Italian contemporary literature

A.Y. 2020/2021
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
L-FIL-LET/11
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide a first overview of contemporary Italian literature, according to three perspectives. The first one is critical and methodological: it introduces the knowledge of the contemporary literary system institutions. The second one is historical: it describes the changing relationships between writers and readers during the twentieth century. The third provides close reading cases: it analyses a selection of literary works and exemplary authors.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge: 1) Essential historical overview of Italian literature from Unity to the present day (major works and authors, main genres and trends, time frames). 2) Understanding roles and functions of the literary system: author, audience, critical and publishing mediation. 3) Textual analysis techniques (narrative structures; stylistic, rhetorical and metric devices); awareness of the multiple research perspectives on literary works. 4) Criteria for bibliographical tagging.
Skills: 1) Ability to identify main textual features (structural, thematic, stylistic) and to interpret them. Ability to describe textual choices as a result of the author-readers interaction. 2) Ability of setting appropriate chronological sequences and to correctly attribute individual works to a genre. Ability to illustrate the essential data of a historical framework. 3) Ability to sort through literary functional relationships that define the modern literary system and shape the texts. Ability to use bibliographical references for close reading. Ability to handle a basic critical glossary 4) Ability to connect the reading list to its bibliographical reference; ability to identify bibliographical data in order to describe, interpret and evaluate texts and their reliability.
Course syllabus and organization

A-De

Lesson period
Second semester
In case the epidemiological situation doesn't allow in-person classes, synchronous online classes will be held on Microsoft Teams.

Students will access to up to date information on the Ariel course website: the site will report syllabus adjustments as well.
In case it is not possible to take in-person exams, exams will take place remotely.
Course syllabus
Topics:

Unit A
- Distinctive features of the Nineteenth-Twentieth century literary system
- Relationships between authors, readers, publishers
- Genres dynamics
- Literary analysis tools applied to fiction and poetry
- Criteria for bibliographic identification

Unit B
- Knowledge of prominent figures and moments of Twentieth-century Italian literary history
- Overview on the Twentieth-century Italian short story, through the analysis of exemplary texts

Unit C
- Close reading of Natalia Ginzburg's "Lessico famigliare" and Michele Mari's "Leggenda privata": literary devices, effects on readership.
Prerequisites for admission
Basic knowledge of Italian history and literature from the Unification to the mid-20th century
Basic skills to read literary texts and critical literature
Teaching methods
Lectures, slides, audio-visual contents.
Dialogic learning
Clarification of learning assessment methods and evaluation criteria
Attendance is optional, but strongly recommended.
Teaching Resources
References marked with * can be downloaded on the course website

Unit A
- V. Spinazzola, L'esperienza della lettura, Milano, Unicopli, 2010, chapts. 3. Generi letterari e successo editoriale, pp. 35-59; 5. Le coordinate del sistema letterario, pp. 84-98; 7. La valorizzazione del testo, p. 137-170);
- F. Brioschi, C. Di Girolamo, M. Fusillo, Introduzione alla letteratura, Roma, Carocci, 2003, chapts. Modi della poesia (pp. 81-134) and Modi della narrativa (pp. 135-180).

Unit B
- A. Casadei, Il Novecento, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2013.
- Short stories uploaded to the course site

Unit C
References marked with * can be downloaded from the course site)

Unit A
- V. Spinazzola, L'esperienza della lettura, Milano, Unicopli, 2010, chapts. 3. Generi letterari e successo editoriale, pp. 35-59; 5. Le coordinate del sistema letterario, pp. 84-98; 7. La valorizzazione del testo, p. 137-170);
- F. Brioschi, C. Di Girolamo, M. Fusillo, Introduzione alla letteratura, Roma, Carocci, 2003, chapts. Modi della poesia (pp. 81-134) and Modi della narrativa (pp. 135-180).

