Learning outcomes of the course unit
Students will acquire the ability to situate "Du coté de chez Swann" in Proust's intellectual biography. They will be able to recognise, in the main themes of the firs novel from the Recherche, the final form of intuitions which were already present in the early works. By following the development of Proust's ideas and art, they will be able to grasp the original outline of a piece of work that reelaborates many cultural and philosophical themes of its historical context.- the student will also become familiar with the methodology of genetic criticism, of which he or she
will learn the specific vocabulary, techniques and procedures.
- through the critical readings recommended by the teacher, he or she will become aware of the
plurality of methods and approaches of Proustian criticism;
- they will be encouraged to concentrate in a self-critical perspective on the recent critical orientations
most congenial to them.
Course contents summary
The course will follow Marcel Proust's formation from the tales of "Les Plaisirs et les Jours" to the publication of "Du coté de chez Swann". Throug the analysis of selected texts and "avant textes", it shall reconstruct the development of Proust?s fundamental themes ( time, memory, art, the "I") from the early formulations to the Recherche. Proust's aesthetics will be realted to its sources (Bergson, Ruskin, Taine, Janet etc.), and will be analysed in its following transformations. We shall focus in particular on the relationship existing between the theoretical dimension and the stylistic and textual one.
Marcel Proust, Du coté de chez Swann, ed. Antoine Compagnon, Folio Gallimard. Selected texts by René Girard, Antoine Compagnon and other critics.
Traditional. The course consists of lectures, during which the presentation of historical and literary contents will be
supplemented by commentary and analysis of extracts from texts in the original language. The LEA
platform will be used in order to make available critical materials and offer bibliographical suggestions
to enable students to carry out personal investigations of the course content.
Assessment methods and criteria
Oral examination. During the exam, students will be asked to comment relevantly on extracts of "Du coté de chez Swann", contextualising them within Proust's mind set. They should be able to connect the notions that emerge from its analysis to their cultural sources, demonstrating to master the guide lines of the Recherche's genesis.
The knowledge acquired during the course will be assessed through an oral exam in Italian. Specialist
students of French will be asked to read and translate passages in the texts studied in the original
language. The following knowledge and skills will be assessed:
- knowledge about the authors and works covered in the course and their accurate insertion into
historical and cultural contexts;
- the ability to express content in correct Italian, using the appropriate terminology of literary studies;
- an adequate level in the ability to analyze and rework the basic contents in an autonomous way.
A fail is determined by the absence, demonstrated by the student during the oral examination, of the
ability to understand the basic contents of the course, the lack of autonomous preparation and the
inability to solve problems related to information retrieval and the decoding of complex texts, as well
as the formulation of independent judgments.
A pass (18-23/30) is determined by the ability, demonstrated by the student, to have acquired the
basic content of the course, a sufficient level of autonomous preparation, an acceptable ability to solve
problems related to information retrieval and the decoding of texts, as well as the formulation of
independent judgment. Middle-range marks (24-27/30) are assigned to those student who produce
evidence of more than sufficient (24-25/30) or good (26-27/30) levels in the evaluation indicators
listed above. Upper-end marks (from 28/30 to 30/30 cum laude) are awarded on the basis of the
demonstration of a very good to an excellent level in the evaluation indicators listed above.