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ITAL2115 - The Italian Novel 1900-1950

Value: 0.5 course units
Dr Beatrice Sica
Teaching structure:
one 4,000-word essay (100%).

Module Description:

This module gives an introduction to the Italian novel in the first half of the twentieth century, focusing on Aldo Palazzeschi’s Il codice di Perelà, Luigi Pirandello’s Uno, nessuno e centomila, Alberto Savinio’s Tragedy of childhood, and Dino Buzzati’s Il deserto dei Tartari. It looks at the authors’ literary careers and narrative techniques as well as the broader cultural and historical context in which their works appeared, and it also analyses an opera and a film adaptations of two of the above-mentioned novels.

Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:

The following is the list of primary sources that will be examined during the module. All are available in English translation:

1. Luigi Pirandello, Uno, nessuno, e centomila (1926). Many editions in Italian are available even in the Kindle format (English edition: One, No One, and One Hundred Thousand, translated by William Weaver, Boston, MA: Eridanos Press, 1990)

2. Aldo Palazzeschi, Il codice di Perelà (1911), edited by Marco Marchi, Milan: SE, 2007 (English edition Man of Smoke, translated by Nicolas J. Perella and Ruggero Stefanini, New York: Italica Press, 1994)

3. Dino Buzzati, Il deserto dei Tartari (1940), edited by A. Garancini Costanzo, Milan: Mondadori, 2001 (English edition: The Tartar Steppe, translated by Stuart C. Hood, Edinburgh, Canongate Books, 2007)

4. Italo Calvino, Il visconte dimezzato (1952). Many editions in Italian are available (English edition: The Cloven Viscount, translated by Archibald Colquhoun, New York, Harcourt Brace and Company, n.d.)

Background reading:

  • Robert S.C. Gordon, An Introduction to Twentieth-Century Italian Literature. A Difficult Modernity, London, Duckworth, 2005.