English Literature I [CInt A-L] (2011/2012)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Sidia Fiorato
Sidia Fiorato
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
II semestre dal Feb 27, 2012 al May 26, 2012.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The course aims at analyzing the detective fiction genre from its origins to its re-readings in the Twentieth Century through primary texts and criticism by representative authors.


The course aims at analyzing the relationship between the detective fiction genre and the law, from its origins with E.A. Poe, W. Collins, until its re-reading in contemporary novels, such as P.D. James’ A Certain Justice. The focus will be in particular on “men and women before the law” (in the Victorian period) and the passage from an image of law enforcement to an image of failure of the law.


Primary Texts (to be read in English, in any edition):
E. A. Poe, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841)
W. Collins, The Woman in White (1859)
P.D. James, A Certain Justice (1997)

Opere critiche (le parti indicate)
- R. R. Thomas, “The Letter of the Law in The Woman in White”, in R. R. Thomas, Detective Fiction and the Rise of Forensic Science, pp. 57-74.
- D. Carpi, “Iconological Subversion of the law in P. D. James's A Certain Justice”, in «PÓLEMOS» , 2009 , pp. 28-35
- S. Knight, Crime Fiction, London, Macmillan, 2004.

Manuals: from the Victorian age to the contemporary period
- P. Bertinetti, a cura di, Storia della Letteratura Inglese, Torino, Einaudi, 2000
- D. Carpi, L’ansia della scrittura. Parola e silenzio nella narrativa inglese contemporanea, Napoli, Liguori, 1995. (Cap. I)

Primary texts are to be read in English.
Students unable to attend lectures are required to get in touch with the teachers before preparing for the exam.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam