johnstonia

 

This is the home page of Ian Johnston, a retired instructor (now a Research Associate) at Vancouver Island University (formerly Malaspina College), Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. It is designed to provide curricular material for various courses in literature and Liberal Studies.

 

This site is under continual construction (last revised January 2012). For comments, questions, corrections, and so on, please contact Ian Johnston. For information about copyright on the material listed anywhere on this site, check the following link: Copyright.

 

 

[Vancouver Island University]—[Capitan Mail]


This site is dedicated to the memory of my son Geoffrey, 1974-1997

 

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Generations of men are like the leaves.
In winter, winds blow them down to earth,
but then, when spring season comes again,
the budding wood grows more. And so with men
:
one generation grows, another dies away. (Iliad
6)

 

 

SITE INDEX

 

Book Reviews

Curricular Material for Classics 101

E-Text Catalogue

General Study Materials (Handbooks)

Introductory Lecture Series

Miscellaneous Essays (by Ian Johnston)

Studies in Shakespeare

 

 

E-TEXT CATALOGUE FOR THIS SITE

 

Some of these texts are available in Publisher or Word format for those who wish to make booklets, so that they or their students can read the works as books rather than as printed web pages. There is no charge for these files. For details, please use the following link: Word files.

 

AESCHYLUS

Oresteia (Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, Eumenides)
Persians
Prometheus Bound
Seven Against Thebes  
Suppliant Women

 

ARISTOPHANES

Birds
Clouds
Frogs
Knights
Lysistrata
Peace

 

ARISTOTLE

Nicomachean Ethics (Abridged)

 

JOHN BUNYAN

The Pilgrim’s Progress

 

GEORGES CUVIER

Discourse on the Revolutionary Upheavals on the Surface of the Earth (pdf)

English Reviews of the First Edition of Cuvier’s Essay: British Review and London Critical Journal (1813); Edinburgh Review, 1813-1814

 

CHARLES DARWIN

On the Origin of Species (1859 text, abridged)
Preface to Later Editions of the Origin of Species
Review of Origin of Species by Richard Owen (1869)
Review of Origin of Species by Fleeming Jenkin (1867)

 

RENE DESCARTES
Discourse on Method
Meditations on First Philosophy
(1641)

 

DENIS DIDEROT

A Conversation Between D’Alembert and Diderot
D’Alembert’s Dream
Rameau’s Nephew

 

EURIPIDES

Bacchae
Electra
Hippolytus

Medea
Orestes

 

HOMER

Iliad
Odyssey

 

JAMES HUTTON

Theory of the Earth; or an Investigation of the Laws Observable in the Composition, Dissolution, and Restoration of Land upon the Globe (1785)

 

FRANZ KAFKA

The Metamorphosis
Selected Short Writings

 

IMMANUEL KANT

Universal History of Nature and Theory of Heaven
On Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Tract

 

JEAN-BAPTISTE LAMARCK

Zoological Philosophy, Volume I

 

LUCRETIUS

On the Nature of Things

 

JOHN STUART MILL

On Liberty (Drastically Abridged)

 

FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE

Beyond Good and Evil
On the Use and Abuse of History for Life
The Birth of Tragedy
The Genealogy of Morals

 

OVID

Metamorphoses

 

JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU

Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts [First Discourse]
Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men [Second Discourse]
The Social Contract

 

SOPHOCLES

Ajax (pdf)
Antigone
Oedipus the King
Oedipus at Colonus

Philoctetes

 

THUCYDIDES

History of the Peloponnesian War (Abridged CrawleyText)

 

WEDEKIND

Castle Wetterstein (English and German texts)

Marquis of Keith (English and German texts)



CURRICULAR MATERIALS FOR CLASSICS 101

 

Background Material on Classical Greece

On Classical Greek Culture

A Note on the Trojan War

 

 

GENERAL STUDY MATERIALS

 

And Still We Evolve . . . (A Handbook on the Early History of Modern Science)

Essays and Arguments (A Handbook on Writing Argumentative Essays)

Guide to the Marking of Written Assignments

I’ll Give You a Definite Maybe: A Handbook on Probability, Statistics, and Excel

Writing Reviews of Fine and Performing Arts Events

Participating in Seminars

Grammar Review Exercises

A Practical Introduction to College Teaching

 

 

INTRODUCTORY LECTURE SERIES

 

[This section lists the texts of various introductory and public lectures and supplementary notes prepared for college courses, particularly for Liberal Studies at Vancouver Island University (once Malaspina College). These are not scholarly studies of the works listed but rather initial introductions designed for readers who are encountering these texts for the first time. These materials are in the public domain and may be used, in whole or in part, by anyone without permission and without charge, provided the source is acknowledged. For comments or questions, please contact Ian Johnston.]

