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ITAL4909 - The Contemporary Italian Novel

Value: 0.5 course units
Dr Enrico Palandri
Teaching structure:
one extended 5000 word essay (100%).

Module Description:

Since the middle of the twentieth century the Italian novel has undergone profound transformations. Each generation of writers tends to take certain themes as its own and to establish stylistic trends: neorealism, experimentalism, new narrativity, ‘I cannibali’. Within each generation important alliances are formed with publishing houses and newspapers, new literary magazines are founded, the map of Italian society is redrawn. These groupings tend to be abandoned once individual careers have been established. Each new generation of writers unfailingly accused the older one of provincialism, of being too tied to the national tradition. Occasionally, however, unexpected alliances appeared between young writers and others fifty years older ‘I nuovi narratori’ and Morante, Moravia, Bilenchi; ‘I cannibali’ and ‘Gruppo 63’. The module will examine these changes in relation both to generational differences and to the individual careers of the authors themselves.

Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:

Novels from the bulk of the bibliography. However, some texts are offered as historical and theoretical support. The following is a small selection of the novels referred to in the lectures. Students are welcome to propose other texts by the same authors. A longer list of novels and other works will be supplied to students taking the module.

  • Alberto Arbasino, Fratelli d'Italia (Milan, 1969).
  • Nanni Balestrini, Vogliamo tutto (Milan, 1971).
  • Italo Calvino, Cosmicomiche (1965/84).
  • Le città invisibili (1972).
  • Se una notte d'inverno un viaggiatore (1979).
  • Gianni Celati, La banda dei sospiri (1976).
  • Narratori delle pianure (1985).
  • Daniele del Giudice, Mania (1998).
  • Carlo Emilio Gadda, La cognizione del dolore (1963).
  • Elsa Morante, L'isola di Arturo (1958).
  • Il mondo salvato dai ragazzini (1968).
  • Jarmila Ockayova, Requiem per tre padri (Milan, 1998).
  • Claudio Piersanti, Luisa e il silenzio (Milan, 1997).
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini, Scritti corsari (Milan, 1975).
  • Amado mio (Milan 1982).
  • Giorgio Pressburger, La legge degli spazi bianchi (1989).
  • Denti e spie (1994).
  • Leonardo Sciascia, Il giorno della civetta (1961).
  • Susanna Tamaro, La testa tra le nuvole (1989).
  • Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, Il gattopardo (1959).
  • Pier Vittorio Tondelli, Altri libertini (1980).
  • Camere separate (1989).