Unit B
- A. Casadei, Il Novecento, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2013
- Short stories uploaded to the course site

Unit C
- N. Ginzburg, Lessico famigliare, [1963] Einaudi 2014. English editions: N. Ginzburg, Family Lexicon, translated from the Italian by Jenny Mc Phee, New York Review of Books, 2017 or Daunt Books, 2018
- M. Mari, Leggenda privata, Einaudi 2017
Critical references:
- D. Scarpa, Cronistoria di Lessico famigliare, in N. Ginzburg, Lessico famigliare, Einaudi 2014, pp. 213-262.
- L. Marchese, Leggenda privata, o Michele Mari come scrittore nostalgico, i "La balena bianca" May 15 2017 https://www.labalenabianca.com/2017/05/15/legenda-privata-michele-mari-… (open access PDF)
Additional readings for non-attending students:

Unit A
Non-attending students will read in addition:

- P. Giovannetti, Il racconto, Carocci 2012, pp. 41-57; 97-201 (chapt. 2 Perché il narratore è diverso dall'autore; chapt. 5, Se il tempo domina: gli eventi; chapt. 6, Se lo spazio domina: personaggi e ambienti).
English speakers students can replace the previous reference with
The living Handbook of Narratology, https://www.lhn.uni-hamburg.de/contents.html, the following articles:
J. Schönert, Author
H. Schwalm, Autobiography
F. Jannidis, Character
D. Herman, Cognitive Narratology
S. Halliwell, Diegesis-Mimesis
P. Hühn, Event and Eventfullness
W. Schmid, Implied Author
Schmid, Implied Reader

Unit B
Non-attending students will read in addition:

- R. Luperini, Il modernismo italiano esiste, in L. Luperini, M. Tortora (eds.) Sul modernismo italiano, Liguori 2012, pp. 3-12*.

Unit C
Non-attending students will read in addition:
E. Gambaro, "L'io nascosto di Lessico famigliare. Ritratto dell'élite antifascista", in Gambaro, E., "Diventare autrice. Aleramo Morante de Céspedes Ginzburg Zangrandi Sereni", Unicopli 2018, pp. 115-192.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Written test
Students (both attending and non-attending) who take the 9 CFU exam must take a written test, which is held twice a year (May, September). The test consists of closed questions and focuses on units A and B. The test assesses knowledge and skills related to:

- twentieth-century literary system features;
- text and paratext analysis tools;
- basic knowledge of periods, authors, genres and trends of Twentieth century Italian literature
- elements of bibliographic identification

The test assessment is expressed through a 30-points grade scale, and it's worth 50% of the final grade.
Results will appear on the Ariel teaching platform.
A sample test is available on the same platform.

Oral exam
Students who pass the written test will take an interview focused on:
- Unit B: the short stories discussed in class and uploaded to the Ariel platform.
- the entire unit C.
Students who do not pass the written test: oral examination will focus on the entire course syllabus (units A, B, C).
Students who take the exam for 6 CFU access directly the oral exam.
Unita' didattica A
L-FIL-LET/11 - CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
L-FIL-LET/11 - CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
L-FIL-LET/11 - CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours

Di-N

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
If at the beginning of the second semester health situation will not allow a full resumption of face-to-face teaching, lessons will take place remotely, partly in synchronous form, on Microsoft Teams, partly in asynchronous form, through commented power points and other resources that will be made available on the Ariel website of the course (also synchronous lessons, however, will allways be recorded and made available on the Ariel website of the course)
On the Ariel website of the course students will find all the information to access the lessons (link etc.) and any eventual changes in the syllabus or in reference texts (bibliography etc.).
If it will not be possible to take the oral exam according to the methods provided in the Syllabus, the exam will take place remotely with the methods that will be communicated on the Ariel website of the course at the end of the course.
Course syllabus
The course syllabus includes the presentation and discussion of the following topics:

Teaching unit A
- Distinctive features of the Nineteenth-Twentieth century literary system
- Relationships between authors, readers, publishers
- Dynamics of the genres system and literary levels
- Criteria for bibliographic identification
- Tools for literary analysis of poetry and fiction

Teaching unit B:
- Knowledge of prominent figures and moments of Twentieth-century Italian literary history
- Overview of Twentieth-century Italian poetry, through the analysis of exemplary authors and texts

