29077 - German Literature (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2021/2022

Course contents


The past in the present. Historical memory in literary discourse

How what we call literature actually developed in immemorial times can hardly be reconstructed. In its exclusively oral form for a long time, its primary function has been to preserve knowledge and memory, often as bound speech that could apparently consist solely of lists of memorable names. This function remains in the written traditions and in all their genres. In addition to attempts to deal with the past in literary discourse, for example in order to better understand one's own present, in order to face the unpleasant past, this discourse is often accompanied by ideologically determined interests. These can be attempts to idealize the past, also in a positive way, but mostly the point is to reinterpret the past and make it usable for current interests, i.e. to change it, or even to erase it, in the sense of Walter Benjamin's sentence: Even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he wins. The course aims to discuss literary discourses in the German language since the Middle Ages under these aspects. The historical events, in a limited selection, should be exemplary for the described phenomenon.

Each participant must eitherwrite a home assignment or present a seminar paper. The programme for non-attending students has to be arranged with the professor


In più, a scelta, due brevi testi da questa lista:

-Sonja Boos: Paul Celan. In: Speaking the Unspeakable in Postwar Germany: Toward a Public Discourse on the Holocaust. 2014. 19 pagine. Disponibile per unibo su jstor!

- Sonja Boos: Speaking of the Noose in the Country of the Hangman. Theodor W. Adorno. In: Speaking the Unspeakable in Postwar Germany: Toward a Public Discourse on the Holocaust. 2014. 19 pagine. Disponibile per unibo su jstor!

-Sonja Boos: Uwe Johnson. In: Speaking the Unspeakable in Postwar Germany: Toward a Public Discourse on the Holocaust. 2014. 20 pagine. Disponibile per unibo su jstor!

-Sonja Boos: Peter Weiss. In: Speaking the Unspeakable in Postwar Germany: Toward a Public Discourse on the Holocaust. 2014. 20 pagine. Disponibile per unibo su jstor!

Thomas Taterka: Dante Deutsch: studi sulla letteratura dei Lager, Viterbo 2002, capitolo primo. Dante Deutsch 1.


Rita Baldoni, “Ilse Weber, L’ultimo Lied. Lettere e poesie da Theresienstadt”, prefazione di Roberto Olla, Salomone Belforte, Livorno 2017.

Tamar Radzyner (1927-1991), Nichts will ich dir sagen, 2017

Infine, della seguente lista sono richiesti 3 testi


  1. Opere medievali
    • Nibelungenlied 1200 ca.(in tedesco moderno o in italiano)
  1. Prosa
  • Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen (* um 1622 - 1676 ): Der Abentheuerliche Simplicissimus Teutsch, (Simplicius Simplicissimus); 1668 (datiert 1669)/ L'avventuroso Simplicissimus

    Thomas Mann, Der Zauberberg, 1924; La Montagna incantata/La Montagna magica

    Ilse Aichinger, Die größere Hoffnung, 1948; La speranza più grande

    Heinrich Böll, Wo warst du Adam, 1951; Dov'eri Adamo? -ripubblicato a cura di Anna Ruchat, Mondadori, 2021

  • Il treno era in orario (Der Zug war pünktlich, 1949 )
  • L'angelo tacque (Der Engel schwieg, 1952)

    Guenter Grass, Die Blechtrommel, 1959; Il tamburo di latta

  • Katz und Maus (1961); Gatto e topoo Il gatto e il topo
  • Hundejahre (1963); Anni di cani

    Edgar Hilsenrath, Nacht, 1964; Notte

  • Der Nazi und der Friseur, 1971/1977; Il nazista e il barbiere

    Jurek Becker, Jakob der Lügner, 1969; Jakob il bugiardo

    Uwe Johnson: Jahrestage 1. 1970, o in italiano: I giorni e gli anni, 21 agosto 1967 - 19 dicembre 1967 , traduzione di Nicola Pasqualetti e Delia Angiolini, Roma - L'orma editore, 2014

    Christa Wolf, Kindheitsmuster 1976; Trama d'infanzia

  • Stadt der Engel oder The Overcoat of Dr. Freud.2010/ La città degli angeli

    B: teatro

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Götz von Berlichingen mit der eisernen Hand, 1774, in italiano

    Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock:

  • Hermans Schlacht. Ein Bardiet für die Schaubühne (1769)/La battaglia di Arminio

Friedrich Schiller: Wallenstein (prima parte della trilogia), 1799

Georg Büchner: Dantons Tod, 1835 La morte di Danton

Gerhard Hauptmann: Die Weber, 1891/92; I tessitori

Friedrich Dürrenmatt: Romulus der Große. Ungeschichtliche historische Komödie, 1949; Romolo il Grande

Rolf Hochhuth, Der Stellvertreter, 1963; Il Vicario

Peter Weiss, Die Ermittlung, 1965; L‘istruttoria

PROGRAMMA PER NON-FREQUENTANTI: I non-frequentanti, al programma previsto per i frequentanti aggiungeranno lo studio di un ulteriore titolo da questa lista

Teaching methods

seminar lessons

Assessment methods

The exam consists in an oral interview. During the interview the methodological and critical skills acquired by the student will be evaluated . The student will be invited to discuss the texts covered during the course and to move within the sources and bibliographical material in order to be able to identify in them the useful information that will enable to illustrate the similarities and cultural areas of the discipline. The achievement of an organic vision of the issues addressed during the classes and their critical use, which demonstrate ownership of a mastery of expression and specific language, will be assessed with marks of excellence. Mechanical and / or mnemonic knowledge of matter, synthesis and analysis of non-articulating and / or correct language but not always appropriate will lead to discrete assessments; training gaps and / or inappropriate language - although in a context of minimal knowledge of the material - will lead to votes that will not exceed the sufficiency. Training gaps, inappropriate language, lack of guidance within the reference materials offered during the course will lead to failed assessments.

Office hours

See the website of Michael Gottlieb Dallapiazza