Scandinavian literature (MA)

A.Y. 2020/2021
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 will put the tools of text analysis to the test with a view to practice critical discussion and writing about relevant themes, texts and authors.
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, they will acquire knowledge of the critical discussion and the tools of analysis regarding the chosen topic. 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, examine the primary literature with a critical eye.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Teaching methods
The course will be taught using Microsoft Teams. All lessons will be videolessons and take place according to the timetable for the course. The lesson will also be registered and uploaded on Teams.
Syllabus and course material
The course syllabus and material remain unvaried. All texts in the course syllabus not easily available online, in libraries or bookstores will be uploaded in Ariel.
The exams will be oral and held on Microsoft Teams unless there are changes in regulation.
Course syllabus
IN SHORT. THE SHORT STORY IN SCANDINAVIAN LITERATURE. This course (9 cfu) examines the Scandinavian short story tradition by considering its place in literary history, by drawing on central concerns in short fiction theory (problems of definition, terminology) and by analyzing textual structures and narrative techniques. This approach to the short story will help understand the highlights and the variations on the genre in time and space, and also provide tools and skills for discussing short prose. Initially (A), the course looks at authors and texts from the 19th century. Subsequently (B), works representative of the 20th century short story will be investigated. A third part of the course (C) focalizes on three cinematographic adaptations based on Karen Blixen's tales.

A: Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, J.P. Jacobsen, Hjalmar Söderberg
B: Karen Blixen, Cora Sandel, Torgny Lindgren
C: Babette's Gæstebud (Gabril Axel, 1986); The Immortal Story (Orson Welles, 1968); Ehrengard (Emidio Greco, 1982)

Each part has a weekly appointment.

This course syllabus is valid until December 2022.

Prerequisites for admission
The course is taught both in Italian and in the Scandinavian languages and a majority of the works on the reading list is written in Danish, Norwegian or Swedish. A thorough knowledge of the Scandinavian languages is therefore required.
Teaching methods
The teaching methodology combines lectures and class discussions.
Teaching Resources
General: Asbjørn Aarseth, "Novellen som fiksjonsprosaens kortform", in: Id. Episke strukturer, Universitetsforlaget, 1979, sez. VI-VIII, pp. 135-142; Staffan Bergsten & Lars Elleström: "Novell och kortprosa", in: Litteraturhistoriens grundbegrepp, Studentlitteratur, 2004, pp. 156-159; Marie Lund, "Indledning" e "Genrestudiet", in: Novellen. Struktur, historie og analyse, Centrum, 1997, pp. 9-12 & 108-112. IN ADDITION: Boris Ejchenbaum, "Teoria della prosa", in: I formalisti russi, a cura di T. Todorov, Einaudi, 1968, pp. 233-247; Marie Louise Pratt, "The Short Story. The Long and the Short of It", in: The New Short Story Theories, ed. C. May, Ohio University Press, 1994, pp. 91-113.
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson: Faderen (1860; Il padre), Thrond (1860); Støv (1882; Polvere) in any unabridged edition in Norwegian or Italian; J.P. Jacobsen: Mogens og andre Fortællinger, ANNO (It. transl. by G. Gabetti, La peste a Bergamo e altri racconti, Guanda, 1988); Hjalmar Söderberg: Historietter, 1897 (It. transl. by M.C. Lombardi, Il disegno a inchiostro e altri racconti, Lindau, 2015).
Saggi critici: Henning Sehmsdorf: Bjørnson's Trond and Popular Tradition in: "Scandinavian Studies" 41: 1, 1969, pp. 56-66; Merete Kjøller Ritzu: L'alchimia della parola. I racconti di J.P. Jacobsen, G' D'Anna, 1982, pp. 47-125; Torsten Hegerfors: Hjalmar Söderbergs Pälsen, in: Novellanalyser, red. V. Edström & P-E. Henricson, Prisma, 1970, pp. 49-54.
Karen Blixen: Syndfloden over Norderney (1935; Diluvio a Norderney); Aben (1935; La scimmia); Ringen (1950; L'anello). Cora Sandel: En gåte (1932; Un'enigma); Kunsten å myrde (1935; L'arte di uccidere); Den stillferdige gjesten (1949; L'ospite silenziosa); Torgny Lindgren: Merabs skönhet (1983; La bellezza di Merab).
Saggi critici: Marianne Juhl & Bo Hakon Jørgensen: "Why Gothic Tales?", in: Isak Dinesen. Critical Views, ed. O.A. Pelensky, Ohio State University Press, 1993, pp. 88-99; Ellen Rees: "The Riddle Solved: Cora Sandel's En gåte", in: Studies in Short Fiction, 31:1, 1994, pp. 13-21; Pehrson Berger, Ingela: "'Orden dem hava stormvindens kraft'. Språk och identitet I Torgny Lindgrens berättelser", in: Rötter och rutter, red. A. Öhman, Umeå universitet, pp. 68-79.
C: In addition to the vision of the three films listed above, students are required to read Blixen's three tales: Babettes Gæstebud and Den udødelige Historie from Skæbne-Anekdoter (1958; Capricci del destino) as well as Ehrengard (1963; Ehrengard) in any unabridged edition in Danish or Italian.
Critical readings: Arne Engelstad: Fra bok til film - om adaptasjoner av litterære tekster, Cappelen, 2007, pp. 15-98.

M.A. students are required to read all literary works in the original language (in any unabridged edition). If present, the critical apparatus (introductions, forewords, afterwords, notes) is to be considered part of the reading.
Assessment methods and Criteria
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 by the theoretical texts in the syllabus.

Unit C: All students are required to write a short essay in the Scandinavian language they are specializing in (min. 8000 characters, max. 10 000 characters) concerning one aspect of one of the three adaptations discussed in class. Third year students can choose whether to write the paper in Italian or in the Scandinavian language they are specializing in. The essay must be handed in no less than 10 days before the exam session for which the student has registered.

M.A. students take the exam in Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish. Grades are expressed on a scale of 30. Students have the right to reject the mark.

International and incoming Erasmus students who intend to take this course are requested to contact the instructor upon arrival.

Le modalità d'esame per studenti con disabilità e/o con DSA dovranno essere concordate col docente, in accordo con l'Ufficio competente.
Unita' didattica A
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
Lessons: 20 hours