• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Week 3 Land of Cockaigne

Page history last edited by Andrea Brownstein 15 years, 9 months ago


The Good Life.  Cockaigne

September 1 - 5



Monday. Labor Day. No School




=Discussion. Hesiod and parallels with Eden

= Nicholas Poussin: “Et in Arcadia Ego”

= Homework for Wednesday: Listen to Lennon’s “Imagine” on the wiki.




= Discussion: What are the elements of a utopian vision?

· What distinguishes a vision from a community?

· Discussion: What questions can we ask about the works we have read so far?




= Discussion. Vergil (pp 8-9), Prester John (pp 14-15), and Cockaigne (pp 71-76), Utopia Reader

= Homework for Friday. Listen to “The Big Rock Candy Mountain” on the wiki! Ass’n 3. Write about the American version of Cockaigne (handouts for examples).


Friday. Recap

= Discussion of American Cockaigne




Looking Ahead

Read Aristotle on wiki, under "The Good Life”

Return to Utopia discussion

Begin reading Walden Two—you have about 2 weeks to complete it

Comments (4)

Andrea Brownstein said

at 10:02 am on Sep 3, 2008

Comparing Eden and Hesiod's Golden Age. Commonalities: bounty, no pain, no materialist concerns, peaceful, no need for purpose; limited companionship, man cast out to suffer or man descended to the Iron Age of suffering.
Differences: A garden (planned, shaped) -- the world (as found); death present but easeful--no death until transgressions, then labor and suffering; lots of company; temptation in Eden, none in Golden Age (Hesiod does not tell us how humans have come to their degenerate state).
The Big Question: Why do the gods bother? Why do they invent free will & make it possible to choose pain?

Andrea Brownstein said

at 2:24 pm on Sep 3, 2008

= To make intellectual growth, we need to explore, to read more widely than the assigned work, and to think beyond the class period. Look around! What do you make of these ideas?
= The difference between a utopian idea and a community lies in the necessity of accounting for differences in individuals. Good communities have something they share; they agree on goals. They need diversity in order to make progress; they need to adjust to changing conditions. Communities need a government: for protection of individual rights, protection from the outside, as a role model for behavior; to keep order and manage consequences of bad behavior (the mosaic law, "and eye for an eye..." is about tempering responses to hurt).

Andrea Brownstein said

at 12:15 pm on Sep 8, 2008

Vergil's Eclogue 4 (a short, pastoral poem), which describes the Golden Age and contrasts it with the world as Vergil found it. A short lecture on the importance of looking up words you do not know and pursuing the topics we study beyond the boundaries of the reading assignments. The Question of the Day: Why would someone like Vergil, or anyone for that matter, bother to write such in such an obviously fantastic manner? Some ideas: what we can imagine we want; mental play & imagination have their own pleasures; if your life is terrible, it is helpful to imagine something better; it's the human thing to want more and better.

Andrea Brownstein said

at 12:22 pm on Sep 8, 2008

"Big Rock Candy Mountain" and the American Cockaigne. What is rock candy? What are the circumstances the singer finds himself in? What do we want in our lives that supplies up purely with physical pleasure?

You don't have permission to comment on this page.