Masterpieces of World Literature walks you through history, landscape, and imagination — sampling and refining from a large corpus of world literature.
A pity I haven’t finished the reading material before lossing access to the course. Hence here I would record the list.
Below all quoted from the course material.
The Epic of Gilgamesh
The course team recommends the English translation by Andrew George. For a public domain English translation, you can use R. Campbell Thompson’s version, and you can find a version of some of the Babylonian fragments on Project Gutenberg.
The advised reading for this module includes books 5-12 of the Odyssey. Strongly encouraged but not required are the first book and books 23 and 24. The course team recommends the English translation by Robert Fagles. But you can find a public domain English translation at the Perseus Project. If you would like to look at an edition of The Odyssey in the original Greek, you can also find that at the Perseus Project.
The 1001 Nights
Advised readings include the Prologue, The Story of King Shahrayar and Shahrazad, His Vizier’s Daughter, The Tale of the Ox and the Donkey, The Tale of the Merchant and His Wife, The Story of the Merchant and the Demon, The First Old Man’s Tale, The Second Old Man’s Tale, The Third Old Man’s Tale, The Story of the Fisherman and the Demon, The Tale of King Yunan and the Sage Duban, The Tale of the Husband and the Parrot, The Tale of the King’s Son and the She–Ghoul, The Tale of the Enchanted King.
For a modern English translation, the course team recommends the The Arabian Nights, trans. Husain Haddawy (Norton, 2008). The 1885 translation of the 1001 Nights by the British explorer and Arabist Richard Francis Burton is available via the Internet Archive.
The Tale of Genji
The advised reading assignment includes: From Chapter I. The Lady of the Paulownia–Courtyard Chambers; From Chapter II. Broom Cypress; From Chapter V. Little Purple Gromwell; From Chapter VII. An Imperial Celebration of Autumn Foliage; From Chapter IX. Leaves of Wild Ginger; From Chapter XII. Exile to Suma; From Chapter XIII. The Lady at Akashi; From Chapter XXV. Fireflies; From Chapter XL. The Rites.
For an English translation, the course team recommends Royall Tyler’s translation. You may find a public domain English translation of the text by Edward G. Seidensticker at the University of Oxford Text Archive. If you would like to attempt to read a 1654 Japanese version of the text, you can find it at the Asian Division of the Library of Congress.
The advised reading for this module is the entirety of The Lusiads. You can read the epic in English translation at Project Gutenberg. You may also find it in the original Portuguese at oslusiadas.org/i/.
Your advised reading is the entirety of Candide. Here is a link to the 1918 English edition of Candide translated by William F. Fleming hosted by Project Gutenberg. Multiple editions in French are available online. The original 1759 edition is available from the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The 1829 Beuchot edition of the text is viewable via Wikisource.
Lu Xun and Eileen Chang
The advised readings for this week include the full text of Lu Xun’s "Diary of a Madman" and Eileen Chang’s "Sealed Off." The course team recommends the English translation of Lu Xun’s work by William A. Lyell. You can find a public domain English translation of "Diary of a Madman" here, and in the original Chinese at Project Gutenberg. You can find Chang’s "Sealed Off" in English translation in Love in a Fallen City, but the text is also published online with permission of New York Review Books.
The advised reading this week is Borges’ story, "The Garden of Forking Paths." We also strongly recommend "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote," "The Library of Babel," "Tlön Uqbar, Orbis Tertius," and "Death and the Compass." The course team recommends the English translations by Anthony Kerrigan, in the volume Ficciones. You may find some of Borges’ works in the original Spanish at Open Library.
Death and the King’s Horseman
The recommended reading for the week is Death and the King’s Horseman in its entirety.
Salman Rushdie and Jhumpa Lahiri
The recommended readings include: From Rushdie’s East, West, “The Prophet’s Hair,” “At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers,” and if time permits, all three of the final set of stories, but particularly “Chekov and Zulu.” From Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies: "A Temporary Matter," "Interpreter of Maladies," and "The Third and Final Continent."
The course team recommends you read My Name Is Red. Most important are the first 7 very short chapters, chapters 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, as well as chapters 18, 19, and 20. This way you will get a sense of the main characters and of the main conflict. We also recommend chapter 29, which contains a detailed description of miniatures, and chapter 47. But if you’d like to know how the novel ends, you should keep reading!