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Realism and Neorealism
Course code: ITAL1102.
Course unit value: 0.5.
This course is an introduction to the study of narrative in film and literature, with a particular focus on the question of realism. Concentrating on the flowering of so-called Neorealismin Italy just after the Second World War, the course looks at the aesthetic and rhetorical characteristics and intended social purposes of literature and cinema concerned with conveying ‘the real’. It also examines the critical debates over realism. The first term will concentrate on cinema, and the second term on literature.
Assessment: one 2000 word essay (50%); and one unseen two-hour written examination (50%).
Tutor: Professor John Dickie.
All films studied during the course are available to borrow from the Italian Departmental office and have English subtitles. There will also be showings timetabled during the first term. The precise films studied may vary, but will certainly include the following:
- Ossessione (Luchino Visconti, 1943)
- La terra trema (Luchino Visconti, 1948)
- Roma città aperta (Roberto Rossellini, 1945)
- Paisà (Roberto Rossellini, 1946)
- Ladri di biciclette (Vittorio de Sica, 1948)
- Risoamaro (Giuseppe De Santis, 1949)
- ElioVittorini, Conversazione in Sicilia (Conversation in Sicily, 1941)
- Carlo Levi, Cristo si è fermato a Eboli (Christ Stopped at Eboli, 1945)
- Alberto Moravia, Agostino (Agostino from Two Adolescents, 1945)
- Italo Calvino, Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno (The Path to the Spiders’ Nests, 1947)
- The Cambridge Companion to the Italian Novel, edited by P. Bondanella and A. Ciccarelli (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003).
- Peter Bondanella, Italian Cinema from Neorealism to the Present (New York, Ungar, 1983).
- Christopher Duggan, A Concise History of Italy (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994).
- Paul Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy 1943-1988 (London: Penguin, 1990).