ENGLISH LITERATURE I
Learning outcomes of the course unit
1. Knowledge of the most important literary movements in the UK from 1660 to the end of the nineteenth century;
2. Knowledge of the most representative authors and texts in the historical period contemplated by the course;
3. Acquisition of the exact terminology useful for a close reading of the selected texts;
4. Give students the necessary tools to be able to present orally, with critical spirit and exact terminology, the topics of the course.
Course contents summary
Joy and melancholy; the beautiful and the monstruous: texts and aesthetics in English literature from the Restauration to the end of the Nineteenth Century
The aim of the course is to introduce and illustrate, through textual examples, some of the aesthetic and philosophical categories characterizing English literature from 1660 to the Victorian age. Atfer a historical and cultural excursus, students will be guided in the textual analysis of poems and prose extracts that are seen as representative of the various literary genres they belong to and that most significantly exemplify the categories of the beautiful and the monstruous, as well as the emotional tensions affecting the authors. Aesthetic and literary categories such as joy and melancholy, the beautiful and the monstruous do not cease to exist, but, on the contrary, under the influence of specific cultural, historical and social processes, they evolve throughout the ages. The course will sometimes resort to an interdisciplinary approach (links between literature, figurative arts and philosophy) in order to highlight the preoccupations and ideas shared by artists, thinkers and authors who strongly impacted on the development of English and European cultural history.
Compulsory reference texts: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, voll. I e II and P. Bertinetti (a cura di) Storia della letteratura inglese, voll. I e II.
A) compulsory primary texts
* = dalla Norton Anthology
*John Dryden, From An Essay of Dramatic Poesy (1668) or *Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733)
*Aphra Behn, Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave (1688)
Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (1719) or Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels (1726).
Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy (1760-67) [solo parti fotocopiate, depositate nella stanza fotocopie]
*William Blake, 2 poesie tra: The Little Black Boy (1789), Nurse’s Song (1789), Infant Joy (1789); 2 poesie tra: The Clod & the Pebble (1794), Nurse’s Song (1794), The Sick Rose (1794), The Tyger (1794)
*William Wordsworth, 3 poesie tra: Lines Written in Early Spring (1798), She dwelt among the untrodden ways (1800), I wondered lonely as a cloud (1804), The Solitary Reaper (1805), My heart leaps up (1807), It is beauteous evening (1807), E Passi scelti dalla Preface to the Lyrical Ballads
*Samuel T. Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (passi scelti) (1798)
* John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn (1820) e Ode on Melancholy (1820)
Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (1811)
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818)
*Alfred Tennyson, The Lady of Shalott (1831-32) [or Ulysses (1842)]
*Dante Gabriele Rossetti, The Blessed Damozel (1850)
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847) or Charles Dickens, Hard Times (1849-50)
Robert Stevenson (1850-94), Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) or Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray (1893).
Teaching methodology: oral lesson combined with the analyses and discussions of the selected texts