Teaching unit C:
- Close reading of the poetry book Le occasioni (1939) by Eugenio Montale: poetic voice, space and time structures, metrical and stylistic devices.
Prerequisites for admission
An essential knowledge of Italian literary history from the Unification to the mid-Twentieth century.
Ability to use basic tools for text analysis and for reading critical contributions.
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons with use of telematics tools, slides, audio-visual contents.
Dialogic teaching moments.
Illustration of the learning assessment methods and evaluation criteria.
Attendance is optional, but strongly recommended.
Teaching Resources
Teaching unit A:
- V. Spinazzola, L'esperienza della lettura, Milano, Unicopli, 2010 (limitedly to chapters 3. Generi letterari e successo editoriale, pp. 35-59; 5. Le coordinate del sistema letterario, pp. 84-98; 7. La valorizzazione del testo, p. 137-170);
- F. Brioschi, C. Di Girolamo, M. Fusillo, Introduzione alla letteratura, Roma, Carocci, 2003, limitedly to the chapters Modi della poesia (pp. 81-134) and Modi della narrativa (pp. 135-180).

Teaching unit B:
- A. Casadei, Il Novecento, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2013.
- Students must also study 12 italian poems of the first half of Twentieth Century which will be presented and analyzed by the professor during the lessons.

Teaching unit C:
- Eugenio Montale, Le occasioni, ed. by T. De Rogatis, Milano, Mondadori, 2018.
- C. Genetelli, Le occasioni, in P. Marini e N. Scaffai (ed. by), Montale, Roma, Carocci, 2019, pp. 49-69.
- T. De Rogatis, Mappe del tempo: Le Occasioni, in R. Leporatti (ed. by), «Le occasioni» di Eugenio Montale 1928-1939, Lecce, Pensa Multimedia, 2014, pp. 47-79.
- E. Testa, Montale, Firenze, Le Monnier, 2016 (limitedly to chapters 1. Genova, il paesaggio e Ossi di seppia; 2. Gli anni fiorentini e Le occasioni).
Assessment methods and Criteria
Written test
Students who take the exam for 9 CFU (both attending and non-attending) must take a written test, which is held twice a year (May, September). The test consists of closed questions and focuses on teaching units A and B. It assesses knowledge and skills related to the following topics:

- Characteristics of the twentieth-century literary system;
- Text and paratext analysis tools;
- Elements of bibliographic identification;
- Essential knowledge on periods, authors, genres and trends of Twentieth century Italian literature.

The written test assessment, expressed through a 30 points grade scale, is worth 50% of the final grade.
The results of written test will be communicated to students through the Ariel teaching platform.
A sample test is available on the same platform.

Oral exam
For students who pass the written test, the oral exam consists of an interview focusing on the poetic texts presented in class during teaching unit B (attending students), or listed in the additional bibliography for non-attending students (in the section related to teaching unit B), and on the entire program of teaching unit C. The texts presented in class during teaching unit B are available for attending students on the Ariel platform.
For students who do not pass the written test, the oral examination focuses on the entire course programme (teaching units A, B, C).
Students who take the exam for 6 CFU access directly the oral exam.
Unita' didattica A
L-FIL-LET/11 - CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
L-FIL-LET/11 - CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
L-FIL-LET/11 - CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours

O-Z

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
If at the beginning of the second semester health situation will not allow a full resumption of face-to-face teaching, lessons will take place remotely, partly in synchronous form, on Microsoft Teams, partly in asynchronous form, through commented power points and other resources that will be made available on the Ariel website of the course (also synchronous lessons will allways be recorded and made available on the Ariel website of the course)
On the Ariel website of the course students will find all the information to access the lessons (link etc.) and any eventual changes in the syllabus or in reference texts (bibliography etc.).
If it will not be possible to take the oral exam according to the methods provided in the Syllabus, the exam will take place remotely with the methods that will be communicated on the Ariel website of the course at the end of the course.
Course syllabus
The course syllabus includes the presentation and discussion of the following topics:

Teaching unit A
- Distinctive features of the Nineteenth-Twentieth century literary system
- Relationships between authors, readers, publishers
- Dynamics of the genres system and literary levels
- Criteria for bibliographic identification
- Tools for literary analysis of poetry and fiction

Teaching unit B
- Knowledge of prominent figures and moments of Twentieth-century Italian literary history
- Overview of dynamics of the Twentieth-century Italian literary genres system, through the analysis of paradigmatic authors and texts

