28991 - Contemporary Italian Literature (LM)

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

The course intends to provide a critical and cultural awareness in contemporary Italian literature and civilization. For this purpose, literary texts are always analyzed as open shapes, focusing on the relationships among their tradition and cultural legacies. We will also read together and discuss a corpus of prose works through many examples of comparative analysis and practice on different methods.

Course contents


Title: Literature and the extreme

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 "extreme" in a literary meaning and in the context of contemporary. What might be the extreme? How many kinds of extreme  could be find in novels? A few years ago Daniele Giglioli wrote a brillant essay, entitled "Senza trauma", in which he tried to define what the extreme and the trauma can be in a postmodern literary horizon. But in this course we will search for something different: how the unspeakable and the undescribable are the territory where the most brave and sometimes cruel novelists should (or could) go. And when they go there, in those unspeakable places, sometimes they transform the idea of Evil, and the different taboos a society share, or even the concept of true or fictional, even in an autobiography o in a reportage.

The course will analyze literary works published in very recent years (most of them in 2020/2021) and so it will offer to the students an absolute contemporary point of view on the italian literature of XXI Century.


Literary texts:

Students will fully read three of the following books (first is mandatory):

a) Luce D'Eramo, DEVIAZIONE (1979), Milano, Feltrinelli 2012

b) Filippo Tuena, Ultimo parallelo (Milano, Il Saggiatore, 2021 nuova edizione accresciuta) oppure Le variazioni Reinach (Nutrimenti, 2015)

c) Giulio Mozzi, Le ripetizioni (Venezia, Marsilio, 2021)

d) Nicola Lagioia, La città dei vivi (Torino, Einaudi, 2020)

e) Giorgio Falco Flashover. Incendio a Venezia. Fotografie di Sabrina Ragucci (Torino, Einaudi, 2020)

f) Ezio Sinigaglia, L'imitazion del vero, (Bari, Terrarossa, 2020) oppure Fifty-Fifty. Warum e le avventure Conerotiche (Bari, Terrarossa, 2021)

g) Laura Pugno, Sirene, (Torino, Einaudi 2007 o Marsilio 2017)

h) Walter Siti, Bruciare tutto (Milano, Mondadori 2017)

i) Michele Mari, Leggenda privata (Torino, Einaudi, 2017)

l) Luca Rastello, I buoni (Chiarelettere, 2015)

m) Valentina Maini, La mischia (Torino, Bollati Boringhieri, 2020)


Students will also read:

Critical essays:

a) Maurice Blanchot Lo spazio letterario (ed. or. 1955, trad. it. Milano, Il Saggiatore, 2019)

c) Roberto Calasso, La letteratura e gli dei (Milano, Adelphi, 2002) 

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: Daniele Giglioli, Senza trauma. Scrittura dell'estremo e narrativa del nuovo millennio, Macerata, Quodlibet 2011.

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.

Assessment methods

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 texts 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, possibly slides and notes from the lessons. Essays from open access literary journals. 

Office hours

See the website of Luigi Weber