Scandinavian literature 2

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
This course aims at developing interpretive and analytic skills in the evaluation of a specific thematic strand in Danish, Norwegian and Swedish literary works from the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition, it furnishes an overview of the history of Scandinavian literature in the 20th century, and intends to equip students with the capacity to read and analyze poems, short stories and a small selection of novels.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding: students will approach Scandinavian 19th and 20th century literature by focusing on a chosen theme present in works by Danish, Norwegian and Swedish writers, as well as acquire knowledge of the history of 20th century Scandinavian literature, its main authors, currents and oeuvres.
Applying knowledge and understanding: students will learn how to examine a chosen theme by working knowledgeably with secondary literature, practice critical reading of texts written in all three Scandinavian languages, understand how to situate authors, movements and works in their context, and examine literary works representative of the Scandinavian 20th century with a critical eye.
Course syllabus and organization

Unique edition

Lesson period
Second semester
This course (9 cfu) examines the relationship between science and literature, often described as an antagonistic affair. Unit A looks at how scientists have been imagined by Scandinavian writers over a period spanning a hundred years. Unit B investigates how technological innovations have fertilized literature; as myth and metaphor, for their ability to tranform reality and for their poetic potential. Unit C offers an insight into the history of Scandinavian literature in the 20th century.

Unit A: Dr Stockmann in En Folkefiende (1882), Leo Kall in Kallocain (1940), P.W. Lund in Lagoa Santa (1981)
Unit B: Technologies of speed and technologies of perception in the writings of H.C. Andersen, H. Ibsen and H. Parland
Unit C: Scandinavian literature in the 20th century

Each unit has a weekly appointment.

This course syllabus is valid until September 2021. From September 2021 onwards, students are required to adopt the course syllabus for 2020-21 only.
Prerequisites, exams and assessment
Students are required to have passed Scandinavian languages 1 and Scandinavian literature 1 to be admitted. Although the teaching is done in Italian and the literary works avaliable in Italian translation, texts written in Danish, Norwegian and Swedish will be used in class. The reading list, which will be discussed during the lessons, includes critical works written both in the Scandinavian languages and in English.
Teaching methods
The teaching methodology combines lectures and class discussions of poetry and prose excerpts selected from the texts on the reading list.
Teaching resources and bibliography
Unit A:
Henrik Ibsen: En folkefiende (1882; Un nemico del popolo) any unabridged edition in Norwegian or Italian; Karin Boye: Kallocain, Stockholm, Bonnier, 1940 (It. transl. by B. Alinei, Kallocaina, Milano, Iperborea, 1993); Henrik Stangerup: Vejen til Lagoa Santa, København, Gyldendal, 1981 (It. transl. by B. Berni, Lagoa Santa, Milano, Iperborea, 1989).
Saggi critici: Arno K. Lepke: Who Is Dr. Stockmann?, in: "Scandinavian Studies" 32: 2, 1960, pp. 57-75; Camilla Storskog: «Neanche i nostri pensieri più intimi ci appartengono»: lo scienziato come strumento del potere in Kallocain (1940) di Karin Boye, in: Formula e metafora. Figure di scienziati nelle letterature e culture contemporanee, a cura di M. Castellari, Milano, Ledizioni 2014. (Di/segni; 8), pp. 217-228; Hans Hagedorn Thomsen: Naturens skyld, in: "Kritik" 58, 1981, pp. 110-118.
INOLTRE: Roslynn Haynes: From Faust to Strangelove. Representations of the Scientist in Western Literature, Baltimore & London, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994, pp. 1-8, 9-22, 92-103, 104-127, 162-186.
‒‒‒: From Alchemy to Artificial Intelligence: Stereotypes of the Scientist in Western Literature, "Public Understanding of Science" 12, 2003, pp. 243-258.
Unità B:
H.C. Andersen: a selection of writings available online in Ariel; Henrik Ibsen: Vildanden (1884; L'anitra selvatica) any unabridged Norwegian or Italian edition; Henry Parland: a selection of writings available online in Ariel.
Critical readings: Marianne Stecher: "Modernity, Technology, and Tourism: Hans Christian Andersen's Futuristic Tales", in: More Than Just Fairy Tales. New Approaches to the Stories of Hans Christian Andersen, ed. Julie K. Allen, Cognella Academic Publishing, 2014, pp. 95-104; Camilla Storskog: "Songs about Iron and of Iron. Henry Parland and the Poetic Potential of Technology", in: Le avanguardie dei Paesi nordici nel contesto europeo del primo Novecento / The Nordic Avant-gardes in the European Context of the Early 20th Century, a cura di / eds. A.M. Segala, P. Marelli & D. Finco, Bari, Edizioni di Pagina, 52-68.
Unità C: AA.VV.: Storia delle letterature scandinave, Milano, Iperborea, 2019, A SELECTION OF PAGES, an anthology of poems and prose available for download in Ariel. Students who attend classes will choose two of the following three reads: Pär Lagerkvist, Il nano, Milano, Iperborea, 1991 [1944]; Karen Blixen, Il pranzo di Babette, preferably in the trilingual edition Torino, Einaudi, 1997 [1950]; Tarjei Vesaas, Gli uccelli, Milano, Iperborea, 1990 [1957].

Second year students may choose between reading the literary works in the original language or in Italian as long as the editions are unabridged. If present, the critical apparatus (introductions, forewords, afterwords, notes) is to be considered part of the reading.

Information for non-attending students
Students unable to attend classes should complement he the course syllabus with the following readings:

Unità A e B:
August Strindberg: Inferno, in Samlade verk 37, Stockholm, Norstedt, 1994 [1897] online in Swedish at: (It. transl. by L. Codignola, in: Inferno, Leggende, Giacobbe lotta, Milano, Adelphi, 1972);
Camilla Storskog: "Vetenskapsmannen i Strindbergs Inferno. Utkast till porträtt i helfigur", in: Strindberg e magia, a cura di Maria Cristina Lombardi, Roma, Istituto Italiano di Studi Germanici, 2019, pp. 97-108.
Unità C: all three of the above-mentioned literary works (iLagerkvist, Blixen, Vesaas).
Students will be assessed through an oral examination conducted by the instructor. Students are expected to be able to to answer questions concerning topics discussed in class; to provide analyses and comments to passages from texts on the reading list; to demonstrate the capacity to contextualize the literary works and analyze structural elements also with the help of the methodological tools provided in the theoretical texts present in the course syllabus.
Second year students can choose whether to take the exam in Italian or in Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish. Grades are on a scale of 30, with a minimum of 18 (pass) and a maximum of 30+lode. Students have the right to reject the mark.

International and Erasmus students are requested to contact the instructor upon arrival if they intend to take this course.
Unita' didattica A
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
Lessons: 20 hours