist enthalten + Glossar, Timeline, Biographical Notes und Bibliography.Wer also Sci-Fi als Prüfungsthema in Anglistik wählen sollte hat mit diesem Kurs einen perfekten Einstieg und kann sich gleich die ihm am besten gefallenden Bücher für seine Leseliste rauspicken. Prof. Rabkin hat eine angenehme Stimme und lebhafte Art, man kann ihm problemlos mehrere Stunden entspannt zuhören und anschließend das aus dem Skript nacharbeiten, was man selber für seine Prüfung braucht, um sich anschließend weiter zu spezialisieren, anhand der angegebenen Quellen.

  • Michael
    2018-11-23 18:51

    Terrific series that will help you to better appreciate the fantastic in literature (e.g., fables, children's literature, Tolkien, sci fi, Alice in Wonderland, Virginia Woolf, magical realism, and much more). Most listeners will have read many of the books that Dr. Rabkin talks about, but he brings out -- in a believable way -- some of the deeper layers of meaning that I never saw in my surface readings. A few notes from the lecture on children's lit:1. Characters: typically the hero is a child or animal. Relationships are between children, animals, and a parent figure. Children have full autonomy.2. Plot: often simple, episodic, clearly goal directed, may be motivated by a single emotion, and typically with a happy ending3. Theme: simple and typically with a single problem with a clear solution4. Style: restricted vocab, but they often use cute or periphrastic language. Often they employ verse and nonsense.5. Format: Format matters (illustrations, size, edition, color, font style).Why do adult like children's lit:1. They enjoy it on its own terms or for nostalgia.2. Some children's books are also adult books.3. Can be used to comment on children4. Use of the form by adults to deal simplistically with a complex adult problem (e.g., Orwell's Animal Farm)The second half of the course moves into an exploration and discussion of science fiction, which Dr. Rabkin defines (in my recollection) as fiction that’s made plausible against a background of science and technology. It’s a wonderful introduction to some of the masters of sci fi (Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, Le Guin) and their predecessors (Mary Shelley, Hawthorne’s short stories, Poe, H.G. Wells). I look forward to tasting and savoring many of the books he discussed in the course. The lecture on science fiction and religion was particularly interesting.

  • Victory Wong
    2018-12-16 23:10

    I thought this would be mildly interesting to hear about fantasy in novels, history and how it relates to our society present and past. But as soon as I started reading-- wow! Fascinating. I've read a lot of the novels talked about in part 1 of 2 so I'm not sure if that makes a big difference, I suspect it does but still... Really interesting, once I got into the first lecture, i.e., kept distractions at bay I zipped through the first part like there was no tomorrow. It starts with Grimms Fairy tales and heads past the Tolkein by the first part so I'm wondering what part 2 will hold. Can't wait for it to arrive in my library hold list... sigh, it always takes forever. If it's as good as the first lecture I will consider shelling out the considerable sum of money, if I recall most lecture parts, so there are two of these are a hundred or so? So yeah, I like it, especially as I have no room whatsoever but it's just so good. I would recommend to anyone interested in fantasy at all.I will admit there were a few times my eyes glazed over and in the beginning of the lecture I feared Proff. Rabkin would be a rather circuitous lecturer (he took awhile to wind his way to a topic), but once things got going, talk about interesting. There are a few moments that really it's dry, there's no escaping that, but I'd say 07% of it is just riveting, well it was to me. I loved the lecture on Metamorphoses and Kafka in general, Poe, Woolf, all really interesting. It made me want to read Orlando, which I never got around to reading, and reread the Metamorphoses as it's been... gulp, over 15 years since I last read it.Great listen, I liked his lecture style and I loved the topic. eager for part 2

  • Justin Hawley March
    2018-11-26 23:01

    Be warned, here you will find statements such as this:"In fact, the union of these pieces in the tripartide manner or quadripartide manner of Freud or Jung is what gives psychological strength."I'll fully admit that I am being incredibly unfair in taking the above quote out of context, but I wanted to illustrate what I mean when I say that there is more to Rabkin's lectures than many readers, starting with myself, are looking for.Consider this an advanced analysis of Fantasy/Science Fiction from the point of view of a professor with theories to advance on the subjects. I might suggest Micheal Drout's From Here To Infinity: An Exploration of Science Fiction Literatureand Rings, Swords, and Monsters: Exploring Fantasy Literature for more of an overview of the mediums as well as a bit more of an accessible start. (Though, Drout's stance that all Fantasy after Tolkein is a reaction to Tolkein is short-sighted.)I will say this though; Rabkin had taught me something about H.G. Wells, and more specifically, about "War of the Worlds" that I wasn't aware of. Arthur C. Clake as well. There's a lot in here and while some of it is academic dissertation gone wild, there is plenty of value as well.

