The following is a list of the books to be read for the Foundation Year Program 2023-2024. There will be additional readings from the Foundation Year Handbook, which will be distributed to students by the FYP Office prior to the first day of classes.
All books will be available through the King’s Bookstore, located on the lower level, King’s Academic Building (also called the NAB). Any questions for the Bookstore can be directed to manager Paul MacKay at firstname.lastname@example.org. Should you plan to purchase second-hand books, please aim to obtain the specified translations.
Note for Science students (K1101/2): Students enrolled in KING 1101/2 should not purchase any of the books indicated by * as these are required readings for Thursday lectures only.
You will begin by studying the classical cultures of ancient Greece, Rome and Israel through religious, poetic and philosophical works that articulate ideas and institutions at the origins of Western culture.
The Epic of Gilgamesh, trans. N.K. Sandars (Penguin Classics) 9780140441000
*The Holy Bible (Penguin) 9780452006478
Homer, The Odyssey, trans. Emily Wilson. (Hackett) 9780393356250
Sophocles, King Oidipous, trans. R. Blondell. (Hackett) 9781585100606
Plato, The Republic, trans. Desmond Lee. (Penguin Classics 2nd Edition) 9780140455113
Virgil, The Aeneid, trans. Bartsch (Random House Publishing Group) 9781984854124
From the collapse of the ancient world arose medieval Europe, a culture apparently unified both religiously and politically, but in fact riven by deep tension and conflict. This section is brought to profound poetic conclusion in a reading of Dante’s Divine Comedy.
Qur’an, trans. M.A.S. Abdel Haleem (Oxford World Classics) 9780199535958
Saint Augustine, The Confessions, trans. H. Chadwick (Oxford World’s Classics) 9780199537822
Dante, The Divine Comedy: Inferno; Purgatorio; Paradiso, trans. A. Mandlebaum (Everyman’s Library) 9780679433132
Anonymous, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, trans. K. Harrison (Oxford World’s Classics) 9780199540167
*Marie de France, The Lais of Marie de France, trans. G.S. Burgess and K. Busby (Penguin Classics) 9780140447590
*Ibn Tufayl Hayy Ibn Yaqzan, A Philosophical Tale, trans. L.E. Goodman (University of Chicago Press) 9780226303109
This section is characterized by ambiguity as Europeans look back to revive the ideals of antiquity (renaissance) and begin something new, the modern world. It is an age of worldliness, but also, as the Reformation shows, of radical piety. This is an age of a new sense of the human and of nature that will lead to good and evil as Europe spreads its culture throughout the world.
Pico della Mirandola, On the Dignity of Man, trans. C.G. Wallis, P.J.W. Miller, and D.
Carmichael (Hackett Classics) 9780872203969
Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, trans. P. Bondanella (Oxford World’s Classics) 9780199535699
William Shakespeare, Othello (Penguin) 9780143128618
Tullia d’Aragona, Dialogue on the Infinity of Love, trans. R. Russell, Bruce Merry 9780226136394
Michel de Montaigne, The Essays: A Selection, trans. M.A. Screech (Penguin Classics)
Wu Cheng’en, Monkey King – Journey to the West, trans. Julia Lovell (Penguin Classics) 9780143136309
Francis Bacon, Selected Philosophical Works, ed. Rose-Mary Sargeant (Hackett Classics) 9780872204706
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the modern world fully established itself in thought, in science, in politics and society. Here you encounter accounts of human freedom and nature that are at the basis of our own sense of a secular world established for human happiness and well-being.
René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, trans. I. Johnston (Broadview Press) 9781554811526
*Madame de Lafayette, The Princesse de Cleves, trans. T. Cave (Oxford World’s Classics)
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Parts 1 and 2 (Broadview Press) 9781554810406
John Locke, The Second Treatise of Civil Government (Broadview Press) 9781554811564
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Basic Political Writings, trans. I. Johnston (Broadview Press)
*Voltaire, Candide, ed. E. Palmer (Broadview Press) 9781551117461
Friedrich Schiller, The Robbers, trans. F.J. Lamport (Penguin Classics) 9780140443684
Quobna Ottobah Cugoano, Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery (Penguin Classics)
Immanuel Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, trans. T. K. Abbott (Broadview Press)
With the French Revolution, Europeans began a series of revolutions that sought to overthrow the older world of order and hierarchy to create a world that directly serves human ends and purposes. In this effort arose theories and political movements of liberalism and socialism and in response to them, profound political, literary and philosophic reactions and critiques.
G.W.F. Hegel, Introduction to the Philosophy of History, trans. Leo Rauch (Hackett), 9780872200562
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein: Or, The Modern Prometheus, ed. D.L. Macdonald & K. Scherf (Broadview Press) 9781554811038
*Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto (Broadview) 9781551113333
*Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories, trans. Kirsten Lodge (Broadview) 9781554813223
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo, trans. Walter Kaufmann (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) 9780679724629
W.E.B. Du Bois, Souls of Black Folk (Dover) 9780486280417
Anton Chekhov, Five Plays (Oxford UP) 9780199536696
In our own age, two world wars and a deepened experience of the modern world have given rise to a radical rethinking of various aspects of the western tradition, and a concern for much that characterizes our time: technology, globalization, social and political structures, and the human relation to nature and our own bodies.
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land (Broadview Press) 9781551119687
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich) 9780156907392
Marie Clements, Burning Vision (Talonbooks) 9780889224728
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, trans. C. Borde (Vintage/Random) 9780307277787
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, trans. R. Philcox (Grove Press) 9780802158635
Primo Levi, The Drowned and the Saved (Simon & Schuster, reissued 2017) 9781501167638
*Henry David Hwang, M. Butterfly (Plume) 9780452272590