LT 334 - Identity Between Dream and Reality in Italian Literature (Italian-taught)

The aim of this course is to analyze fundamental traits of Italian literature in the context of modernity referring to a period which concerns both the passage from the nineteenth century to the twentieth century and the first phase of the twentieth century marked by historical changes (until WWII). The question of identity is considered as a relevant one in order to connect the literary texts with the cultural contexts, including science, philosophy, anthropology, and psychoanalysis, with special attention to the problematic way of intending reality from a perspective dealing with dream in every sense.

The role and the value of dream change in the passage from the Ottocento to the Novecento. Dreams show their importance in connection with a new 'vision': every aspect of life becomes dreamlike, as well as narration in literary works. The language of dream is fundamental in order to understand both the deep dynamics of concrete world and the creative language of literary world. However, dreams have a symbolic function in literary texts, because they evoke connections among different themes, situations and/or characters.

The question of identity regards significant authors: Italo Svevo, Federigo Tozzi, a Sienese writer able to stimulate students’ reflections on the local context, Luigi Pirandello, Alberto Moravia, Umberto Saba, Eugenio Montale, but also Sibilla Aleramo, whose work is important for the reasoning on female writing. Then this question allows students to think over the characteristics of various genres (short story, novel, autobiography, and poetry, with their connections). Furthermore, literary experiences related to other periods or countries are examined (see in particular the references to Dante, Fëdor Michailovič Dostoevskij, Franz Kafka, and T. S. Eliot).

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