cod. 04684

Academic year 2015/16
2° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Critica letteraria e letterature comparate (L-FIL-LET/14)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
30 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
course unit
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Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding.
The course aims at strengthening the basic knowledge of literary study, opening the way for a specialized field, and promoting the development of original statements about the thematic net described throughout the course itself.
Applying knowledge and understanding.
The study of literary methods, the learning of the genre theories, and finally the comparative approach elicit the development of the capacity to understand and connect literary facts, in a profoundly interdisciplinary perspective.
Making judgements.
By the end of the course students ought to have acquired the capacity to carefully value the complexity of literary text, critically interpreting their structural elements, the morphological similarities and differences between them. They should also have acquired particular intepretive and comparative abilities about the historical and socio-cultural contexts to which those artistic documents belong.
Communication skills.
By the end of the course students should have conceived the capacity to describe literary texts on the basis of the genre theories and supranational literary study, developing a personal, reliable and consistent way of reading.
Learning skills.
The commitment shown in acquiring competences and learning should provide the students with a definite methodological competence as well as with skills aimed at consolidating their set of readings, their capacity to understand and schematize the dynamics of literary facts – all necessary skills in order to organize contents into the written form.


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Course unit content

Title of the course: Peripheries of narrative. Developments of a modern literary theme.

With the exception of L’Assommoir (1987), the great Naturalist novel by Zola, which may be seen as the novel of periphery par excellence, the course will focus on a mainly XXth Century theme, still up-to-date in contemporary fiction, and related to a wider urban thematics. How may we define literary peripheries? Peripheries as opposed to which centres? Which genres does periphery prefer? In which way does the concept itself of periphery evolve, between sociology, literature and cinema? The supranational perspective of comparative literature proves ideal to develop our theme through the course. Our attempt will be that of tracing tendencies, retrieving thematic developments, focusing on meaningful as well as recurrent images, by so doing providing answers to the aforementioned questions.

Full programme

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1A. Clotilde Bertoni, Letteratura e giornalismo, Carocci, Roma 2009 (only for students in Journalism and Editorial Culture)
1B. Pierluigi Pellini, Naturalismo e verismo, nuova edizione, Le Monnier, Firenze 2010 (only for students in Classical and Modern Literatures)

2. Zola, L’Assommoir, edizione consigliata: Mondadori 2014, a cura di P. Pellini
3. Queneau, Pierrot amico mio, Einaudi
4. Spark, The Ballad of Peckham Rye (any editions)
5. Saviano, Gomorra, Oscar Mondadori
6. Students who decide not to attend the lessons will add the reading of: Atzeni, Bellas mariposas, in Bellas mariposas, Sellerio


1. Garrone, Gomorra, 2008
2. Mereu, Bellas mariposas, 2013
NB: both films will be available in dvd format at the Lettere-Paolotti Library, under the conditions of quick loan

More didactic materials will be available at Copyland (via d’Azeglio 87/A), shortly after the end of the course (Iacoli -‘Letterature moderne comparate 2015-2016’). Students will find a few critical readings to be prepared for a better understanding of the novels

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral. A satisfactory exam will demonstrate the capacity to connect and interpret in an accurate way forms and thematic as described throughout the course.

Other information

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