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Classical Literature

  • Oct 24 / 2017
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Classical Literature

Sherlock Holmes: Detective, Linguist, and Scholar

Statue of Sherlock Holmes, London

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

We are all familiar with Conan Doyle’s greatest character, the inimitable Sherlock Holmes. In the following article, I will be pointing out an aspect of this character you may have missed, that he wasn’t just a master detective, but he was also a man who cared about classics and literature. Continue Reading

  • Aug 24 / 2017
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Classical Literature

Overlooked Literature: Old Norse

Manuscript of Prose Edda (Iceland, 1765-1766)

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

This article is part of a series on literature produced in a variety or archaic and modern languages, including Old English, Old Irish, Chinese, Irish, and Gaelic. In this article I focus on the great literary tradition of the Norse peoples. Continue Reading

  • Jul 20 / 2017
  • Comments Off on The Oral Literature of the Apache, Lushootseed, and Arapaho Tribes
Classical Literature

The Oral Literature of the Apache, Lushootseed, and Arapaho Tribes

Native American Family

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB and Erik Ogle, M.A.

Introduction

Though mostly in oral form, Native Americans have produced some real literary treasures that have been passed down by word-of-mouth for thousands of years. In the following article I’ll be discussing three Native American tribes and their most famous examples of oral poetry. Continue Reading

  • May 16 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Benjamin Bagby: A Modern Anglo-Saxon Bard
Classical Literature

Benjamin Bagby: A Modern Anglo-Saxon Bard

Benjamin Bagby

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

Epic poetry is a common genre among most major ancient civilizations. Romans, Ancient Greeks, and Hindus, among others, have produced great poetry that has fascinated mankind down through the centuries. Still, to a modern audience this type of poetry may seem passé and even a bit dull. But why is this? I contend that the primary issue is the lack of scholars and performers nowadays reading epic poetry the way it’s supposed to be read. I’ve seen a number of performers recite epic poetry but I’ve only seen one who truly brought an epic poem to life—the scholar Benjamin Bagby, with his his amazing rendering of the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf! Continue Reading

  • Apr 18 / 2017
  • Comments Off on How 20th-Century Lawyers Sued Jonathan Swift
Classical Literature

How 20th-Century Lawyers Sued Jonathan Swift

Gulliver Exhibited to the Brobdingnag Farmer (painting by Richard Redgrave)

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

The title of this article may sound bizarre. How could Jonathan Swift possibly be sued nowadays? Let me explain how! I corresponded for over ten years with a Brazilian journalist named Janer Cristaldo. Although he held two degrees in law and philosophy plus a Ph.D. in literature from the Sorbonne, he worked his whole life as a journalist as writing was his real passion. He once wrote an article about an event that took place during his early years as a law student, when he published an excerpt from Gulliver’s Travels in his school’s journal. Believe it or not, Jonathan Swift was subsequently sued by both the Order of Brazilian Lawyers and the Association of Magistrates! Continue Reading

  • Jan 17 / 2017
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Classical Literature

Scottish Gaelic: Poetry in the Highlands

MacIan print of Highlanders wearing kilts and plaids separately

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB and John Priest, B.A Cert. Min

Scottish Gaelic is a direct descendent of an early medieval language, Old Irish, and has produced amazing literature with beautiful poems which are sometimes even set to music. Nevertheless, too many Scots still ignore this treasure of their culture or even think that there is no Scottish poetic tradition in any other language but Lowland Scots, which is related to English. In this article we have selected a few wonderful pieces of poetry produced by natives of the Scottish Highlands. Continue Reading

  • Jan 12 / 2017
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Classical Literature

Overlooked Literature: Chinese Literature

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

China has produced real treasures of literature, from works of poetry to those of romance and history. However, this 5000-year-old genre is often overlooked; consequently, there are very few college departments dedicated to Chinese literature. For this reason, we at Carmenta Latin School believe it is time to make the general public more familiar with China’s great literary tradition. We have, therefore, selected three major works produced by this tremendous civilization. Continue Reading

  • Jan 10 / 2017
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Classical Literature

Overlooked Literature: Anglo-Saxon

Beowulf: king Geats

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Today we’re going to look at some of the great literature produced by the Anglo-Saxons, the people whose language gave birth to Middle and Modern English. Although it is spoken by billions around the world, most people don’t realize that English comes from Anglo-Saxon or Old English. There are some marvelous pieces of Old English literature including an epic poem, historiography, and wisdom literature. Continue Reading

  • Dec 22 / 2016
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Classical Literature

Polymaths: Sir Richard Francis Burton

Sir Richard Francis Burton

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Today we’ll be talking about Sir Richard Francis Burton, one of the greatest polymaths of the nineteenth century. The word polymath comes from the Greek πολυμαθής (“knowing much”) and refers to a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. Continue Reading

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