31154 - Polish Literature 2

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student will know the history of Polish literature from Middle Ages up to the end of the XVIII century. A special attention will be paid to the relationship between the literary texts and their historical, ideological and linguistical contexts, and - in a comparative perspective - to the cultural connections between Italy and Poland. The student will be introduced to the methods for analysis and interpretation of a literary text.

Course contents

The course will will consist of two parts: a monographic part and a general part.

Monographic part:

Polishness and universality in Witold Gombrowicz's work

The monographic part is common for all years. 

General part:

An introduction to the Polish literature and culture

Lessons will be about themes, works, authors of particular importance in the history of Polish culture. These lessons are meant to help the student better understand the general part of literary history (different for any year of course), which every student is expected to study:

1st year students: from the beginnings to the half of XIX century (Romanticism included)

2nd year students: from the half of XIX century to 1989.

3rd year students: in-depth study of XX century literature up to nowadays.


Monographic part:

W. Gombrowicz, Trans-Atlantico, Feltrinelli, Milano 1971, ried. 2005.

W. Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke, Feltrinelli, Milano 1991.

W. Gombrowicz, Testamento, Feltrinelli, Milano 2004.

W. Gombrowicz, Diario 1953-58, Feltrinelli, Milano 2004 (brani scelti che verranno indicati a lezione).

Cz. Milosz, Storia della letteratura polacca, trad. (dall'ingl.) di L. Faberi, CSEO, Bologna 1983 (il capitolo dedicato a Gombrowicz).

F.M. Cataluccio, Gombrowicz in Italia, in «Riga» 7: Witold Gombrowicz, a c. di F.M. Cataluccio, Marcos y Marcos, Milano 1994, p. 222-233.


General part:

1st year :

  • Readings:

1) J. Kochanowski, Fraszki (book I: 3, 14, 79, 97; book III: 1, 54, 76) ;

2) J. Kochanowski, Treny;

3) J. Kochanowski, Piesni (book I: 7, 14, 20; book II: 12, 24);

4) J. Kochanowski, Czego chcesz od nas, Panie

5) I. Krasicki, Mikolaja Doswiadczynskiego przypadki ;

6) J. Potocki, Manuscrit trouve a Saragoze ( Rekopis znaleziony w Saragosie).

7) A. Mickiewicz, Pan Tadeusz ;

8) A. Mickiewicz, Dziady part III;

9) Z. Krasinski, Nieboska komedia.

10) J. Slowacki, Kordjan

11) C. K. Norwid, Poezje (5 poems to be selected by the student)


2nd year :

1) B. Prus, Lalka;

2 H. Sienkiewicz, Ogniem i mieczem; Potop;

3) S. Wyspianski, Wesele;

4) S.I. Witkiewicz, Nienasycenie and one play: Matka, Szewcy or Wariat i Zakonnica;

5) B. Schulz, Sklepy cynamonowe;

6) W. Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke;

7) Cz. Milosz, Rodzinna Europa; Zniewolony umysl

8) G. Herling-Grudzinski, Inny Swiat;

9) J. Andrzejewski, Popiol i diament.

3nd year :

1) A prose work by each of these authors: T. Konwicki, A. Szczypiorski, J. Stryjkowski, R. Kapuscinski, P. Huelle, A. Stasiuk, O. Tokarczuk.

2) A play by each of these authors: S. Mrozek, W. Gombrowicz, T. Kantor.

3) 5 poems by each of these authors: Czeslaw Milosz, Zbigniew Herbert, Wislawa Szymborska, Tadeusz Rozewicz, Jan Twardowski.

4) "Nowa Fala": nuovi poeti polacchi, a cura di G. Origlia, Guanda, Milano 1981.

5) Inattese vertigini. Antologia della poesia polacca dopo il 1989, a cura di Alessandro Amenta e Lorenzo Costantino, Forum, Udine 2010 (5 poets to be selected by the student).

6) A. Wat, Moj wiek.


For all years :

- Literary history :

(the part concerning the year of study)

Storia della letteratura polacca , a cura di L. Marinelli, Einaudi, Torino 2004 (Polish edition: Historia literatury polskiej, Ossolineum, Wroclaw 2009).

Cz. Milosz, History of Polish Literature .


