German literature 2

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course is the second phase in the three-year German Literature Programme and is aimed at second-year students who have already been introduced into the German literary field and its classic-romantic canon and are being taught German language for four semesters. The course aims to develop in students an understanding and appreciation of literary growth and traditions (history of literature 1815-1918 in German speaking countries) and competences in close-reading (poems and extracts in German), autonomous reading and critical interpretation (entire prose and drama works both in German and Italian, literary criticism), theoretical and methodological issues. The course thus aims to equip students for a further training in German studies and for a growing awareness of historical, philological and critical complexity in the field of German literature and culture.
Expected learning outcomes
As far as the Dublin Descriptors are concerned, following learning outcomes are expected:
Knowledge and understanding: overview of literary ages and genres in the German literary field between 1815 and 1918, with reference to major authors and works and to the socio-political, cultural and artistic background; understanding of formal and thematic features of literary texts and of the main critical approaches to them in contemporary German studies.
Applying knowledge and understanding: skills in the close-reading of a given set of literary texts in the original language and in discussing entire works and putting them into larger cultural context after autonomous reading (in Italian or German); ability in processing class contents and self-study into personal statements and critical readings (both in written and oral form); ability in comparing literary phenomena and in linking them to parallel tendencies in cultural and art history of the given time span.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
The course is entitled German Literature between the Congress of Vienna and World War I (1815-1918) and consists in three teaching units:
A: The 19th century as the Age of Realism
B: Turn of the 20th century: tradition, modernism, avantgarde
C: Reading in depth: philological and critical insights

The course delivers 9 credits; teaching units are all compulsory.
The course deals with German literature of the period between the Congress of Vienna and the World War I (1815-1918) and follows thus up on the contents of the "German Literature 1" course. Historical-cultural contextes and literary tendencies are briefly discussed in general and then verified in the close reading of a set of texts and excerpts (units A and B). Three great works, which will be proposed as canonical examples for each literary genre, will be dealed with in further depth, touching also on philological and critical issues and discussing aspects of reception (unit C).

The course program is valid until September 2021. Starting with the exam term of December 2021 the program of the 2020-21 course will only be valid.
Prerequisites for admission
As close reading of texts in German is at the core of lessons, activities and exam, and analytical and critical skills are to be trained in the context of international German studies, basic acquaintance with both Italian and German literary tools is a prerequisite and has to be developed during the course. To be able to face this path, it is in particular necessary to have good acquaintance with the phonetical and morphosyntactic structures of the German language and to be willing to expand knowledge of lexical and stilistical items, analytical skills and critical awareness through reading, translating and commenting of literary texts and criticism. General abilities in reading, understanding and discussing in one's mother language form and contents of literary texts, textbooks and critical materials are also required. Finally, knowledge and skills at high-school level relating to European history, literature, and culture of the 19th-20th centuries and knowledge and competencies gained in the first year courses are taken for granted.
It is therefore recommended to take the exam after having completed all first-year exams. As a basic rule, "German Literature 2" exam can only be taken after having passed both "German Language 1" and "German Literature 1" (otherwise the exam will have to taken again after completing the previous ones ).
Erasmus students and mobility students are admitted, provided they have corresponding skills.
Teaching methods
The course adopts following teaching methods: frontal introductory lectures; reading, translation and formal and thematic commentary of texts and excerpts in the original language; discussion of philological, critical and interpretative problems.
Teaching Resources
The course has a website on the "Ariel" online teaching platform ( There one finds materials for attending the course and preparing for the exam as well as further information and material.

Teaching units A, B & C
The program of the three units is unique and consists of four compulsory sections.

1) Handbook of German Literature
- C.M. Buglioni, M. Castellari, A. Goggio, M. Paleari: Letteratura tedesca. Epoche, generi, intersezioni. Vol. 1. Milano: Mondadori 2019. (for "German Literature 2" please read thoroughly Parte terza. Dalla Restaurazione alla Prima guerra mondiale, that is: Prefaces to Part Three and to the single ages, Chapters 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13; all further materials(both in the volume itsels and online): insight boxes, glossary, tables, online texts and insights.

A corpus of lyrical, dramatic, narrative and essays in German where some works presented in the handbook are selected. The Anthology will be made available on ARIEL at the beginning of the course. It will be used in the classroom starting from the second lesson.

Each student must choose one of the following groups and read all the works there listed.
Cross-cutting choices are not allowed, as each group is built to collect examples of different ages, genres and authors. It is recommended to read introductions and / or afterwords. The choice between the various existing editions is free as long as they are integral versions. One can read these works in German or in translation; proven reading in German is a title of merit.

