ITALIAN LITERATURE II (UNIT B)
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Refining skills in the criticism and interpretation of a text; acquiring greater theoretical awareness of the concept of genre, and the interactions between form and themes involved in genre.
Learning technical skills regarding philology and textual criticism, in close relation with the interpretational aspects introduced by philology and the criticism of variant texts.
For this course, students are expected to have acquired knowledge of Italian literature in terms of an overall panorama, with its most important periods and writers. More specifically, students are expected to be familiar with, at least in general terms, 14th century and early 16th century literature, and with the literature of Romanticism.
Another prerequisite is a general knowledge of the principles and fundamental concepts of textual criticism: the critical approach, testimony, recension and collation, stemma codicum, etc.
Course contents summary
The course is in two parts.
The first comprises a reading of Ricordi, considered not only in its definitive form, but also analysed in its diachronic dimension, namely the corrections and rewriting of the work over the course of three successive versions. This section is designed to introduce students to the aspect of criticism as applied to variant texts, and the complex interactions between philology and literary criticism. In this regard we will of course refer to Raffaele Spongano’s critical edition of Ricordi (Sansoni, Florence, 1951), one of the masterpieces of Italian 20th century philology.
The second part will be dedicated to an analysis of the forms and characteristics of aphoristic writing, by means of readings from Italian (from Leonardo da Vinci to Ennio Flaiano) and European (La Rochefoucauld; Pascal; Novalis and Krauss) authors of aphorisms.
1. F. Guicciardini, Ricordi, ed. E. Pasquini, Garzanti, Milan, 1998.
2. Aphorisms by: Leonardo da Vinci; Paolo da Certaldo; La Rochefoucauld; Pascal; Leopardi; Longanesi (provided in the form of photocopies by the professor).
3. An appropriate selection of texts by F. Guicciardini (excluding Ricordi) and N. Machiavelli (provided in the form of photocopies by the professor).
4. M. Martelli and F. Bausi, Politica, Storia e Letteratura: Machiavelli e Guicciardini, in Storia della Letteratura Italiana, edited by E. Malato, Salerno Editrice, Rome, vol. IV. The following paragraphs: 1 (pp. 251-253), 11-17 (pp. 320-348). Alternatively: D. Cantimori, Francesco Guicciardini, in Storia della Letteratura italiana, ed. E. Cecchi and N. Sapegno, Garzanti, Milan, vol. IV, pp. 89-142.
5. R. Spongano, Introduction to F. Guicciardini, Ricordi (critical edition), Sansoni, Florence, 1951. Just pp. IX-LXXII.
6. C. Ossola, Non finito e frammento : tra Michelangelo e Pascal, in C. Segre, C. Ossola, D. Budor, Frammenti (Le scritture dell’incompleto), Unicopli, Parma, 2003, pp. 27-50.
7. A. Asor Rosa, I ‘Ricordi’ di F. Guicciardini (just section IV of the essay: Models and Sources), in Letteratura Italiana, Le Opere, Einaudi, Turin, 1993, vol V/2, pp. 62-90.
8. U. Eco, Note sull’aforisma, in Teoria e storia dell’aforisma, ed. G. Ruozzi, Bruno Mondadori, Milan, 2004, pp. 152-166
9. G. Ruozzi, Giano bifronte, Teoria e forme dell’aforisma contemporaneo, in Teoria e forme dell’aforisma, op. cit., pp. 131-144.
10. S. Veca, Aforismo e filosofia, in Teoria e forme dell’aforisma, op. cit., pp. 124-130.
Frontal lessons. Oral examination.