LITR 260 / INTS 260 Studies in italian authors
Literature 260 - Masterpieces of Italian Literature
Prof Grazia Sotis
Description of course/ Literary Knowledge and Experience
This class will consist of readings and discussions of major literary works, from the Renaissance, the theater to modern novel. Our overall aim is to study how literary texts interpret human conflict, with necessary attention to the formal, stylistic and rhetorical modalities. These texts are couched in a historical and cultural context that we can study also through visual aids as well, with the idea of understanding what is transhistorical about them and what makes them masterpieces. Literary masterpieces help us develop a critical consciousness of our experience personal, social, cultural, historical, as well as aesthetic.
· Learning outcome: demonstrate knowledge of literary traditions and expressions.
· Study influential Italian works, theater and novels as representative forms of literary production in which Italians explore their historical and societal experience, their human experience and reflect on the process of literary creation.
· Acquire the critical and technical vocabulary enabling them to describe and analyze, and formulate an argument about Italian literary works and about literary types (e.g. short stories, plays, novels).
· Assess how formal qualities of Italian literary works determine the nature of the experience offered and affect the response of the audience.
· Examine multiple interpretive possibilities of Italian novels, short stories, plays, and know that such interpretations both reflect the culture that produced them and change over time. Emphasis will be on change over time in discussing representative literary works of different eras.
Skill Objectives, Critical Thinking Skills:
· Students will develop, through oral and written communication, reading and analytical skills appropriate to the study of literature.
· Students will practice writing clear, concise, effective prose.
· Students will develop an understanding of the ethical implications in literature, of the depiction of self and others.
· Students will comprehend, paraphrase, summarize, and contextualize the meaning of Italian novels and plays.
Mandragola by Niccolò Macchiavelli
Three Plays by Carlo Goldoni: The Venetian Twins, The Artful Widow, The Innkeeper
The House by the Medlar Tree by Giovanni Verga
Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello
Maria Zef by Paola Drigo
Dolcissimo by Giuseppe Bonaviri
Exams and two papers will be used to assess literary knowledge and critical thinking. They will assess whether or not you can:
· Use critical and technical vocabulary to describe and analyze, and formulate an argument about Italian literary works and literary types.
· Examine multiple interpretative possibilities of Italian literary works.
· Assess the relationship of Italian literary texts to the cultural-historical nexus that produced them.
· Generate new ideas and hypotheses in relation to the study of Italian literary works and of how they reflect an Italy that changes over centuries; and develop strategies for seeking and synthesizing information to support your argument.
· class participation 10%
· two quizzes 20%
· mid-term paper (4-5 pages) 10%
· mid-term examination 15%
· final paper (6 pages) 15%
· final examination 20%
· oral presentation 10%
Attendance Policy and Academic Integrity Statement:
· Daily attendance and active participation in class are vital factors in gaining literary knowledge and developing critical thinking skills.
· The student is welcome to see the instructor at regular office hours or by appointment when additional help is needed.
· Students are invited to prepare all readings before discussion in class.
· Topics for the papers are to be discussed with the instructor before writing: these present such a wide spectrum that the choice will rest ultimately on the student.
· All papers should involve strictly personal research:
“Pursuit of truth is the prime activity in a university community. As a member of this community each student pledges to maintain standards of honesty and integrity in all academic work. Exams: Students must rely exclusively upon their own knowledge. Papers: students must document sources of secondary information. Failure to comply with these standards will result in a failing grade.”
Schedule of Readings:
1st, 2nd & 3rd Week
Mandragola – Niccolò Macchiavelli (1469-1527)
The Venetians Twins and The Artful Widow – Carlo Goldoni (1707-1793)
The Innkeeper – (Teatro Eliseo, Mar 16-28)
The House by the Medlar Tree - Giovanni Verga (1840-1922)
Exam 1 (Research paper due)
March … - …
Naked Masks – Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936); showing of the play Six Characters in Search of an Author
Six Characters in Search of an Author - Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936);
10th & 11th Week
Maria Zef - Paola Drigo (1876 - 1938)
12th & 13th Week
Dolcissimo - Giuseppe Bonaviri (1924)
(Final paper due)
From the following suggested list choose one book for your oral report and one for your second paper:
Italo Calvino, The Invisibile Cities or The trilogy
Cesare Pavese, Among Women Alone
Tommaso di Lampedusa, The Leopard
Sibilla Aleramo, A Woman
Dacia Maraini, (The Long Life of Marianna Ucria) The Silent Duchess
Ignazio Silone, Fontamara or Bread and Wine
Rodolfo Di Biasio
Primo Levi, If this is a Man
Anna Banfi, Artemisia
Carlo Levi, Christ Stopped at Eboli
Alberto Moravia, The Empty Canvas or Agostino
Melania Mazzucco, Vita and others…..
Office hours: Tue and Thu 2,00 - 2,40 p.m. and by appointment.