The module aims at introducing the students to nineteenth- and twentieth-century English Literature with a focus upon a few canonical texts and within the context of coeval continental literature. At the same time, it wishes to provide appropriate instruments for a critical approach to texts and genres. The module will develop abilities of textual reading and analysis of modern and contemporary narrative works within their historical and cultural contexts. It will also introduce students to critical approaches aimed at strengthening their analytical and argumentative skills. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to re-elaborate critically the acquired knowledge, to comprehend texts in English and translate them into Italian, and to discuss topics employing appropriate linguistic and stylistic registers.
“The self and the ‘other’: the ‘double’ motif in nineteenth- and twentieth-century English literature.”
The course concentrates on the motif of the ‘double’ in nineteenth- and twentieth-century novels and short stories. After an introduction to canonical European narratives on this subject and to British late-nineteenth-century examples, such as Stevenson’s and Wilde’s, the module will come to explore Conrad’s protomodernist experimentation in a novel and two short stories. It will then investigate Virginia Woolf’s own modernist reinterpretation of the ‘double’ issue through an unprecedented focalization upon the characters’ own consciences.
The module will be held in Italian; primary texts will be read in English and translated into Italian. Attending students will take one self-assessment test at the end of the module. A written calendar of the topics that will be dealt with will be circulated in class at the beginning of the course.
Further teaching material will be available for download from the MOODLE repository.
Students are required to do all the readings indicated in the two sections below: 1. Primary Texts (the writers’ works), 2. Secondary Texts (references):
1) Primary Texts:
• Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness. Cuore di tenebra (1899; parallel text edition), ed. by U. Mursia, Milano, U. Mursia editore, 1978-85;
• Joseph Conrad, Il duello (1908; parallel text edition), a cura di M. Domenichelli, Venezia, Marsilio, 2004;
• Joseph Conrad, Il compagno segreto (1909; parallel text edition), with an introduction by A. Zanzotto, Milano, Rizzoli (BUR), 1975;
• Virginia Woolf, La Signora Dalloway (1925; con introduzione di), ed. by Marisa Sestito, Venezia, Marsilio, 2012.
2) Secondary Texts:
• Romana Rutelli, Il desiderio del diverso: saggio sul doppio, Napoli, Liguori, 1984;
• F. Marenco, “‘And I saw my mistake’: Joseph Conrad e la narrativa di un secolo critico”, in G. Cianci (ed.), Modernismo/Modernismi, Milano, Principato, 1991, pp. 83-97;
• Maria DiBattista, Virginia Woolf’s Major Novels: The Fables of Anon, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1980, pp. 22-63.
• A. Marchese, L’officina del racconto, Milano, Mondadori, 1994, pp. 69-234.
Non-attending students are required to integrate the syllabus detailed above (parts 1 and 2) with the following readings:
• J.H. Stape (ed.), Cambridge Companion to Joseph Conrad, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1996: Cedric Watts, “Heart of Darkness”, pp. 45-62; Jacob Loth, “Conradian Narrative”, pp. 160-178; Andrea White, “Conrad and Imperialism”, pp. 179-202; Kenneth Graham, “Conrad and Modernism”, pp. 203-222; Gene M. Moore, “Conrad’s Influence”, pp. 223-41;
• Alice Van Buren Kelly, The Novels of Virginia Woolf. Fact and Vision, Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press, 1973 pp. 88-113.
|Franco Marenco||“‘And I saw my mistake’: Joseph Conrad e la narrativa di un secolo critico”, in G. Cianci (a cura di), Modernismo/Modernismi||Milano, Principato||1991||Testo secondario: pp. 83-97.|
|J.H. Stape (ed.)||Cambridge Companion to Joseph Conrad||Cambridge, Cambridge University Press||1996||Per studenti non frequentanti: è richiesto lo studio dei seguenti saggi (testi secondari): Cedric Watts, “Heart of Darkness”, pp. 45-62; Jacob Loth, “Conradian Narrative”, pp. 160-178; Andrea White, “Conrad and Imperialism”, pp. 179-202; Kenneth Graham, “Conrad and Modernism”, pp. 203-222; Gene M. Moore, “Conrad’s Influence”, pp. 223-41.|
|Joseph Conrad||Heart of Darkness. Cuore di tenebra (1899; testo inglese a fronte), a cura di U. Mursia||Milano, U. Mursia editore||1985||Testo primario.|
|Joseph Conrad||Il compagno segreto (1909; testo inglese a fronte), con introduzione di A. Zanzotto||Milano, Rizzoli (BUR)||1975||Testo primario.|
|Romana Rutelli||Il desiderio del diverso: saggio sul doppio||Napoli, Liguori||1984||Testo secondario.|
|Joseph Conrad||Il duello (1908; testo inglese a fronte), a cura di M. Domenichelli||Venezia, Marsilio||2004||Testo primario.|
|Virginia Woolf||La Signora Dalloway (1925; testo inglese a fronte), a cura di Marisa Sestito||Venezia, Marsilio||2012||Testo primario.|
|Angelo Marchese||L’officina del racconto||Milano, Mondadori||1994||Testo secondario.|
|Alice Van Buren Kelly||The Novels of Virginia Woolf. Fact and Vision||Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press||1973||Per studenti non frequentanti: è richiesto lo studio delle pp. 88-113.|
|Maria DiBattista||Virginia Woolf’s Major Novels: The Fables of Anon||New Haven, Yale University Press||1980||Testo secondario: pp. 22-63.|
The exam will consist in an oral discussion of the topics dealt with during the module. The acquired abilities will be evaluated in terms of:
1) knowledge of the primary texts within their historical and cultural contexts and in relation to the literary tradition of ‘the double’;
2) ability to use critical approaches appropriate to textual and contextual analysis, with special attention to stylistic and narratological features;
3) textual comprehension and translation into Italian of the primary texts;
4) argumentative skills in an academic discussion in Italian.
The oral exam will be held in Italian and will evaluate the knowledge acquired with regard to parts (1) and (2) of the above-detailed syllabus.
Alternatively, attending students only may deliver an essay in English of approximately 5,000 words at least two weeks before the date of the oral exam. The essay should be on one or more topics of their own choice among those dealt with in class. Before writing the essay, students are invited to discuss their project with the teacher. This written part will be integrated with an oral discussion of the same topic on the day of the exam.