Scientific Disciplinary Sector (SSD)
L-LIN/10 - ENGLISH LITERATURE
Language of instruction
The module aims at introducing the students to English Literature with a focus upon canonical texts and within the context of coeval continental literature. At the same time, it wishes to provide appropriate instruments for a critical approach to texts and genres. The module will develop abilities of textual reading and analysis of literary works belonging to different periods within their historical and cultural contexts. It will also introduce students to critical approaches aimed at strengthening their analytical and argumentative skills.
“The Double in English Narratives between the Nineteenth and the Twentieth Centuries: Robert Louis Stevenson, Oscar Wilde, and Joseph Conrad.”
The course focuses on the theme of the double between the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, exploring the ways in which it is articulated in the genres of the novel and the short story. By locating this topic within a transcultural European narrative tradition, it will investigate this issue through a few canonical texts, from Stevenson to Wilde, and will gradually approach the discussion of two exemplary cases of Joseph Conrad’s protomodernist fiction. The module will include a discussion of Ridley Scott’s 1977 filmic version of Conrad’ The Duel.
Classes will be held in Italian. Primary texts will be read in English and translated into Italian. Attending students will have the opportunity to take one self-assessment test at the end of the module. A written calendar of the topics that will be dealt with will be circulated in class at the beginning of the course.
Further teaching material will be available for download from the MOODLE repository. This material is part of the syllabus.
Attending and non-attending students, as well as Erasmus students are required to do all the readings indicated below.
1) Primary Texts: students are free to choose English or parallel editions of the following texts:
• Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886)
• Oscar Wilde, The picture of Dorian Dorian Gray (1890).
• Joseph Conrad, The Duel (1908).
• Joseph Conrad, The Secret Sharer (1909).
2) Secondary Texts:
• Romana Rutelli, Il desiderio del diverso: saggio sul doppio, Napoli, Liguori, 1984, pp. 11-17, 45-86, 146-50;
• J.R. Hammond, “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”, in J.R. Hammond, A Robert Louis Stevenson Companion, London; Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan, 1984, pp. 115-126;
• Jerusha Mccormack, “Wilde’s fiction(s)”, in Peter Raby (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Oscar Wilde, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1997, pp. 96-117.
• Douglas Kerr, “Approaching Conrad through Theory: 'The Secret Sharer'”, in J.H. Stape (ed.), The New Cambridge Companion to Joseph Conrad, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015, pp. 44-57.
• Flavio Gregori, “Youthful Resentment, Bourgeois (Anti-)Heroism and Sublime Unrest: Conrad’s ‘The Duel’ and Ridley Scott’s ‘The Duellists’”, South Atlantic Review, 2010, Vol.75 (3), pp.109-129.
Knowledge acquisition will be evaluated through an oral exam, which will consist in a discussion of the topics dealt with during the module. The oral exam will be held in Italian; primary texts will be read in English.
Alternatively, students may submit an essay in Italian of approximately 5,000 words, including quotations of the primary texts in English and appropriate discussion, at least a week before the exam. The essay will then be presented and discussed orally. For essay-writing guidelines please refer to the following text: Richard Marggraf Turley, Writing Essays, London and New York, Routledge, 2016 (2nd edition). Students may choose a topic among those indicated in the syllabus. They are required to discuss their project with the teacher before submitting their essays.
The acquired abilities will be evaluated in terms of:
1) ability to use critical approaches appropriate to textual and contextual analysis, with special attention to stylistic features;
2) textual comprehension and translation into Italian of the primary texts;
3) argumentative skills in an academic discussion in Italian.
The exam is the same for attending and non-attending students alike.