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CODE 55867
SEMESTER 2° Semester
SECTIONING Questo insegnamento è diviso nelle seguenti frazioni:
  • A
  • B
  • C


    The course is part of the Basic Learning Activities for the Degree Course of Modern Languages and Cultures, and bestows 9 ECTS, corresponding to 54 hours of classroom teaching and 171 hours reserved for personal study. It introduces the student to the study of major authors, most significant works, main poetics and most relevant cultural movements of Italian Literature history, from its origins to the 20th century.




    The course aims to provide a picture of the Italian literary tradition from its origins onwards using exemplary texts, with reference to the different styles and genres, to the analysis of texts and cultural contexts, and to relations with foreign cultures.


    The course aims to illustrate (in a historical-critical perspective) a selection of significant works and authors of Italian literature, providing students with the essential conceptual and methodological tools to understand the poetic language and analyze a literary passage from a content and metric-stylistic perspective.

    At the end of the course the student will be able to:

    a) recognize and explain the most important moments of the Italian literary tradition

    b) interpret, paraphrase and analyse autonomously literary passages in poetry and prose, recognising their structural aspects (genre, metric form, rhetorical apparatus) and linking them to the historical-cultural contexts in which they were composed

    c) make appropriate use of literary criticism terminology

    d) compare passages from different periods and authors

    e) explain and discuss the topics dealt with in oral form with clarity and language properties.


    Basic knowledge (at high school level) of the history of Italian literature.


    The course includes lectures with the aid of multimedia tools and materials. During the lectures there will be commented readings of literary excerpts and in-depth cultural studies aimed at contextualising the works examined: both the readings and the in-depth studies are to be understood as examples of work on the literary text, hopefully aimed at stimulating the reflections of the students, who will often be invited to actively participate with interventions and questions. The lecturer also makes available to students, in a special section of the AulaWeb e-learning portal, the slides used in the classroom and other supplementary or study support materials.

    Attendance of the course is not compulsory, but is strongly recommended. Students who, for justified reasons, expect not to be able to attend at least 50% of the lessons (i.e. at least 27 of the 54 hours of classroom teaching) are required to contact the lecturer by e-mail at the beginning of the course in order to agree on an alternative examination programme. It is also advisable to attend the first lecture, during which the syllabus and examination regulations will be presented.

    Lectures will be held in person, unless otherwise specified by the University.


    Module 1

    Self-study of an anthology of texts, representative of the most important authors of Italian literature from the thirteenth to the early twentieth century. These excerpts – accompanied by short introductions and analysis sheets – will be available on the e-learning portal of the University of Genoa (AulaWeb) from the beginning of the course. In addition to these handouts, students can improve their study of the anthologized authors by using a textbook of Italian literature.

    Module 2

    The lessons of the course will focus on the following topic:

    Literature and Metamorphosis. Mutations from Dante to the 20th Century, on the relationship between literature and metamorphosis, by addressing the following themes:

    FIRST PART - Dante's metamorphoses. From transmutare to trasumanar

    The first section of the course is dedicated to the theme of metamorphosis in the Commedia, with particular focus on the Ovidian sources, especially in Inferno and Purgatorio with the episodes of Pier Della Vigna (If XIII), the encounter with Gerione (If XVII) and the fate of thieves (If XXV), crossing Purgatory, with the myth of the Piches (Pg I) and Matelda/Proserpina (Pg XXVIII), up to the overcoming of the human form necessary to access the secrets of Paradise (Pg I).

    SECOND PART - Tasso's metamorphoses. Armida on the trail of Proteus

    Torquato Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata is the capital work of Italian literature in the second half of the 16th century, a great collector/mediator of late Renaissance themes and instances that already looks towards a complex modernity, not without contradictions and rethinking. The lessons of the second part of the module will focus on the relationship between Tasso and the metamorphoses of classical myth in the Liberata, with particular attention to the character of Armida, central to the poem's symbolic system.

    THIRD PART - Twentieth-century metamorphoses. The Century of Change

    The last part of the module presents a series of readings that cross the twentieth century, with works by authors such as D'Annunzio, Gadda, Malaparte, Montale, culminating with Cesare Pavese's Dialoghi con Leucò, for a modern interpretation of the concept of metamorphosis; of each of these, the authorial process leading to an original re-appropriation linked to one's own poetics will be analysed and commented on in class.

    Students who, for justified reasons, expect not to be able to attend at least 50% of the lessons (i.e. at least 27 of the 54 hours of classroom teaching) are required to contact the lecturer at the beginning of the course in order to agree on an alternative examination programme and the relevant bibliography. It is also advisable to attend the first lecture, during which the syllabus and examination regulations will be presented.


    Module 1

    - handouts in AulaWeb (for the anthological section)

    Module 2

    - Dante Alighieri, Divina Commedia, ed. by Anna Maria Chiavacci Leonardi, Milano, Mondadori; or ed. by Giorgio Inglese, Roma, Carocci; or ed. by Bianca Garavelli, Milano, Bompiani (only the passages read in class)

    - Torquato Tasso, Gerusalemme liberata, ed. by Franco Tomasi, Milano, Rizzoli BUR, 2009 (only the passages read in class).

    - Cesare Pavese, Dialoghi con Leucò, ed. by Gino Tellini, Milano, Rizzoli BUR, 2022 (only the passages read in class).

    - Any additional reading available on AulaWeb during the course.

    The list could be subject to change and it is recommended to wait for the start of the lessons and the presentation of the programme by the lecturer before purchasing or borrowing.

    Non-attending students are required to contact the lecturer to agree on a specific bibliography.


    Exam Board

    GIORDANO RODDA (President)





    February 2023 (the exact starting date of classes will be announced as soon as the calendar for the second semester of the 2022/2023 academic year is available).

    Class schedule




    The examination consists of an oral interview lasting approximately 30 minutes and covering the entire programme, consisting of the selection of anthology pieces (module 1) and the topics presented in class (module 2). It is not possible to divide the examination into two separate rounds.

    The grade communicated at the end of the interview may be rejected; in the event of a rejection, the student will have to skip an appeal before being allowed to take the examination again; in the event of a failed examination, the student may retake the examination at the next appeal; there is no limit to the number of attempts. Further guidance on the conduct of the examination will be provided during the course.

    Six examinations are scheduled each year (two per session), to which additional special examinations may be added, mainly for out-of-session students.

    To participate in the tests, you must register at least five days before the exam date at

    Non-attending students must contact the lecturer by e-mail to agree on an alternative exam schedule.  


    The oral exam tests the expertise to paraphrase and comment a literary text in poetry or prose. It aims to assess the skill to contextualise the texts in the frame of the Italian cultural history; to illustrate their metrical and stylistic features; to make connections and comparisons among different authors and works, to expose the contents with an appropriate language and to discuss the topics learned during the lessons.

    Exam schedule

    Data Ora Luogo Degree type Note
    10/05/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale Appello riservato solo a studenti laureandi e fuori corso.
    14/06/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
    05/07/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
    25/07/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
    13/09/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
    27/09/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale


    Non-attending students, as well as attending ones, are kindly requested to register for the course in AulaWeb.