ITALIAN LITERATURE (UNIT A)
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Providing students with an academic preparation for a university-level study of Italian literature.
As well as giving students an overview of the historic development of Italian literature, the course should also provide them with a thorough understanding of the tools specifically used in the subject (specialist dictionaries; reference works; series of books), as well as providing an initial grounding in the principal methods and techniques of analysing a literary text, by means of specific examples.
No specific prerequisite studies are required. The course provides a foundation in the fundamental techniques necessary for the study of Italian literature.
Course contents summary
The course is intended as an introduction to the study of Italian literature, its characteristic methodology, and the specific tools applied to the subject. It was also designed to provide an overview of the movements and principal writers of Italian literature, from its origins up until the Second World War.
U. Dotti, Storia della Letteratura italiana, Carocci, Rome, 2007 (or alternatively: G. Ferroni, Profilo storico della Letteratura Italiana, 2 volumes, Einaudi Scuola, Turin, 1992)
The following book is recommended as an introduction to the study of literary works: L. Chines- C. Varotti, Che cos’è un testo letterario, Carocci, Rome, 2001
The study of the history of Italian literature will be accompanied by the anthological reading of many excerpts (a list of works is available for reference on the professor’s website), all of which are available in the anthologies generally used in secondary schools.
The following works will be read in full:
Dante Alighieri, Inferno (any annotated edition, including those for use in schools)
N. Machiavelli, La Mandragola
L. Pirandello, Il fu Mattia Pascal
Frontal lessons. Discussion and workshop lessons with examples of textual analysis. Home study question sheets and exercises designed to reinforce skill and confidence in the analysis of literary texts.
Written test. This consists of the analysis of a prose text or a poem (as preferred by the student). The student will have to answer a series of questions regarding both technical and compositional aspects of the text (metre and rhythm; rhetorical devices; semantic areas, etc.) as well as the positioning of the text and its author within historical and cultural contexts. Maximum time in which to complete the test: 3 hours.
Oral test. This consists of an interview in which students will have to demonstrate their knowledge of the fundamental lines of Italian literature, and works by the principal writers of Italian literature.