18th and 19th century Italian literature

A.Y. 2021/2022
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
Lectures will be dlivered partly live, and partly remotely, according to a timetable that each lecturer will publish on the course page on Ariel.
On the course page on Ariel, students will be able to find all the informations on the lectures and any changes of the programme and its related documents (bibliogrphy etc.) in case of lockdown.
The means and criteria for partecipation in the lives lectures, which will need booking through a specific app, will be indicated on the University website.
Finally, in case it proves impossible to hold the exam face to face, the exam xill take place remotely, in ways which wil be communicated on the course page on Ariel at the end of the course.
Course syllabus
Mass Culture and Italian Masterpieces in 20th Century

The course includes in its entirety 3 Parts with different characteristics. Part n. 1 has an institutional meaning, and includes topics related to cultural consumption in two perspectives: the society divided into classes (Bourdieu), and the society in the inter-classist and standardized phase (Morin). Part n. 2 has a historiographic meaning, and explores the so called Literary Modernism analysing a famous Novel by Italo Svevo: La coscienza di Zeno. Part n. 3 at last is markedly monographic, and focuses on a novel by Salvatore Satta: Il giorno del giudizio. In this case is considered specially the stylistic expression, in a linguistic and rethorical way (here the Sublime style
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 Part 1. 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 Part n. 3
(mandatory) and a choice between Part n. 1 and Part n. 2.


Cultural Perspectives in Second XXth Century (20 ore, 3 CFU)

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

Italian Literary Modernism: Svevo and La coscienza di Zeno (20 ore, 3 CFU)

I. Svevo, La coscienza di Zeno

Critical bibliography:
G. Guglielmi, La vita originale di Zeno, in Id. La prosa italiana del Novecento, Einaudi, Torino 1986, pp. 30 - 55 ***


A Masterpiece in the late 20th Century: Satta e Il giorno del giudizio (20 ore, 3 CFU)

S. Satta, Il giorno del giudizio, Adelphi, Milano 1979 (good any other edition).

Critical bibliography:
B. Pischedda, Il capolavoro infinito. Memorie e misteri nel Giorno del giudizio, Carocci, Roma 2020, Chapters I and II.


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

Part n. 1:

G. Marsiglia, Pierre Bourdieu, una teoria del mondo sociale, CEDAM, Padova 2002 (Chapters II, III e V) ***

Part n. 2

G. Còntini, La cosienza di Zeno di Italo Svevo, in Id. Letteratura Italiana, diretta da A. Asor Rosa, L'età della crisi, Einaudi, Torino 1994, pp. 593 - 624 ***

Part n. 3
V. Spinazzola, Al cimitero di Nuoro, in Id., Itaca Addio. Il romanzo del ritorno, Il Saggiatore, Milano 2001, pp. 191 - 245 ***

TAKE NOTE: You'll find all the texts marked by (*) on Ariel, page of the Lecturer.
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 part.
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 part 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