The course aims to illustrate the complex dynamics, politics, ideology and customs that characterized the public debate on mental illness and the institution of the psychiatric hospital in the 1960s and 1970s. Alongside the work of writers and poets, such as Tobino and Merini, of a philosopher (Foucault), multiple typologies of writings and speeches will be analyzed: reportage and journalistic investigation, popular essay by the experts (writings by Basaglia and major exponents of antipsychiatry: David Cooper and Robert Laing), not without forgetting cinematographic experience (Ken Loach and Nelo Risi). The topic investigated during the course will thus allow to identify a significant link between some important items of the literature of the near past and a public debate that was very lively and that touched aspects that were highly indicative of the 'spirit of the time'.
- Objectives according to the Dublin Descriptors: Ability to apply knowledge and understanding; Making judgments; Improvement of the ability to elaborate one's knowledge, both oral and written, in a clear and reasonably effective way (communication skills).
A general knowledge of post-war italian History and Literature in required.
Course contents summary
The course focuses on a central figure of culture, not only literary, of the second half of the twentieth century: Leonardo Sciascia.
The critical pages of the great writer will be examined above all, and in particular those dedicated to texts of the eighteenth century and to Manzoni. The course also aims to illustrate the interactions between critical writing and creative writing, analyzing some narrative texts directly inspired by texts and authors loved by Sciascia and critically analyzed by him.
The course is dedicated to Sciascia's literary essays (with particular attention to book, Cruciverba, published in 1983), and to the intersections with some narrative works (more markedly linked to history and to the past).
The course is divided into three sections, distinct but strongly connected to each other.
1) Sciascia and XVIII century: from the reading of some literary essays by Sciascia on the eighteenth century (starting from The Reforming Century), to the complete reading of The Council of Egypt.
2) Culture and law: starting from Sciascia's critical essays on Manzoni, we will examine the way in which Sciascia has made the reading of Manzoni (and the Storia della colonna infame isn't less important than Promessi sposi) interact with the critical and often openly controversial analysis , of contemporary Italy. The reading of the essayist Sciascia will be accompanied by the reading of the openly 'Manzoni' novel La strega e il capitano.
3) Literature and news. The third part of the course is dedicated to the pamphlet L’affaire Moro, which behind the apparent journalistic substance (it looks as an instant book), actually poses profound themes on the meaning of literary writing, and about the truth that literature can reveal.
The specific critical bibliography will be given students during course, and it will be made available on Elly Platform.
75% of scheduled lessons will be frontal lessons.
25 % of scheduled lessons will be a workshop’s form. Students will work together on the texts, by the aim to encourage individual judgement, in finding main ideological structures; textual aporias; critical outcomes