18th and 19th century Italian literature

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course is divided into three sections, sociological, historical and monographic, and aims to provide the student with an in-deep representation of cultural dynamics within modern societies. On the one hand, the behaviour of social actors (divided by undifferentiated groups, classes or multitudes: Unit A) is decisive; on the other hand, the creative activities that belong to the writers' class are also decisive. Regarding the latter point, the Units B and C provide a basis: the first, intended to trace some coordinates of the literary system between the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries; the second focused vice versa on a single work pf romance, which is noted for a particular popular amongst the public.
Expected learning outcomes
By the end of the course, the student will have to have an adequate measure of Knowledge and Skills.
Knowledge: they should be able to master from a historical and sociological point of view the development of cultural systems based on their internal dynamics, modulating the attitudes of the lessons with the rejection or confirmation of mass culture.
Skills: they should be able to draw on texts of a certain complexity; they will have to know how to connect and compare said texts. The student should also know how to maneuver within twentieth century Italian-European literature, identifying various phases and currents; and they must prove that they have the right tools for an interpretation and evaluation of a recently published literary text, the better if said text has been able to accrue wide popular success.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
Cultura diffusa e romanzi di successo

The course includes in its entirety 3 teaching modules with different characteristics. The first module has an institutional meaning, and includes topics related to cultural consumption in two perspectives: the society divided into classes, the society in the inter-classist and standardized phase. The second module has a historiographic meaning, and explores 5 different moments of the Italian-European literary civilization in the period between 800 and 900: the popular novel or feuilleton; the small bourgeois entertainment novel; the historical avant-gardes and new ones; the neo-realist period; and finally the Italian-American debate on Postmodernism. The third module is markedly monographic, and focuses on a novel by A. Camilleri, The Shape of Water, the first of the cycle dedicated to Montalbano, trying to explore the reasons for his extraordinary Italian-international success.
Prerequisites for admission
The ability to understand and assimilate the salient contents of a complex text is a fundamental prerequisite. In a disciplinary sense, there is a need for general information on contemporary Italian literature and critical methods, as well as a smattering of the debate on culture in the 8/900's civilizations.
Teaching methods
The topics of the course will be addressed through frontal lectures and continuous solicitations addressed to students, who can intervene by formulating specific questions or comments.
Attendance is not compulsory, but is strongly recommended, especially with regard to module A. Students are those who attend at least two thirds of the lessons.
Teaching Resources
For those who intend to take the 6 CFU exam, we recommend the teaching unit C (mandatory) and a choice between units A and B.

Educational unit A:

Assetti culturali del secondo Novecento (20 ore, 3 CFU)

P. Bourdieu: La distinzione, il Mulino, Bologna 2001
E. Morin, Lo spirito del tempo, Meltemi, Roma 2005

Educational unit B:

Romanzo popolare e di intrattenimento, avanguardie, neorealismo, postmoderno (20 ore, 3 CFU)

V. Spinazzola, Dal romanzo popolare alla narrativa di intrattenimento, in Manuale di letteratura Italia. Storia per generi e problemi, a c. di C. Di Girolamo e F. Brioschi, vol. 4, Dall'Unità d'Italia alla fine del Novecento, Torino, Bollati Boringhieri, 1996, pp. 635 - 700
L. De Maria. La nascita dell'avanguardia, Venezia 1986 (limitatamente al saggio: Futurismo, Dada, Surrealismo, pp. 47 - 63)
L. Fiedler, Cross the Border - Close the Gap, in ID., The Collected Essays of Leslie Fiedler, Stein and Day, New York 1971, pp. 461 - 485 (disponibile presso il docente)

Educational unit C:

Un successo clamoroso di fine Novecento. Andrea Camilleri e il ciclo poliziesco di Montalbano (20 ore, 3 CFU)

A.Camilleri, La forma dell'acqua, Sellerio 1994 (e ogni altra edizione successiva, anche di altro editore)

Critical bibliography:
B. Pischedda, Dieci nel Novecento. Il romanzo italiano di largo pubblico dal Liberty alla fine del secolo, Carocci, Roma 2019: limitatamente alla Prefazione: Il canone della leggibilità (e i suoi inevitabili custodi), pp. 9 - 15; e al cap. 10: Andrea Camilleri, pp. 223 - 247


Students who cannot attend the lessons must add the following bibliography to the texts already indicated in the program:

Educational unit A:

G. Marsiglia, Pierre Bourdieu, una teoria del mondo sociale, CEDAM, Padova 2002 (limitatamente ai capp. II, III e V) (per questo materiale ci si può rivolgere al docente)

Educational unit B:

V. Spinazzola, Le coordinate del sistema letterario, in ID., Critica della lettura, Editori Riuniti, Roma 1992, pp. 39 - 52

Educational unit C:

V. Spinazzola, Lo sbirro scontroso di Andrea Camilleri, in ID., Alte tirature: la grande narrativa d'intrattenimento italiana, Fondazione Arnoldo e Alberto Mondadori, Milano 2012, pp. 112 - 125
Assessment methods and Criteria
The examination will be conducted orally: the test consists of an interview on scheduled topics, aimed at verifying the degree of preparation of the candidate for each teaching unit.
They will be considered for the formulation of the vote:
1 - scope and accuracy of the information;
2 - quality of expression and possession of disciplinary terminology;
3 - identification of the question and analytical-argumentary ability to answer it.

*** At the end of each teaching module, the teacher will simulate an examination session; that is, he will identify a student who wishes to undergo the test voluntarily and will formulate a virtual vote, clarifying the ways in which the formulation of the vote itself is achieved.
Unita' didattica A
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
Lessons: 20 hours