In this seminar-style course (taught in Italian), we will analyze modern Italian travel writing. The authors considered – cfrom early twentieth century playwright and novelist Luigi Pirandello to postmodern authors Italo Calvino and Antonio Tabucchi – write about travel to everyday places such as work and home, dream-like journeys to India, and imaginary travels to “invisible cities.” Some of the questions we will consider are: is travel always about moving from one place to another? How is travel linked to the process of writing and/or reading? Do we read/write in order to travel, or do we travel in order to read/write? How does travel change our understanding of “home”? Is there such thing as an “Italian” perspective on travel?
Authors to include: Luigi Pirandello, Elio Vittorini, Italo Calvino, Carlo Levi, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Antonio Tabucchi.
The goal of the course is to continue to develop students’ knowledge of Italian language and culture through the reading of literary texts in Italian, in-class discussion, independent research, and written work (papers, exams). By the end of the course, students will have a working understanding of the political and historical contexts of twentieth-century Italy, an introduction to theoretical and philosophical approaches to travel literature, as well as a deeper understanding of a selection of critically acclaimed modern Italian literature.
Departmental Goals II and III: Cultural Proficiency and Professional Preparation.
Italo Calvino, Città invisibili (1972)
Elio Vittorini, Conversazione in Sicilia (1941)
Pier Paolo Pasolini, L’odore dell’India (1961)
Antonio Tabucchi, Notturno indiano (1984)
Course reader to contain:
Luigi Pirandello, “Il treno ha fischiato,” Novelle per un anno (1914)
Carlo Levi, “L’Italia e il treno,” Le mille patrie; “La prima immagine infantile del treno”; “L’automobile,” Le tracce della memoria (ca. 1950-1970)
Course Requirements and Grade distribution:
Participation: 30% Active participation in daily class discussions required. Students will also be responsible for generating discussion questions (up to 5 total per student per semester).
Two papers: 40% Two 3-4 page close-reading essays.
Midterm exam: 15% Short response, identification, and essay questions on first half of course materials.
End of semester exam: 15% Short response, identification, and essay questions on second half of course materials.