02609 - Contemporary Italian Literature (G-N)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

At the end of this class, students are expected to achieve a wide knowledge of Italian Twentieth-Century literature, with a main focus on relationships between literature and sociology, anthropology and civilization; the course load goes together with general notions in criticism and textual analysis, in formal, structural, compositional matters, and in their reception as well. During the course students become able to analyze by themselves texts belonging to the contemporary Italian literary tradition.

Course contents

Title: Seventies: a decade of violence and terrorism in contemporary Italian literature.

The course is worth twelve credits, amounting to 60 hours (30 lectures, 2 hours each). The first week will be introductory and dedicated to the presentation of the authors whose novels will be discussed during the course. In the following weeks we will approach their works with closer and deeper reading and analysis.

The main topic will be an analysis of the representation of political and social conflicts that took place in Italy from 1972 to the middle Eighties. In those years, subversive violence reached its most relevant and tragic peak with the kidnapping of President Aldo Moro, who was subsequently executed by the Red Brigades, a left-wing terrorist organization, in 1978 after 55 days of seizure.

Literature, as well as theatre and cinema, has often given a narrative representation of terrorism, right from the beginning of the so-called anni di piombo; more recently, a new generation of novelists, such as Giorgio Vasta and Luca Rastello, analyzed and interpreted those tragic yet crucial years of Italian history by adopting a different approach.


Literary texts:

Students will fully read three of the following books:


a) Leonardo Sciascia, L'affaire Moro, Adelphi, 1994

b) Aldo Moro, Lettere dalla prigionia, a cura di M. Gotor, Einaudi

c) Marco Baliani, Corpo di Stato: il delitto Moro, Rizzoli, 2003

d) Giorgio Vasta, Il tempo materiale, Minimum Fax, 2009

e) Luca Rastello, Piove all'insù, Bollati Boringhieri 2006

f) Nanni Balestrini, L'editore, Roma, Deriveapprodi 2006

g) Nanni Balestrini, La violenza illustrata (seguita da Blackout), Roma, Deriveapprodi 2001

h) Luce D'Eramo, Nucleo zero, Mondadori, 1981

i) Vincenzo Cerami, Un borghese piccolo piccolo, Garzanti, 1976


Critical essays:

a) Il caso Moro. Memorie e narrazioni, a cura di A. Cedola, U. Perolino, L. Casalino, Transeuropa, 2016

b) Daniele Giglioli, All'ordine del giorno è il terrore. I cattivi pensieri della democrazia, nuova edizione accresciuta, Milano, Il Saggiatore, 2019.

Students who attend the course for six credits are expected to choose and study two books from the first section (literary texts) and one from the second (Critical essays).

The students who cannot attend the course will also read: .

Gabriele Vitello, L'album di famiglia: gli anni di piombo nella narrativa italiana, Trasnseuropa, 2013

Most of the books in this bibliography are available at Libreria Ubik – via Irnerio 27, or can also be found in the FICLIT Library, the BDU Library, the BUB Library: please check the National OPAC website (www.sbn.it) or the Polo Bolognese OPAC website (https://sol.unibo.it).


Teaching methods

The professor will hold 30 lectures of 2 hours each. Discussion will be encouraged immediately after.


Tuesday 3,00 - 5, 00 P.M. SALA BERTI
Via Ludovico Berti, 2/7 - Bologna

Thursday 9,00 - 11,00  A.M. SALA BERTI
Via Ludovico Berti, 2/7 - Bologna

Friday 11,00 - 1,00 P.M. SALA BERTI
Via Ludovico Berti, 2/7 - Bologna

Lessons begins on:

Tuesday, February 4th, 2020  (II semester)

Assessment methods

The written test consists - only for non-italian students - in a paper (8-10 pages) about one or more arguments of the course. The paper must be previuosly approved by the teacher and must be send with an e-mail atttachment at least 10 days before the oral test.
The oral test consists in an oral interview which has the aim of evaluating the critical and methodological ability of the students. The students will be invited to discuss the tests on the course programme. 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, are able to use these critically and who master the field-specific language of the discipline will be given a mark of excellence.
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. 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.

Teaching tools

Video projector, PC, overhead projector, eventually slides and notes from the lessons.

Office hours

See the website of Luigi Weber