- Notions about Polish history

(the part concerning the year of study)

N. Davies, God's Playground: A History of Poland , Oxford University Press 2005 (the part concerning the year of study).

 A. De Camillis, L. Kurembski, "Il libro degli eventi". Calendario di storia e cultura polacca, Lithos, Roma 2012.


Critical readings

2nd year :

F. Jameson, Il borghese fuori posto. Boleslaw Prus. La bambola, 1890, in Il romanzo, vol. 5: Lezioni, a cura di F. Moretti, Einaudi, Torino 2003, pp. 375-383.

A. Ceccherelli, Simbologia nazionale e critica della cultura nelle "Nozze" di Wyspianski . In: Pensare per immagini. Stanislaw Wyspianski drammaturgo e pittore , Convegno internazionale nel centenario della morte dell'artista, 19-20 dicembre 2007, a cura di Andrea Ceccherelli, Elzbieta Jastrzebowska, Marcello Piacentini, Anton Maria Raffo, Accademia Polacca delle Scienze, Biblioteca e Centro di Studi a Roma (Conferenze 124), Roma 2008, pp. 27-45.

A. Ceccherelli, C'e' Ferdydurke e Ferdydurke. Peripezie autotraduttive gombrowicziane, in La lingua spaesata. Multilinguismo oggi, a cura di C. Montini, BUP, Bologna 2014, pp. 73-85.

3rd year :

Polonia tra passato e futuro. Percorsi di cultura contemporanea , a cura di K. Jaworska , Franco Angeli 2008 (2 essays chosen by the student);

Introductions to the Italian editions of Milosz (P. Marchesani, Nota su Milosz, in Cz. Milosz, Poesie, Adelphi, Milano 1983 e succ. ediz.), Herbert (P. Marchesani, La Polonia, ossia ovunque, in Z. Herbert, Rapporto dalla citta'  assediata, Adelphi, Milano 1993; A. Ceccherelli, "Rovigo": elementi di geografia intima herbertiana, in Z. Herbert, Rovigo, Il Ponte del Sale, Rovigo 2008), Szymborska (P. Marchesani, Una pensosa leggerezza, in W. Szymborska, Vista con granello di sabbia, Adelphi, Milano 1998 o ediz. succ.), Rozewicz (S. De Fanti, La poesia di Tadeusz Rozewicz, in T. Rozewicz, Le parole sgomente, Metauro, Pesaro 2007), Twardowski (A. Ceccherelli, Jan Twardowski, giullare di Dio, in J. Twardowski, Affrettiamoci ad amare, Marietti, Genova-Milano 2009).

pl.it - rassegna italiana di argomenti polacchi, 2007: a) section about "newspeak", pp. 170-213; b) article by L. Marinelli (pp. 51-71).

pl.it - rassegna italiana di argomenti polacchi, 2008: a) section about "newspeak", pp. 248-294; b) article by L. Marinelli about the year 1956 (pp. 58-69) and by A. Bikont and J. Szczesna about the year 1968 (pp. 70-90).

pl.it - rassegna italiana di argomenti polacchi, 2009: a) section "L'Ottantanove ovvero l'incredibile cesura" (pp. 423-543); b) article by A. Amenta about Polish literature after 1989 (pp. 12-35)


Teaching methods


Assessment methods

The oral test consists in an oral interview which has the aim of evaluating the competence as well as the critical and methodological ability of the students. The students will be invited to discuss the tests on the course programme, both for the monographic and the general part. The student must demonstrate an appropriate knowledge of the bibliography in the course programme.


Those students who are able to demonstrate a wide and systematic understanding of the issues covered during the lessons, as well as of the readings indicated in the programme bibliography, are able to use these critically and who master the field-specific language of the discipline will be given a mark of excellence (28-30).

Those students who demonstrate a mnemonic knowledge of the subject with a more superficial analytical ability and ability to synthesize, a correct command of the language but not always appropriate, will be given a ‘fair' mark (23-27).

A superficial knowledge and understanding of the material, a scarce analytical and expressive ability that is not always appropriate will be rewarded with a pass mark or just above a pass mark (18-22).

Students who demonstrate gaps in their knowledge of the subject matter, inappropriate language use, lack of familiarity with the literature in the programme bibliography will not be given a pass mark.

Students who cannot attend the classes or find the texts are requested to contact the teacher during the office hours (see teacher's website) or by e-mail ( andrea.ceccherelli@unibo.it

Teaching tools

In addition to lessons and readings, parts of films will be shown.

Office hours

See the website of Andrea Ceccherelli