L-LIN/13 - 9 CFU - 2° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

The course aims at focussing on some relevant literary phenomena, which have taken place during what is called “the Time of Goethe” (approximately from 1750 until 1830), concentrating mainly on the origins of Romanticism.

Main targets are:

1. To gain competence about German literary history, literary genres, authors, and cultural contexts.

2. To display a conceptual understanding and a basic methodological competence about established techniques of research and their use.

3. To display competence in research by applying an existing body of

knowledge in the critical analysis of given texts or of a specific problem or issue.

4. To display intellectual independence, exercise initiative, personal responsibility and decision-making.

5. Communicate ideas, issues, and conclusions clearly.

The course will particularly focus on themes and motifs of the German Romantics, observing the innovation in thought and artistic production by analysing some important texts and works of art.

Course Structure

The course will be divided into two parts:

1) a series of lessons will be devoted to some general topics, motivs, methodologies regarding German arts and literature in the time between 1750 and 1830.

2) a series of lessons will be devoted to the discussion with the students taking part to the lessons about the literary texts listed in the programm. Each reading text will be presented by a group of students and discussed with the teacher and the class.

Detailed Course Content

A) History and Literature in the time of Goethe

The course will refer to the use of a basic book about the history of literature with a specific cultural approach and with a focus on some relevant motifs of the “Age of Goethe” (book in section A).

B) Main Motifs and Topics

The course will point out some main topics and motifs relevant to the literary works of the time (book in section B).

C) Innovation and Tradition

Genres and style as vehicle of innovation and tradition in their formal aspects as well as in their plot and language will be discussed after reading.

Textbook Information

The use of any edition of the classical texts is allowed.


A History and Literature in the time of Goethe (3 ECTS) (one of the two)

- Kindl, Ulrike, Storia della letteratura tedesca, Volume 2. Dal Settecento alla prima guerra mondiale, Laterza, Milano, 2007, pp. 3-252.

- Marino Freschi, Goethe. L’insidia della modernità, Donzelli, Roma 1999, pp. 240.


B Critical Essays (3ECTS) (four of them)

- Ernst Osterkamp, L’immagine della Sicilia nei viaggiatori tedeschi del XVIII e XIX secolo, in A. Meier, Un paese indicibilmente bello, Sellerio, Palermo, 1987, pp. 139-157.

- Helmut Pfotenhauer, Il colore. L’estetica siciliana di Goethe, in A. Meier, Un paese indicibilmente bello, Sellerio, Palermo, 1987, pp.181-194.

- Giuliano Baioni, Le Affinità elettive: il mistero religioso romantico e la dissoluzione della società feudale, in Id., Classicismo e rivoluzione, Torino 1998, pp. 245-267.

- Michele Cometa, La cultura di Weimar, in Id., L’età di Goethe, Carocci, 2006, pp. 99-143.

- Giorgio Cusatelli, Introduzione, in «Athenaeum». Tutti i fascicoli della rivista di A.W. Schlegel e F. Schlegel, Bompiani, Milano, 2008, pp.IX-XXXIII.

- Albert Meier. Das ästhetische Bündnis mit Schiller, in Id., Goethe. Dichtung – Kunst – Natur, Reclam, Stuttgart, 2011, pp. 192-201.

- Gabriella Catalano, I dolori del giovane Werther, in Id., Goethe, Salerno Editrice, Roma, 2014, pp. 88-107.

- Gonthier-Louis Fink: ›Das Märchen‹. Goethes Auseinandersetzung mit seiner Zeit, in Id., Gonthier-Louis Fink, Goethe-Studien / Études sur Goethe (1971-2017), Zusammengestellt und herausgegeben von Anne Feler u. a., Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg, 2020, pp. 271-296.


C Innovation and Tradition (3 ECTS)

- Goethe, Johann Wolfgang, I dolori del Giovane Werther, Garzanti, Milano 2003, pp. 160.


The use of any edition of the classical texts is allowed.

(3 of the following works in any edition):

- Goethe Johann Wolfgang, Faust (Erster Teil)

- Goethe Johann Wolfgang, Iphigenie auf Tauris

- Kleist Heinrich, Penthesilea

Kleist Heinrich, Michael Kohlhaas

- Lessing Gotthold Ephraim, Nathan der Weise

- Chamisso Adelbert von, Peter Schlemihls wundersame Geschichte

- Hoffmann E.T.A., Der Sandmann

- Hölderlin Friedrich, Hyperion

- Moritz Karl Philipp, Anton Reiser

- Novalis, Heinrich von Ofterdingen

- Tieck Ludwig, Der gestiefelte Kater

- Schiller Friedrich, Kabale und Liebe

- Grimm Jakob and Wilhelm, Kinder- und Hausmärchen (3 Fairy tales).


The critical essays listed above can be found either in the library or they will be put in copy on the STUDIUM platform.

A brief reader of text in German language will be put at disposition on STUDIUM.


Please remember that in compliance with art 171 L22.04.1941, n. 633 and its amendments, it is illegal to copy entire books or journals, only 15% of their content can be copied.

For further information on sanctions and regulations concerning photocopying please refer to the regulations on copyright (Linee Guida sulla Gestione dei Diritti d’Autore) provided by AIDRO - Associazione Italiana per i Diritti di Riproduzione delle opere dell’ingegno (the Italian Association on Copyright).

All the books listed in the programs can be consulted in the Library.

Open in PDF format Versione in italiano