02609 - Italian Contemporary Literature

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 deepened his/her knowledge of Italian lit-erature between the nineteenth and twenty-first century, and is able to identify and analyze the main connections between historical events and literary and cul-tural movements in contemporary Italy. He/she has acquired the methodological and terminological knowledge necessary to analyse literary texts, and he/she is able to interpret them at both formal and thematic levels.

Course contents

Combination and chaos. Calvino and Gadda, writers of the twentieth century

The course investigates the writing forms and practices of two authors who are representative of the novel's transformations between the early and late twentieth century: Italo Calvino and Carlo Emilio Gadda.

The course is articulated in two units. The first unit (Prof. Giuliana Benvenuti) is focused on Italo Calvino, the second unit (Prof. Riccardo Stracuzzi) is dedicated to Carlo Emilio Gadda.


First unit (30 h):

Italo Calvino, Le città invisibili, Mondadori, 2016 (1972)

Italo Calvino, Se una notte d'inverno un viaggiatore, 2020 (1979),

Italo Calvino, Lezioni americane, Mondadori, 2016 (1988)


Mario Barenghi, Italo Calvino. Profili di storia letteraria, Il Mulino, 2009


The second unit (30 h) will be held by Prof. Riccardo Stracuzzi.

– Carlo Emilio Gadda, L’Adalgisa (1944), Milano, Garzanti, 2000 o successive ristampe; oppure Milano, Adelphi, 2014.

– Carlo Emilio Gadda, La cognizione del dolore (1938-1970), Milano, Garzanti, 1997 o successive ristampe; oppure Milano, Adelphi, 2019.

– Rinaldo Rinaldi, Gadda, il Mulino, 2010.

Teaching methods

The lessons are, most of all, lectures held by the teacher. During the lessons, students will be encouraged to participate and invited to bring a contribution to the course. Movies and documentaries will be shown for the contextualization of readings scheduled. Finally, scholars will be invited for some specific issues and for the presentation of some texts and authors.

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 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

In addition to lectures, held by the teacher, audiovisual tools will be used to support the teaching.

Office hours

See the website of Giuliana Benvenuti

See the website of Riccardo Stracuzzi