30931 - Italian Literature 1 (GR. A)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student has a good understanding of the Italian literary tradition, knows the fundamental issues of the critical discussion about the authors and texts and is able to use the main methods of analysis of texts and contexts; he has also acquired the ability of adequately expressing himself in writing.

Course contents

Manzonian polyphonies: text, intertext, comment

The first objective of the course is to rediscover the Betrothed, beyond the stereotypes of school reading, like a real novel, following the unpredictable flow of the plot, the taste for verbal and narrative invention. But in order to understand the revolutionary significance of Manzoni's work in Italian literary history, it is necessary to retrace backwards its genesis and long elaboration, supported by a tenacious and uninterrupted reflection, against the background of Italian and European Romanticism, and at the same time interpret its codes and mechanisms, forms and functions, verifying the effects on writing and storytelling. The guide for this journey will be provided by the commentary on the Betrothed by Ezio Raimondi and Luciano Bottoni (published in 1987 by Principato and now being reprinted by Carocci) where the textual interpretation is methodically correlated to the mechanisms of the novel, assuming Bakhtin's concept of "polyphony" as a general hermeneutic perspective, necessary to illuminate the phenomena of meaning and the intertextual dynamics of Manzoni's writing in relation to the literary tradition, but also to the complex of sources and documents used.


Dante, Commedia, a cura di E. Pasquini-A. Quaglio, Milano, Garzanti.

Reading and commenting on a choice of 10 cantos from Dante's Comedy is required (e.g. Inf. I, II, V, X, XXVI, XXXIII; Purg. I, III, XXVI; Par. I). The site dante.dartmouth.edu is also very useful.

A. Manzoni, I Promessi sposi, a cura di E. Raimondi - L. Bottoni, Milano, Carocci, 2021;

E. Raimondi, La dissimulazione romanzesca. Antropologia manzoniana, nuova ed. Bologna, Il Mulino, 2004

M. Bachtin. Dostoevskij. Poetica e stilistica, Torino, Einaudi, 2002. 

For the historical and literary contexts related to the authors examined the reference manual will be Letteratura italiana, a c. di A. Battistini, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2014.

For the literary theory questions addressed see C. Segre, Avviamento all'analisi del testo letterario, Torino, Einaudi, 1999.

Additional critical bibliography will be provided during the course.

Teaching methods

Lectures and analyses of literary texts.

Assessment methods

The evaluation of the students' competencies and abilities acquired during the course consists in an oral test aimed at ascertaining a general knowledge of all the subjects covered during the course. 

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. Access to the oral test depends on having passed the written test. The final mark is not a mathematical average of the two tests.

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.

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.

Teaching tools

Some texts will be made available on the Internet (http://virtuale.unibo.it )

Office hours

See the website of Giovanni Baffetti