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Invitation to World Literature

The Bhagavad Gita (#105)

This epic tale of the warrior-prince Arjuna confronting a life-or-death dilemma during civil war. [26 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Series Description: INVITATION TO WORLD LITERATURE brings together a tantalizing mix of writers, literary scholars, artists and performers to explore timeless tales from a variety of eras and cultures. Writers and scholars discuss key scenes while artists and performers deliver modern interpretations of an eclectic collection stretching from ancient Greece (Euripides) to the French Enlightenment (Voltaire) to the modern day (Gabriel Garcia Marquez). Guests include: actor Alan Cummings, theater director Mary Zimmerman, actor-director Tim Blake-Nelson, acclaimed composer Philip Glass, playwright David Henry Huang, film director Harold Ramis, actress Kristen Chenoweth and humorist Mo Rocca.

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  • The Epic of Gilgamesh (#101)

    The story of Gilgamesh is a tale of the relations between gods and mortals and the search for love. [26 minutes]

  • My Name Is Red (#102)

    A historical novel and a graphic murder mystery set among the miniaturists of the Ottaman court. [26 minutes]

  • Odyssey (#103)

    Odysseus must travel the known and unknown world before he can return to his kingdom of Ithaca. [26 minutes]

  • The Bacchae (#104)

    The city of Thebes is torn apart as the disguised god Dionysus returns, demanding to be worshipped. [26 minutes]

  • The Tale of Genji (#106)

    This portrait of court life in medieval Japan follows the life and exploits of the great Genji. [26 minutes]

  • Journey to the West (#107)

    The powerful and mischievous Stone Monkey King brings chaos to heaven and earth. [26 minutes]

  • Popol Vuh (#108)

    The epic Mayan book of creation is now interwoven with the history of today's Mayan people. [26 minutes]

  • Candide (#109)

    Volaire's challenge to the aristocracy of his day proves refreshingly amusing and biting today. [26 minutes]

  • Things Fall Apart (#110)

    Perspectives of readers from around the world reveal the universal themes of this African novel. [26 minutes]

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude (#111)

    Magical realism abounds in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's multigenerational saga of the Buendia family. [26 minutes]

  • The God of Small Things (#112)

    Fraternal twins struggle to reclaim their lives in a narrative of Indian society and politics. [26 minutes]

  • The Thousand and One Nights (#113)

    Shahrazad must hold the interest of her despotic husband with nightly tales, lest she lose her life. [26 minutes]

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