MODERN COMPARATIVE LITERATURE
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Knowledge and understanding.
The course aims at strengthening the basic knowledge of literary study, opening the way for a specialized field, and promoting the development of original statements about the thematic net described throughout the course itself.
Applying knowledge and understanding.
The study of literary methods, the learning of the genre theories, and finally the comparative approach elicit the development of the capacity to understand and connect literary facts, in a profoundly interdisciplinary perspective.
By the end of the course students ought to have acquired the capacity to carefully value the complexity of literary text, critically interpreting their structural elements, the morphological similarities and differences between them. They should also have acquired particular intepretive and comparative abilities about the historical and socio-cultural contexts to which those artistic documents belong.
By the end of the course students should have conceived the capacity to describe literary texts on the basis of the genre theories and supranational literary study, developing a personal, reliable and consistent way of reading.
The commitment shown in acquiring competences and learning should provide the students with a definite methodological competence as well as with skills aimed at consolidating their set of readings, their capacity to understand and schematize the dynamics of literary facts – all necessary skills in order to organize contents into the written form.
Course contents summary
Title of the course: Peripheries of narrative. Developments of a modern literary theme.
With the exception of Bel Ami (1885), the great Naturalist novel by Maupassant, revolving around a cynical gallant (a novel focusing on journalism, rather than on book trade industry), the history of the editorial theme in fiction is basically a contemporary one. It is a story of cultural production, undermined in its autonomy and intellectual identity by the emerging entrepreneurial forces. We will consider the alienating reflections of such a dynamics in two bitterly ironic novels of the Italian Sixties, The Integration and The Master, as well as two satirical portraits of contemporary editorial system, the American sarchastic Happiness® by Will Ferguson, and the typically British humoristic Lost for Words.
Section A: Handbook
1. Ceserani, Guida breve allo studio della letteratura, Laterza
Section B: Fictional texts
2. Maupassant, Bel-Ami, edizione consigliata: Feltrinelli (trad. di C. Bigliosi)
3. Parise, Il padrone, Adelphi
4. Bianciardi, L’integrazione, Feltrinelli
5. Ferguson, Felicità®, Feltrinelli
6. St. Aubyn, Senza parole, Neri Pozza
Assessment methods and criteria
Oral. A satisfactory exam will demonstrate the capacity to connect and interpret in an accurate way forms and thematic as described throughout the course.