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CODE 55867
  • 9 cfu during the 1st year of 8740 LINGUE E CULTURE MODERNE (L-11) - GENOVA
    LANGUAGE Italian
  • SEMESTER 2° Semester
    SECTIONING This unit is divided into 3 sections:


    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 aim of this University Course is to give an idea of Italian literary tradition, from its origins to the actual days, with a particular eye to the different cultural typologies, interpretation of texts and contexts (musical, artistic, historical), and principally to the relationship with other foreign cultural systems.


    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 written and oral form with clarity and language properties


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


    Lectures will be held with the aid of multimedia tools and materials. Lectures will consist in commented readings of literary excerpts and in-depth cultural contextualisations, aimed at stimulating the reflections of students, who will often be invited to actively take part with their questions. The lecturer will also upload on the AulaWeb e-learning portal the slides used in classroom and other supplementary materials.

    Attendance is not compulsory, but it 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 and ask for an alternative examination programme. It is also advisable to attend the first lecture, during which the teaching programme and examination methods will be presented.


    Module 1

    Autonomous 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 deepen their study of the anthologized authors by using a textbook of Italian literature.

    Module 2

    The lessons of the course will be dedicated to the following topics:

    • Una lettura di Malebolge (Dante, Inferno, canti XVIII-XXX).
    • Alessandro Tassoni e la Secchia Rapita
    • La 'trilogia' di Federico De Roberto: l'Illusione, i Viceré e l'Imperio

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


    Bibliography for attending students


    Module 1

    - handouts in AulaWeb

    Module 2

    - Dante Alighieri, Divina Commedia, a cura di Anna Maria Chiavacci Leonardi, Milano, Mondadori; oppure l’edizione a cura di Giorgio Inglese, Roma, Carocci; oppure l’edizione a cura di Bianca Garavelli, Milano, Bompiani (all the passages read in class)

    - Alessandro Tassoni, La secchia rapita (redazione definitiva), edizione critica a cura di Ottavio Besomi, vol. 2, Padova, Antenore, 1990 (all the cantoes read in class).

    - Federico De Roberto, I Viceré, in Romanzi, novelle e saggi, a cura di C. A. Madrignani, Milano, Mondadori, 1984; oppure l'edizione a cura di N. Zago, Milano, BUR, 1997; (complete reading of the novel). Alternatively, Federico De Roberto, L'Illusione, in Romanzi, novelle e saggi, a cura di C. A. Madrignani, Milano, Mondadori, 1984; oppure l'edizione a cura di N. Zago, Milano, BUR, 1997;  (complete reading of the novel).

    - Any additional reading available on AulaWeb during the course.

    The list may vary and it is therefore advisable to wait until the start of the lectures and the lecturer's presentation of the syllabus before purchasing or borrowing these books. The bibliography for module 2 will be supplemented with additional readings presented in class and made available on AulaWeb during the course.

    Non-attending students are asked to contact the teacher to agree on a specific bibliography.





    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 will take place in a single oral test covering the entire programme, consisting of the selection of anthological texts (module 1) and the topics presented during the lectures (module 2). It is not possible to split the examination into two separate sessions.

    To take part in the exams, students must register at least five days before the date of the exam at

    Non attending students are invited tocontact the lecturer by e-mail ( to arrange an alternative examination programme.


    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.


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