  • Scott Lee
    2018-12-15 02:12

    This is as positive a point of view on Fantastic literature as I've found from any academic aside from Tom Shippey. I liked Shippey's course on Heroes more, but Rabkin is worth listening to if you're interested in an academic take on the fantastic in literature. In the end my primary beef is that the academy attempts to define "the fantastic" in a way that feels stretched to me, and that feels like it's designed to pull away from fantasy. While Rabkin embraces science-fiction as a key contemporary genre--perhaps even the most important contemporary genre, he dismisses modern fantasy with a lecture on Tolkien and the "mass-production of the fantastic." While Rabkin was, on the whole positive in his treatment of Tolkien, I feel like he missed a lot there, and missed even more in looking at the side works, especially shortchanging "On Fairystories" which offers an equally academic but, very, very different theory of the fantastic that I find more valid, and ignoring "The Monsters and the Critics"--which while focused on Beowulf has tremendous implications for critical treatment of the fantastic as a whole--completely. And then he ignores anyone post-Tolkien in modern fantasy, which, honestly, in a course on "Literature's Most Fantastic Works," feels indefensible to me. Beef aside, this course was worth it for Rabkin's insightful treatment of science-fiction particularly Bradbury, Heinlein, Assimov and Clarke.

  • Alexis Neal
    2018-12-12 20:02

    A decent enough lecture series, and quite comprehensive. Rabkin covers the significant contributions to science fiction and fantasy (including fairy tales and the like) from the Grimm brothers (and earlier) to modern day, including recurring themes and stories. Which is why this series is 24 lectures long instead of the usual 12. I didn't necessarily buy all of his symbolism and interpretations--I realize sex is a dominant theme in literature, but I don't know that literature is about sex quite as often as Rabkin thinks it is. Then, too, he sees allusions that I'm not entirely sure the authors intended. Of course, there are themes and ideas in the cultural memory, and I have no trouble believing that authors can unintentionally reflect or allude to other works or archetypes. But making the argument that such allusions were intentional requires a stronger correlation or additional behind-the-scenes insight.Still, Rabkin knows his stuff and is not unpleasant to listen to, even if he's not the most scintillating lecturer I've ever heard. And lectures like this are a great source of recommended reading lists, which I always appreciate.

  • Stacie
    2018-11-27 20:13

    This was well produced, and the format of 30 minute (approx.) sections made it very convenient to pick up and put down as my available time allowed. I found myself disagreeing with about 70% of the Professor's interpretations and conclusions, but the material was set up in such a way that it made me think about my own conclusions- how I came to them, what influenced my understanding, etc. and so, even though I disagreed with almost everything, it was good for me to see those other interpretations. It seems odd to say that I enjoyed this lecture series because I disagreed with it, but it's true; it exercised my brain.

  • Rick Davis
    2018-11-24 21:13

    This was a really fun course that follows fantastic literature from the writing down of fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm up through modern sci-fi and cyberpunk novels. The teacher is very scholarly and illuminates the fantasy and science fiction stories and their authors well. He was a little too fond of Freudian analysis, and makes some, in my opinion, unjustified leaps of interpretation in that direction. Other than that, I loved his insights into the way that mythology and religion continue to shape fantastic literature and how the genre continues to address important issues in modern life.

  • Kirsti
    2018-11-25 19:12

    Interesting and accessible lectures on fantastical elements in literature. The professor focuses on English-language literature, with some French- and German-language lit as well.People often speculate on why traditional fairy tales are so darkly violent. Rabkin's theory is that grandmothers told the tales to grandchildren while all the able-bodied people were out farming and harvesting. So the parents weren't around to tell the grandmas not to frighten the kids, and the grandmas had a pretty bleak view of life.

  • Coyle
    2018-11-30 21:04

    An excellent lecture series on a fairly eclectic range of "imaginative" fiction. Obviously, all fiction is somewhat imaginative (otherwise it would be nonfiction), and the connecting link to all of these stories seems to be that they are ones the lecturer enjoyed (which isn't a bad thing, most of them seemed quite good). Overall, Rabkin does a decent job of summarizing and an even more decent job of highlighting important themes and innovations in the works. He's also quite a good lecturer, and I would very much enjoy hearing more of what he has to say.

  • Victoria Drob
    2018-12-10 02:05

    I couldn't tear away from this lecture series. Incredibly interesting and made me want to read almost every book discussed, even ones from genres I'm not generally interested in, like science fiction. A multitude of fantastical books are presented with profound insight, mastery, vivid imagery, and societal impact. Moreover, there is attention given to the personal lives and inspirations of several great authors, offering details that I never knew and thoroughly enjoyed learning about.

  • James
    2018-12-03 02:10

    Rabkin is an excellent lecturer who obviously knows his material. Material on Verne, Wells,, Heinlein, Asimov is very good; that on Le Guin, Gibson, and especially Miller's "Canticle for Leibowitz" less so.

  • Jim
    2018-12-20 01:58

    I couldn't even finish it, this was so bad.

  • Melinda
    2018-12-08 19:53

    Again, interesting and recommended.... however this time it was part I missing from the library! I enjoyed parts II and III very much.

  • Trinity
    2018-11-28 21:17

    Broad in scope and very entertaining. I didn't agree with all of the professor's opinions, but even when my viewpoint differed it was still worthwhile to hear this approach.

  • Mario Russo
    2018-11-20 23:07

    What a great course.. brief in each subject but gives a taste on fantastic literature across the ages. Bravo Mr. Rabkin.