Cultural Identity in Modern Italian Novel (in English Translation) (ITA2115.01)

Barbara Alfano

How is Italy, and its cultures, reflected in its literature? How have Italian writers positioned themselves vis à vis the history of their country? How much of it all can we grasp in translation?  These are some of the questions that will guide us in our exploration of Modern Italian fiction. We will read in English a few Italian masterpieces that went on to win important literary prizes, were acclaimed internationally, and inspired unforgettable films, some of which we shall view. This was the case, for example, for Alberto Moravia’s The Two Women and Giorgio Bassani’s The Garden of Finzi-Contini, both brought to the screen by director Vittorio De Sica.  Beginning with novels that deal with WWII and post-war issues, we will cross the Italian narrative landscape from roughly the middle of last century to this one. We will explore genres such as the historical novel and crime fiction. We will also amply talk about women’s writing as well as post-modernism in Italy. Because the novel is the literary genre that loves to reflect closely the culture of a country, Italy and its history will be our constant point of reference. This is a preliminary list of the works we will read:  Alberto Moravia, The Two Women; Elsa Morante, Arturo’s Island; Giorgio Bassani, The Garden of Finzi-Contini; Italo Calvino, The Castle of Crossed Destinies; Oriana Fallaci, Letter to an Unborn Child; Dacia Maraini, The Silent Duchess; Margaret Mazzantini, Don’t Move; Andrea Camilleri, The Shape of Water. The course is conducted entirely in English.

Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 4
M 10:10am - 12:00pm; Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
Maximum Enrollment: 18
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as All courses, Four Credit, Literature, 2000, Italian, Barbara Alfano, and tagged , , , , , , .