In Search of Elena Ferrante (LIT2351.01)

Barbara Alfano and Benjamin Anastas

No one knows who the author “Elena Ferrante” really is: not her publishers (allegedly), her reading public, the critics who greet each new novel with rapture, the acclaimed Italian film directors who’ve adapted two of her novels for the screen. In an international literary scene fueled by personality, publicity, and the celebrity machine, how has Ferrante managed to stay anonymous? Is it the ultimate Feminist statement, or the necessary distance that allows Ferrante to write so searingly about the intimacies of love, family, and friendship, the darker sides of female desire? We’ll read a selection of Ferrante’s novels in English translation—from the early Troubling Love to My Brilliant Friend, from the Neapolitan Novels cycle—and explore the cultural history of Naples, the troubled city that looms so large in the lives of her characters. We’ll also explore Ferrante’s roots as an author through readings in feminist theory and Italian feminist writing from the 1980s.

Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 2
W 2:10pm - 6:00pm (first seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as All courses, First Seven Week, Literature, Two Credit, 2000, Italian, Benjamin Anastas, Barbara Alfano, and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .