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IT5: Reading List

Preparatory reading

In addition to familiarising yourself with the primary texts listed above, students may wish to consult the following preliminary readings on Italian history, identity, regionalism, polycentrism, language:

  • Asor Rosa, A., 1989. 'Centralismo e policentrismo nella letteratura italiana unitaria', in Id. (ed.), Letteratura italiana. Storia e geografia, vol. III, L'età contemporanea. Turin: Einaudi, pp.5-74.
  • Coletti, V., 1993. Storia dell'italiano letterario: dalle origini al Novecento. Turin: Einaudi.
  • Dionisotti, C., 1967. Geografia e storia della letteratura italiana. Turin: Einaudi, pp.1-54, 89-124.
  • Duggan, C., 1994. 'The geographical determinants of disunity' in Id., A Concise History of Italy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Levy, C. (ed.), 1996. Italian Regionalism: History, Identity and Politics. Oxford: Berg.
  • Raimondi, E., 1998. Letteratura e identità nazionale. Milan: Bruno Mondadori.

Topic 1: Trieste: Svevo

Core Text: Italo Svevo, La coscienza di Zeno (1923)

Secondary reading on Svevo

  • Elizabeth Schächter, Origin and Identity: Essays on Svevo and Trieste (Northern UP, 2000)
  • Enrico Ghidetti, Italo Svevo. La coscienza di un borghese triestino (Editori Riuniti 1982)
  • Moloney, B. Italo Svevo: a critical introduction. Edinburgh, 1974.
  • Nanni, L., ed. Leggere Svevo: antologia della critica sveviana. Bologna, 1974.
  • Bon, A. Come leggere La coscienza di Zeno di Italo Svevo. Milano, 1977.
  • Lavagetto, Mario. L'impiegato Schmitz: e altri saggi su Svevo. Torino : Einaudi, 1986.
  • P. Barrotta, L. Lepschy (eds), Freud and Italian Culture (Peter Lang, 2009), chapters 4-5.

The following texts are available to download:

  • C.C. Russell, 'Italo Svevo's Trieste'
  • Esman, A. 'Italo Svevo and the first Psychoanalytic Novel' International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 82:1225-1233
  • M B. Moloney, 'Psychonalysis and Irony in La coscienza di Zeno'
  • G. Minghelli, 'In the Shadow of the Mammoth: Narratives of Symbiosis in La Coscienza di Zeno' .pdf
  • G.P. Biasin, 'Literary Diseases'
  • E. Saccone, 'Svevo, Zeno e la Psicanalisi'
  • A. Bonadeo, 'Ideale e reale nella Coscienza di Zeno

Topic 2: Florence: Boccaccio's Decameron

Core text

  • Selections from Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron (students should if possible purchase or otherwise get their hands on an edition with notes by V. Branca).
    Boccaccio can be difficult to read in the original Italian. If you're having trouble, try reading an English translation of the story in question first so that you know what to expect and then try reading the story in the original. The Brown University Decameron web site (see below) has a hyperlinked original text plus translation that will allow you to skip back and forth as needed. Inexpensive editions of English translations are also widely available.
  • Read as much of the Decameron as you can. Lectures and exams will focus on the following novelle:
  • Proemio e Introduzione
  • I,1 I,6
  • II,3 II,5 II,10
  • III,1 III,3 III,4 III,7 III,9
  • IV,1 IV,7 IV,8 IV,9
  • V,9
  • VI,1 VI,2 VI,3 VI, 4 VI, 5 VI, 7 VI,8 VI,9 VI, 10
  • VII,6 VII,8
  • VIII,3 VIII,5 VIII,6 VIII,7 VIII,9
  • IX,3 IX,7 IX,8
  • X,6 X,10

Other Resources:

  • http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Italian_Studies/dweb/index.php (primary sources on the plague in Florence, maps of places referenced in the novelle, bibliography, bilingual hypertext)
  • Kirkham, Victoria. The sign of reason in Boccaccio's fiction. Florence: L.S. Olschki, 1993.
  • Levenstein, Jessica. "Out of Bounds: Passion and the Plague in Boccaccio's Decameron." Italica Vol. 73, No. 3 (Autumn, 1996), pp. 313-335 http://www.jstor.org/stable/479828
  • Mazzotta, Giuseppe. The World at Play in Boccaccio's Decameron. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1986.
  • Migiel, Marilyn. A Rhetoric of the Decameron. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003.
  • Ricketts, Jill M. Visualizing Boccaccio. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
  • Wallace, David. Boccaccio: Decameron (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)
  • Watson, Paul F. "The Cement of Fiction: Giovanni Boccaccio and the Painters of Florence" MLN Vol. 99, No. 1, Italian Issue (Jan., 1984), pp. 43-64 http://www.jstor.org/stable/2906126
  • Supervisors will guide students to other resources according to their interests.

Topic 3: Urbino: Castiglione's Il libro del Cortegiano (1528)

Core text: Baldassare Castiglione, Il libro del Cortegiano

Preliminary reading on Castiglione

  • Anglo, S., 1977. 'The Courtier: The Renaissance and Changing Ideals', in A. G. Dickens (ed.), The Courts of Europe: Politics, Patronage and Royalty, 1400-1800. London: Thames and Hudson, pp. 33-53.
  • Burke, P., 1988. 'Il cortigiano', in E. Garin (ed.), L'uomo del Rinascimento. Bari: Laterza, pp. 133-65; English version 'The Courtier', in E. Garin (ed.), Renaissance Characters, trans. by L. Cochrane. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997, pp. 98-122.
  • Burke, P., 1995. The Fortunes of the Courtier: The European Reception of Castiglione's Cortegiano. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Burke, P., 1999. The Italian Renaissance: Culture and Society in Italy, 2nd edn. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Hale, J. R. (ed.), 1980. A Concise Encyclopaedia of the Italian Renaissance. London: Thames and Hudson.
  • Hanning, Robert W., and David Rosand (eds), 1983. Castiglione: The Ideal and the Real in Renaissance Culture. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Mackenney, R., 2004. Renaissances: The Cultures of Italy, c.1300-c.1600. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Ossola, C. (ed.) 1980. La corte e il "Cortegiano": I. La scena del testo. Centro studi 'Europa delle corti', Biblioteca del Cinquecento. Rome: Bulzoni.
  • Ossola, Carlo, 1987. Dal "Cortegiano" all' "Uomo di mondo": storia di un libro e di un modello sociale. Turin: Einaudi, 1987.
  • Woodhouse, J. R., 1978. Baldesar Castiglione: A reassessment of 'The Courtier' . Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.. London: Batsford.

Topic 4: Sicily: Giovanni Verga

Core texts: I Malavoglia (1881), Mastro Don Gesualdo (1889), Selections from Vita dei Campi and Novelle Rusticane

Other suggested reading:

Students are also encouraged to familiarize themselves with Verga's earlier prose works (Il Marito di Elena, Tigre reale, Eros, Storia di una capinera) in order to better understand the specificity of his Verismo literary production.

Peliminary reading on Verga

  • Alexander, A., 1972. Giovanni Verga: A Great Writer and His World. London: Grant and Cutler.
  • Barberi Squarotti, G. (1982). Verga: le finzioni dietro il Verismo. Palermo: Flaccovio.
  • Blazina, S. (1989). Poetica e procedimenti narrativi nel romanzo verghiano. Turin: Tirrenia Stampatori. /li>
  • Borsellino, N. (1984). Storia di Verga. Rome and Bari: Laterza.
  • Debenedetti, G. (1976). Verga e il naturalismo. Milan: Garzanti.
  • Lepschy, A. L., 1984. Narrativa e teatro fra due secoli: Verga, Invernizio, Svevo, Pirandello. Florence: Olschki.
  • Luperini, R. (1968). Pessimismo e Verismo in Giovanni Verga. Padua: Liviana.
  • Nencioni, G. (1988). La lingua dei "Malavoglia". Naples: Morano.
  • Patruno, N., 1977. Language in Giovanni Verga's Early Novels. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Department of Romance Languages.
  • Russo, L. (1920). Giovanni Verga. Napoli: Ricciardi (any edition).
  • Sciascia, L. (1961). 'Verga e il Risorgimento', in Id. Pirandello e la Sicilia. Caltanissetta and Rome: S. Sciascia, pp. 125-32.
  • Wlassics, T. (1986). Nel mondo dei "Malavoglia". Pisa: Giardini.
  • Woolf, D., 1977. The Art of Verga: A Study in Objectivity. Sydney: Sydney University Press.