Contemporary German literature

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course is aimed at students of all the CdS of Humanistic Studies and aims to deepen the skills in the field of German literature, in particular the modern and postmodern, in the historical-political context. This course focuses on the representation, in the German language literature of the period of National Socialism, of the Second World War and of the post-war period, taking into consideration some significant works of the last decades.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding: Guidance on the history, sources, methods and tools of literary studies and on the analytical practices of textual hermeneutics. Knowledge of various significant authors of the German-speaking literature after 1945 and of their works dealing with the representation of the period of National Socialism and the Second World War. Understanding of the theoretical-methodological and historical-cultural problems inherent in the study of contemporary German literature, with particular attention to the narrative genre. Ability to apply knowledge and understanding: ability to analyze and interpret the literary text in its historical-cultural context; ability to connect the chosen texts with the literary tradition of the twentieth century; ability to express the acquired skills with methodological rigor.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
The course is entitled "History, society and the individual in Robert Musil's novel 'Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften'" and consists of the following three teaching parts, which will be covered in sequence:
A: Austria felix in 1914: The First book of 'Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften'.
B: Towards the Millennial Kingdome: The Second book of 'Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften'.
C: On the broken bridge: the unfinished part of Robert Musil's novel
Students wishing to acquire 6 CFU will stick to the program of parts A and B; students wishing to acquire 9 CFU will stick to the full program (parts A, B and C).
The course is devoted to the great novel "Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften", published by Robert Musil in two volumes in 1930 and 1932, followed by an unfinished volume published posthumously in 1943. This monumental work (1600 pages), on which the author worked for more than twenty years, is a panoramic representation of the European spirit and Austrian society on the eve of the First World War.
Part A deals, after a brief introduction to the author's life and works, with the First Book of the novel, published in 1930.
Part B is devoted to the Second book of the novel published by Robert Musil in 1932.
Part C deals with the unfinished part of the novel, published after the author's death in several versions from 1943 onwards.
The course program is valid until September 2023. From the autumn session 2023 it will be possible to appear exclusively on the program of A.A. 2022-23.
Prerequisites for admission
The course is held entirely in German. The materials and the examination bibliography presuppose solid linguistic skills. Students of Degree Courses other than Languages who do not know German or are beginners will not always be able to rely on Italian translations; therefore, if interested in the course, they will have to contact the teacher in advance to assess any adaptations to the program. Erasmus students or other forms of mobility are admitted as long as they possess solid German language skills.
Teaching methods
The course adopts the following teaching methods: lectures; reading and commenting on excerpts from the works on the program; viewing, listening and commenting on audio and video material found online.
Teaching Resources
The course uses the Ariel online platform ( to which reference is made for teaching materials to be downloaded in PDF format. For each teaching part, specific critical essays on the novel "Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften" and on the author Robert Musil will be made available on the website.
Below are the critical and narrative works that are compulsory reading for the various teaching parts and the reference editions.
Learning Part A
Robert Musil: Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften, Band 1, Erstes und Zweites Buch, (edited by Adolf Frisé), Rowohlt, Hamburg 2014, ISBN: 978-3499267802
Oliver Pfohlmann: Robert Musil, Rowohlt, Hamburg 2012, ISBN: 978-3499507212
Learning Part B
C.M. Buglioni, M. Castellari, A. Goggio, M. Paleari: "Letteratura tedesca. Epoche, generi, intersezioni". Vol. 2: "Dal primo dopoguerra al nuovo millennio". Mondadori, Milano 2019 (only the section "Il Novecento fra le due guerre", i.e. chapters 14-16, covering the period 1918-1945).
Thomas Kraft: Musils Mann ohne Eigenschaften, Piper, München 2000. ISBN: 978-3492231855
Learning Part C
Robert Musil: Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften, Band 2, Aus dem Nachlass, (edited by Adolf Frisé), Rowohlt, Hamburg 2000, ISBN: 978-3499134630

Notes for non-attending students
The program for non-attending students is the same as that for attending students. Naturally, given the greater difficulty of preparing for the course on their own, non-attending students are advised to devote an appropriate amount of time to the study and processing of the contents of the program and to supplement the bibliography with further material available online or in the library.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an individual interview, which includes questions asked by the teacher, interactions between the teacher and the student, and the analysis and commentary of one or more excerpts from the works in the program. The interview has a variable duration depending on the teaching parts on which the student is presented and takes place (at the student's choice) in German or Italian. The interview aims to verify the knowledge of the texts read, the ability to contextualize authors and works, the ability in the exposition, the precision in the use of specific terminology, the capacity for critical and personal reflection on the proposed themes. The final grade is expressed in thirtieths, and the student has the right to refuse it (in this case it will be verbalized as "withdrawn").
International or Erasmus incoming students are invited to contact the teacher promptly. The examination procedures for students with disabilities and / or with DSA must be agreed with the teacher, 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
Monday h.15:00-18:00 on Teams
Online in Microsoft Teams (after the Covid emergency: Lecturer's office, Germanistics Section, Piazza S. Alessandro, 1)