Group A
- H. Heine, "Die Harzreise";
- A. Stifter, "Brigitta":
- H. v. Hofmannsthal, "Elektra";
- Th. Mann, "Königliche Hoheit"
- F. Kafka, "Das Schloß".

Group B
- A. v. Droste-Hülshoff, "Die Judenbuche";
- C.F. Meyer, "Das Amulett";
- F. Wedekind, "Lulu";
- Th. Mann, "Der Tod in Venedig";
- F. Kafka, "Der Prozeß".

Group C
- F. Grillparzer, "Medea";
- Th. Fontane, "Effi Briest";
- A. Schnitzler, "Leutnant Gustl";
- Th. Mann, "Tristan";
- F. Kafka, "Amerika".

Group D
- E. Mörike, "Mozart auf der Reise nach Prag";
- G. Hauptmann, "Bahnwärter Thiel";
- Th. Mann, "Die Buddenbrooks";
- F. Kafka, "Die Verwandlung";
- G. Kaiser, "Von morgens bis mitternachts".

Group E
- C.D. Grabbe, "Don Juan und Faust"
- G. Keller, "Romeo und Julia auf dem Dorfe";
- Th. Mann, "Tonio Kröger";
- R. Musil, "Die Verwirrungen des Zöglings Törleß"
- F. Kafka, "In der Strafkolonie".

Alongside the anthological readings, the course focuses in depth on three great canonical examples of German Literature of the period 1815-1918, choosing a work of the dramatic genre, one of the lyric genre and one of the narrative genre. This is made in order to provide students with philological and critical tools to face the study of a literary work in its entirety and on the basis of a mature awareness of epochal and gender traits as well as its subsequent critical fortune. The three works and the study materials related to them will be indicated and reported on the ARIEL page of the course. There one finds further tools for the analysis and interpretation of literary texts.

Informations for non-attending students
The attendance of the "German Literature 2" course is highly recommended as it is one of the compulsory exams for those who study German Language and Literature in the context of Foreign Languages and Literatures.
During office hours, non-attending students (i.e. those who do not attend at all and those who attend less than 75% of the lessons) will be given further directions for the preparation of the exam. Anyhow, the number of entire works to be read by non-attending students is 7 (an entire group of 5 + at least 2 chosen from the others). For the rest, the program coincides with that of attending students.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam has to be taken entirely in a single term. Both written test and interview are usually in Italian. One can choose to take the exam in German, too (except from the brief translation from German into Italian in the oral test, part 2).
The exam consists of a preliminary written test (1) which gives access to an oral test on the contents of the scheduled readings (2-4). The exam aims to test knowledge and skills obtained during the coures and/or through individual study. One takes the interview taking along all literary texts. The translation of single words or expressions on original texts is allowed; line-by-line translation of long passages is not allowed.

These are therefore the four parts of the exam

The test taker responds to historical-literary, textual, critical-methodological items by writing a guided text (short essay) and by choosing the right answer (multiple choice). Questions can concern every part of the program; the test must be taken without materials or notes (max. 15pt., To be admitted to the oral test, at least 9 pt. are required). The test is in Italian; the short answer can be written in German too; eventual excerptes reported here are both in German and Italian. Multiple choice questions are formulated in Italian and regard excerpts in German only. The written test is valid only for the exam term in which it is carried out and gives admission to the oral test of the same term. If one does not pass the oral test, both written and oral test are to be taken on the next term.

Once the written part has been passed, an oral test is carried out; this also assigns max. 15 pt. and consists of:
PART 2) Reading, translation, comment and contextualization of a text/excerpt from the anthology;
PART 3) Presentation of individual complete readings (structure, style, themes, contextual aspects);
PART 4) Discussion of the philological and ritical insights.

Summing up the score of the written and of the oral test the final grade is obtained. Since each of the four exam parts must be passed, the exam stops when the passing grade is not obtained. A note of merit may be assigned for each part and lead to 'cum lode' in the overall evaluation.

The final grade is expressed in thirtieths. The student has the right to refuse it (in this case the exam will be recorded with "withdrawn").
International or Erasmus incoming students are invited to contact the professor (mail; office hours). The examination procedures for students with disabilities and / or with DSA must be agreed with the professor, in agreement with the competent Office.
Unita' didattica A
L-LIN/13 - GERMAN LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
L-LIN/13 - GERMAN LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
L-LIN/13 - GERMAN LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
office hours - please book an appointment by email
virtual classroom on Teams. code 0nzjzr4 [office hours will resume as soon as possible, depending on how the emergency situation evolves]