A pillar of the West African oral tradition for centuries, this epic traces the adventures and achievements of the Mande hero, Sunjata, as he liberates his people from Sumaworo Kante, the sorcerer king of Soso, and establishes the great medieval empire of Mali. David Conrad conveys the strong narrative thrust of the Sunjata epic in his presentation of substantial excerpts from his translation of a performance by Djanka Tassey Conde. Readers approaching the epic for the first time will appreciate the translation's highly readable, poetic English as well as Conrad's informative Introduction and notes. Scholars will find the familiar heroes and heroines taking on new dimensions, secondary characters gaining increased prominence, and previously unknown figures emerging from obscurity.
Published in 1554, The Life of Lazarillo of Tormes introduced a new genre of writing, the picaresque. This classic, award-winning adaptation of the anonymous masterpiece tells the story of the young and constantly hungry protagonist, Lazaro, whose worldly education on the road through a series of masters presents a sly, often comical critique of 16th-century Spain
In this stylized dramatization of the puppet theater play, Jihei abandons business, family and self respect for a passionate love affair with a geisha whose freedom he cannot afford. As the world closes in upon him, he finds his only course of action to be death together with the lover he is unable to obtain in life
30 min. streaming video: Examined are the poem's anti-Catholic tone; the use of the Narcissus myth; the weak, headmaster-like characterization of God; Eve as the strong, archetypal woman; Satan as hero; and criticism of Milton as a misogynist. A brief biography of Milton highlights philosophical debates of the period
Combining beautiful location footage with original manuscripts, paintings, letters, readings, and scenes from selected performances, this program presents the life and works of Lope de Vega, the prolific playwright who single-handedly crafted a national drama for Spain.