English Literature I (2010/2011)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Silvia Bigliazzi
Silvia Bigliazzi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
II semestre dal Feb 21, 2011 al May 28, 2011.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The module aims at offering an overview of nineteenth- and twentieth-century English literature, with particular reference to some of its major works, as well as at presenting the students with the basics of textual and literary genre analysis.


The self and the ‘other’: the ‘double’ motif in nineteenth- and twentieth-century English literature.

The course concentrates on the motif of the ‘double’ in nineteenth- and twentieth-century novels and short novels. Through an investigation of canonical narratives, from Stevenson’s to Wilde’s and Conrad’s, this topic will be followed up to the protomodernist experimentation of Ford Madox Ford, and Woolf’s modernist fiction, as well as to Eliot’s early writings. These works will be situated within the literary period covering the Victorian age and the twentieth century.

LANGUAGE: the module will be held in Italian; primary texts will be read in English.


1) Primary Texts

Students are free to choose any English or parallel-text edition of the novels indicated below:

• Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886)
• Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890)
• Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1899), The Duel (1908), The Secret Sharer (1909)
• Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier (1915)
• Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway (1925);
• T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, in Prufrock and Other Observations (1917), in R. Sanesi (a cura di), Poesie, Milano, Bompiani, 1983; Hamlet (1919), Tradition and the Individual Talent (1921) in Selected Prose of T.S. Eliot, ed. by F. Kermode, London, Faber, 1975, pp. 37-49.

2) References

• G. Cianci (a cura di), Modernismo/Modernismi, Milano, Principato, 1991: F. Marenco, “‘And I saw my mistake’: Joseph Conrad e la narrativa di un secolo critico”, V. Fortunati, “Il protomodernismo di Ford Madox Ford”, pp. 127-139; pp. 83-98; F. Gozzi, “La rottura dei codici: il linguaggio protagonista”, pp. 290-313;
• A. Serpieri, “La prospettiva fenomenologia nella raccolta di Prufrock”, in Id., Le strutture profonde, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1973, pp. 89-119;
• Maria DiBattista, Virginia Woolf’s Major Novels: The Fables of Anon, Harvard, Yale University Press, 1980, pp. 22-63;
• Romana Rutelli, Il desiderio del diverso: saggio sul doppio, Napoli, Liguori, 1984

3) Handbooks

Literary History:

As regards the literary and cultural context spanning from the 1830s to the present, students are free to choose between the following handbooks:

• A. Sanders, The Short Oxford History of English Literature, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004
• P. Bertinetti (a cura di), Storia della letteratura inglese, Torino, Einaudi, 2000, vol. II.

To facilitate textual reading, students may refer to any of the following optional handbooks of narratology, rhetoric, stylistics and poetics:

• A. Marchese, L’officina del racconto, Milano, Mondadori, 1983

Rhetoric, stylistics and poetics:
• Bice Mortara Garavelli, Manuale di retorica, Milano, Bompiani, 1999
• Olivier Reboul, Introduzione alla retorica, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1996
• Maria Pia Ellero, Introduzione alla retorica, Firenze, Sansoni Editore, 1997
• A. Marchese, Dizionario di retorica e stilistica, Milano, Mondadori, 2002
• A. Marchese, Il laboratorio della poesia, Milano, Mondadori, 1997

Supplementary references for non-attending students

• J.H. Stape (ed.), Cambridge Companion to Joseph Conrad, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1996: Cedric Watts, “Heart of Darkness”, pp. 45-62; Jacob Loth, “Conradian Narrative”, pp. 160-178; Andrea White, “Conrad and Imperialism”, pp. 179-202; Kenneth Graham, “Conrad and Modernism”, pp. 203-222; Gene M. Moore, “Conrad’s Influence”, pp. 223-41;
• Alice Van Buren Kelly, The Novels of Virginia Woolf. Fact and Vision, Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press, 1973 pp. 88-113;

Please be advised

Further details on required readings and general information on bibliographical material will be provided during classes.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam will consist in an oral discussion in Italian and in English of the module’s topics.

Teaching aids