Teaching unit C
- A close reading of Vino e pane, the second novel by Ignazio Silone: narrative voice, genre features, character analysis, rhetorical and stylistic devices, macro textual structures, history of the text.
Prerequisites for admission
An essential knowledge of Italian literary history from the Unification to the mid-Twentieth century.
Ability to use basic tools for text analysis and for reading critical essays.
Teaching methods
Frontal lectures with use of telematics tools, slides, audio-visual contents.
Dialogic teaching moments.
Illustration of the learning assessment methods and evaluation criteria.
Attendance is optional, but strongly recommended.
Teaching Resources
Teaching unit A
- V. Spinazzola, L'esperienza della lettura, Milano, Unicopli, 2010, limitedly to chapters: 3. Generi letterari e successo editoriale, pp. 35-59; 5. Le coordinate del sistema letterario, pp. 84-98; 7. La valorizzazione del testo, pp. 137-170)
- F. Brioschi, C. Di Girolamo, M. Fusillo, Introduzione alla letteratura, Roma, Carocci, 2003, limitedly to chapters Modi della poesia (pp. 81-134) e Modi della narrativa (pp. 135-180)

Teaching unit B
- A. Casadei, Il Novecento, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2013
- selected texts available on the Ariel teaching platform (Un percorso nel Novecento letterario section)

Teaching unit C
Texts: Ignazio Silone, Vino e pane, Mondadori, "Oscar"
Critical Essays: B. Falcetto, Introduzione, in I. Silone, Romanzi e saggi 1927-1944, Milano, Mondadori, 1998, pp. XXIX-LXIII; M. Cimini, Tipologia e stratigrafia del personaggio nel romanzo 'unico' di Silone, IS: aspects et significations d'une littérature de la crise. Atti del Colloque International, «Studi medievali e moderni» XII - 2/2008, pp. 175-190* [* : text available on the Ariel platform]

Bibliography for non-attending students
In addition to the main bibliography, non-attending students will study the following texts:

Teaching unit A
- P. Giovannetti, Il racconto, Roma, Carocci, 2012, in particular pp. 41-57; 97-201 (cap. 2 Perché il narratore è diverso dall'autore; cap. 5, Se il tempo domina: gli eventi; cap. 6, Se lo spazio domina: personaggi e ambienti).

Teaching unit B
- R. Luperini, Il modernismo italiano esiste, in Sul modernismo italiano, a cura di L. Luperini e M. Tortora, Napoli, Liguori 2012, pp. 3-12

Teaching unit C
G. Rigobello, Ignazio Silone. Introduzione e guida allo studio dell'opera siloniana. Storia e antologia della critica, Firenze, Le Monnier, 1989, pp. 57-108 [* : text available on the Ariel platform]
B. Falcetto, Notizie sui testi. Vino e pane, in Romanzi e saggi 1927-1945, Milano, Mondadori, "I Meridiani", pp. 1499-1522
Assessment methods and Criteria
Written test
Students who take the exam for 9 CFU (both attending and non-attending) must take a written test, which is held twice a year (May, September). The test consists of closed questions and focuses on teaching units A and B. It assesses knowledge and skills related to the following topics:

- Characteristics of the twentieth-century literary system;
- Text and paratext analysis tools;
- Elements of bibliographic identification;
- Essential knowledge on periods, authors, genres and trends of Twentieth century Italian literature.

The written test assessment, expressed through a 30 points grade scale, is worth 50% of the final grade.
The results of written test will be communicated to students through the Ariel teaching platform.
A sample test is available on the same platform.

Oral exam
For students who pass the written test, the oral exam consists of an interview focusing on the poetic texts presented in class during teaching unit B (attending students), or listed in the additional bibliography for non-attending students (in the section related to teaching unit B), and on the entire program of teaching unit C. The texts presented in class during teaching unit B are available for attending students on the Ariel platform.
For students who do not pass the written test, the oral examination focuses on the entire course programme (teaching units A, B, C).
Students who take the exam for 6 CFU access directly the oral exa
Unita' didattica A
L-FIL-LET/11 - CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
L-FIL-LET/11 - CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
L-FIL-LET/11 - CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours