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The Classic Text

Traditions and Interpretations

In what ways have such classic works as the Bible and the plays of William Shakespeare been presented to a loyal readership over the centuries? How have the works of the ancient Greeks and Romans been transmitted through the millennia, and why do they continue to hold such potency and relevance? How has the vivid imagery of Dante's Divine Comedy been depicted and interpreted from the middle ages to the present? Would Milton's Paradise Lost have entered the canon of western literature without the untiring promotional efforts of its principal publisher? Why do works such as Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans and Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin continue to hold secure positions as American literary classics? Would James Joyce's Ulysses have remained an obscure modernist novel without the censorship issues that surrounded it?

These are some of the questions addressed by a major exhibition entitled "The Classic Text: Traditions and Interpretations," that was on view in the Fourth Floor Exhibition Gallery of the Golda Meir Library from May 1996 through March 1997. This exhibit was translated to the Web in 1997 and has now been redesigned for Omeka.

Contents

Introduction

The Bible

Classical Literature

Homer

Aristophanes

Virgil

Ovid

St. Augustine

Dante Alighieri

Geoffrey Chaucer

Edmund Spenser

William Shakespeare

John Milton

James Fenimore Cooper

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Harriet Beecher Stowe

James Joyce

Bibliography