 

On Aeschylus, Oresteia

On Alfons Mucha and Art Nouveau

On the American Adam: Why God Rides a Harley in the Land of the Free

On Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem

On Aristophanes, Clouds

On Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

On the Life of Aristotle

On de Beauvoir, The Second Sex: Some Historical Aspects of Feminism

On Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress

On Chaucer, The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales

On Cubist Architecture in Prague

On Czech History

On Dante, The Inferno

On Dawkins, The Selfish Gene

On Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

On Descartes, Discourse on Method

On Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground

On Dryden, “Mac Flecknoe”: Introduction to Satire

On T. S. Eliot: “Prufrock” and The Waste Land

On Euripides, The Bacchae

On the Book of Exodus

On Frayn, Copenhagen

On Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents

On the Gospel of Matthew and the Epistle to the Romans

On Hasek, The Good Soldier Svejk

On Hildegard of Bingen: Mystical Writing

On Hobbes, Leviathan

On Homer, The Iliad (series of essays)

On Homer, The Odyssey

On Ibsen, A Doll’s House

On William James, Varieties of Religious Experience

On Kafka’s Metamorphosis (A lecture by Karl Marx)

On Kant, “Perpetual Peace”

On Lucretius, On the Nature of Things

On Machiavelli, The Prince

On Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

On Marx, The Communist Manifesto and Other Writings

On Mill, On Liberty

On Milton, Paradise Lost

On Montaigne, Essays

On Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

On Ovid, Metamorphoses

On Plato, Poesis in Plato’s Republic

On Plato, The Meno

On English Poetry in the Romantic Era

On Rorty, Contingency, irony and solidarity

On Rousseau, Emile

On Rousseau, The Discourse on Inequality

On Shakespeare (Lectures in Studies of Shakespeare)

On Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

On Sophocles, Oedipus the King

On Spiegelman, Maus I and II

On Stendhal, Red and Black

On Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

On Swift, Gulliver’s Travels

On Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War

On the Trojan War (A Summary Account)

On Twain, Huckleberry Finn

On Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

On Woolf, To the Lighthouse

 

 

STUDIES IN SHAKESPEARE

 

Critical Approaches to Shakespeare: Some Initial Observations

Henry IV, Part 1: A Short Introductory Note

Historical Background to Shakespeare’s History Cycles

Lectures on Shakespeare

On Scholarship and Literary Interpretation: An Introductory Note

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS ESSAYS
[by Ian Johnston]

 

Ancient and Modern Science: Some Observations

Deconstructing Shakespeare

E-Coli (A Satirical Ezine)

The Illogic of a Creationist Argument

Creationism in the Science Curriculum?

God’s Handicap: Golf as Spiritual Ordeal

In Praise of Conversation

My Body the Billboard

Malaspina at the Crossroads: Reflections for the Record

Myth Conceptions of Academic Work Once More

No Snakes on These Islands

A Proposal to Reduce the Cost of Undergraduate Education

Research Revisited: The Rage of Caliban

To the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns

The Short Proof of Evolution

Some Non-Scientific Observations on the Importance of Darwin

Towards an Initial Understanding of Science

On Western Civilization: Or Why is Everyone Trying to Learn English?

Our Universities: How We Got Where We Are

Why Should I Obey the State?

 

 

BOOK REVIEWS

 

Nancy Bermeo, Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times: The Citizenry and the Breakdown of Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2003).

 

Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything (Doubleday Canada, 2003).

 

Thomas Cahill, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter (Nan A. Talese [Doubleday] 2003).

 

Francis Crick, Of Molecules and Men (Prometheus Books, 2004) and Paul Kurtz, Affirmations: Joyful and Creative Exuberance (Prometheus Books, 2004), reviewed together.

 

Phil Dowe, Galileo, Darwin, and Hawking: The Interplay of Science, Reason and Religion (William B. Eerdmans, 2005).

 

Robert Jewett and John Shelton Lawrence, Captain America and the Crusade Against Evil: The Dilemma of Zealous Nationalism (Eerdmans, 2003).

 

Robert Kaplan, Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos (Vintage Books, 2003).

 

Stephen Lewis, Race Against Time (Anansi Press, 2005).

 

Richard Rorty, Contingency, irony and solidarity (Cambridge University Press, 1989).

 

Amartya Sen, Identity of Violence: The Illusion of Destiny (New York: Norton, 2006) and Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star, Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences (MIT Press, 2000).

 

Ross A. Slotten, The Heretic in Darwin’s Court: The Life of Alfred Russel Wallace (Columbia University Press, 2004).

 

Timothy E. Quill and Margaret P. Battin, editors, Physician-Assisted Dying: The Case for Palliative Care and Patient Choice (Johns Hopkins, 2004).

 

 

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