Learning outcomes of the course unit
Knowledge and understanding.
The course will provide the students with a basic understanding of the rhetorical, thematic and ideological structures of fictional texts.
Applying knowledge and understanding.
By providing a constant guide to the activity of reading, and showing a specific interest in the single points of view, as expressed by the rewritings, the course aims at generating a peculiar consciousness of the way both characters and narrators voice one’s own vision of literature and of the world. Students should be able to apply their knowledge and interpretive skills to a wider set of texts and artistic genres, developing a learned and critical readership, or spectatorship.
By the end of the course, students should be able to apply their judgements to a theoretically grounded level of textual reading. They should also be able to show the capacity to correctly situating the texts in the epoch and cultural atmosphere which gave them life. Students will interpret them in a critically founded way, paying attention to narrative devices, themes, genres, poetics, as consistently employed by their authors.
By the end of the course, students ought to show the capacity to master the expression of textual contents, knowing how to point out and communicate the identifying and connecting elements which run across a defined series of literary texts.
Trained to read texts which belong to a cultural tradition, students should develop critical skills, in order to successfully study the contemporary literary panorama. They should also improve their judgement abilities about what they have learnt (literary-historical knowledge) in order to structure their final dissertation, as well as to prepare themselves to the reading abilities required by the second cycle of studies.
Course contents summary
Title of the course: Meet the Homosexual. On the militant meaning of literary theory
A key figure of modernity, the homosexual plays a pivotal role in modernist literature (Proust, Gide, Mann, Cocteau), embodying a well-defined antisocial symobology. Isolated, elitist, often in the fringes (legally as well as socially), often touched by Art, unwilling to join prearranged roles as marriage and paternity, marked by exclusion and gossip, the homosexual character, however late, from the late Thirties onwards, becomes steadily part of Italian fiction. From now on, his alternative as well as meaningful perspective will be examined through the passing of decades: a period which stems from the late European Bildungsroman, to encompass modes of being and profound transformations which take place in the Italian society (Bassani, Ginzburg, Tondelli, Siti).
1. Jonathan Culler, Teoria della letteratura. Una breve introduzione, Armando Editore
2. Michel Foucault, Storia della sessualità, vol. 1. La volontà di sapere, Feltrinelli
3. André Gide, L’immoralista, Garzanti (or, Mursia)
4. Robert Musil, I turbamenti del giovane Törless, Einaudi
5. Edward Morgan Forster, Maurice, Garzanti
6. Giorgio Bassani, Gli occhiali d’oro, Feltrinelli
7. Pier Vittorio Tondelli, Altri libertini, Feltrinelli (additional reading for students who are not going to attend the lessons)
At Copyland (via d’Azeglio 87/A), shortly after the end of the course, some didactic materials will be available, regarding ‘Iacoli - Teoria della letteratura 2016-2017’: students will find some critical readings which will contribute to a deeper understanding of the required readings.
Frontal lessons; DVD screenings (cinematic works). The course is also offered in a blended way on the distance learning platform called Elly.
Assessment methods and criteria
Oral. Students ought to show a basic interpretive capacity. While discerning rhetorical-stylistic, thematic and ideological components of the texts, they should be able to reconstruct wider historical and theoretical contexts.