The course aims to provide students with the skills and abilities
necessary to read the history of contemporary literature from a
perspective that does not only look at the author, but considers the
literary work as the result of an operation of mediation between the
literary system and editorial one. The theoretical reflections, the literary
and cultural insights, together with the witnesses of employees of the
publishing industry and with the analysis of the contemporary publishing
system, will contribute to facilitate a mature and aware insertion of the
students in the publishing world, and to implement the cultural
competence of those who aspire to pursue a career in journalism.
Course contents summary
"Theory and practice of the bestseller"
After introducing several basic issues in order to understand the dynamics of the relationship between the literary system and the publishing system, and after having traced briefly a literary publishing framework of the twentieth century, the course will address the theme of the best seller. First of all a historical and critical framework will be given about the sociological considerations that have fuelled the definition (and, critics) of the cultural industry in the twentieth century: the Frankfurt School, Walter Benjamin, by Edgar Morin and other observations in Italian context (for example by Franco Fortini). Secondly it will trace a story of some of the Italian best sellers books from '50s and' 60s to date, in order to understand how they became the literary point of view the successful novel and what this transformation can tell us about the changes in our culture and in general in our society.
Erasmus students are asked to contact the teacher to agree the program
Lectures, which will take place through class teaching, will develop
theoretical reasoning, accompanied by specific examples from
literary history. To make several examples clearer, we will make use of the
projection of cover images, and other paratextual elements. The final
part of the course involves the intervention of people who work in the
publishing world, who will provide a concrete image of the skills,
abilities and cultural resources required in a publishing house nowadays.
Assessment methods and criteria
The lectures are interspersed with open-ended questions for students, on
topics that we will be dealing with. The answers are not evaluated for the
final result, but have the purpose of verifying the understanding of the
topics. The final evaluation will be expressed in thirties and will take into
account the knowledge of contemporary Italian literature, and the oral
examination, which will focus on materials developed during the course
and in the bibliography.