LETTERATURA INGLESE DALL'800 ALL'ETA' CONTEMPORANEA

L-LIN/10 - 9 CFU - 1° Semester

Teaching Staff

MANUELA FORTUNATA D'AMORE
Email: m.damore@unict.it
Office: Plesso DI.S.EUR - Stanza 306
Phone: 095 - 7102278


Course Structure

Divided into two modules, both the course and the syllabus will be in Italian and English.

Module A, English Literature of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (7 ECTS), is centred both on the evolutionary phases and the most representative figures of modern contemporary literature. The texts that will be analyzed in class will reinforce the students’ use of stylistic and critical appreciation tools.

 

Half of Module B, The Ekphrastic Poetry of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (2 ECTS), will be held by Prof. Béatrice Laurent (Université de Bordeaux – FR). It will focus on Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the leading figure of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, particularly on some of his most significant double works. Close reading will also be essential in showing the relations between art and poetry in the author’s production and in the Victorian Age.

The materials that will be used in class, including the chosen extracts and bibliographical references, will be immediately made available, even in electronic form, for those students who will not attend classes.



Detailed Course Content

Module A – English Literature of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: An Overview (7 ECTS)

The course will mostly be based on text-analysis activities. Every author and extract, though, will be presented from the historico-cultural point of view and connected with distinctive topics. In this way, it will easier to value their contribution to the development of the main literary genres and literary trends:

  1. The Romantic Age

a. Nature, Imagination and Egotism

William Blake, The Lamb (1789)

William Wordsworth, “The Preface” to The Lyrical Ballads (1801)

ID., Daffodils (1804)

b. Ethics, Bioethics and Dissent

S.T. Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798)

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818)

P.B. Shelley, Song: To the Men of England (1819)

c. Forms of Escapism: History and Beauty

Walter Scott, Ivanhoe (1819)

John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn (1819)

Students will also study the historico-literary background, as well as biography and production of the following authors:

Poetry: Robert Burns – Lord G.G. Byron

Fiction: Jane Austen

 

2. The Victorian Age

a. Representing Reality

Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton (1848)

Charles Dickens: Hard Times (1854)

G.B. Shaw, Mrs. Warren’s Profession (1902)

b. A New Gothic, Horror and the Double

Charlotte Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847)

R.L. Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde (1886)

Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897)

c. Rewriting the Past, the Aestetic Mouvement and Nonsense

Alfred Tennyson, Ulysses (1833)

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland (1865)

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890)

 

Students will also study the historico-literary background, as well as biographical data and production of the following authors:

Poetry: Robert Browining – E. Lear – Christina Rossetti – G.M. Hopkins – W.B. Yeats

Fiction: Emily Brontë – W.M. Thackeray – George Eliot – Thomas Hardy –Arthur Conan Doyle – Rudyard Kipling

Essay Writing – John Ruskin – Walter Pater

 

3. Contemporary Times

a. Between Tradition and Innovation: Towards Modernism

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1899)

James Joyce, Ulysses (1922)

T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land (1922)

 

b. The Thirties and Forties: Political Commitment and Dystopia

W.H. Auden: Refugee Blues (1940)

George Orwell, 1984 (1948)

c. The After War Years: Rage, Alienation and Displacement

Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot (1953)

John Osborrne, Look Back in Anger (1956)

Philip Larkin: Talking in Bed (1967)

 

d. Postmodernism: The Role of History and Formal Experiments

Muriel Spark, Territorial Rights (1971)

John Fowles, The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981)

Students will also study the historico-literary background, as well as biography and production of the following authors:

Poetry: W.B. Yeats – I War Poets (Rupert Booke – Wilfred Owen – Sigfried Sassoon) – Stevie Smith – Dylan Thomas – Ted Hughes – Thom Gunn – Seamus Heaney – James Fenton

Fiction: E.M. Forster – Virginia Woolf – D.H. Lawrence – J. Rhys – Aldous Huxley – Graham Green – William Golding – Kingsley Amis – Anthony Burgess – Doris Lessing – Angela Carter – I. McEwan – Kazuo Ishiguro – Roddy Doyle – Irvine Welsh – Zadie Smith

Drama: John Arden – Arnold Wesker – Tom Stoppard – Harold Pinter – Howard Brenton – Sarah Kane

As to postcolonial literature, students will focus at least on

Africa: Nadine Gordimer – Chinua Achebe – Wole Soyinka – Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Canada: Margaret Lawrence – Margaret Atwood

The West Indies: Derek Walcott – V.S. Naipaul

India: R.K. Narayan – Sulman Rushdie – Arundhati Roy

 

Module B – The Ekphrastic Poetry of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (2 ECTS)

After a short introduction to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, the focus will be on Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his most signignificant double works. Students will see the connection between Rossetti’s paintings and poems, also his peculiar way of conveying meaning.



Textbook Information

Module A – English Literature of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: An Overview (7 ECTS)

Recommended handbooks

Students will choose one of the following :

Blamires, Harry. A Short History of English Literature, London, Routledge, 2013, pp. 231-423.

Sanders, A. The Short Oxford History of English Literature, London, Oxford University Press, 2004 (ch. 6-10 – approx. 280 pages).

 

Students will study the historico-literary background, as well as biographical data and production of the above-mentioned authors and texts. As regards Postcolonial literature, students will focus on:

Africa: Nadine Gordimer – Chinua Achebe – Wole Soyinka – Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Canada: Margaret Lawrence – Margaret Atwood

The West Indies: Derek Walcott – V.S. Naipaul

India: R.K. Narayan – Sulman Rushdie – Arundhati Roy

 

Module B – The Ekphrastic Poetry of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (2 CFU)

Texts

The Girlhood of Mary Virgin (1848-1849)

The Blessed Damozel (1847-1870; 1871-1881)

Found (1854-1881)

Venus Verticordia (1868;1863-1869)

Proserpine (1871-1872)

A Sea-Spell (1870-1877)

Astarte Syriaca (1875-1877)

Body’s Beauty (Lady Lilith) (1866; 1864-1869)

They will be taken from Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Collected Writings, edited by Jan Marsh, London, J.M. Dent, 1999.

Critical Essays

D’Amore Manuela, “Ekphrastic Representations of the Mystical ‘Other’: Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Poetry (1849-1881)”, in Gioia Angeletti, Giovanna Buonanno, Diego Saglia (a cura di), Remediating Imagination. Literatures and Cultures from the Renaissance to the Postcolonial, Roma, Carocci, 2016, pp. 73-84.

Keane, Robert N. “Ut Pictura Poesis: Rossetti and Morris: Paintings into Poetry,” Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies, 7,2, 1987, 74-79.

McGann Jerome, “The poetry of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)”, in Elizabeth Prettejohn, The Cambridge Companion to the Pre-Raphaelites, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012, pp. 89-116.

Mitchell, W.J.T. Ekphrasis and the Other”, in ID., Picture Theory: Essays on Verbal and Visual Representation, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1994, pp. 149-180.




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