English Literature I (2012/2013)

Course partially running (all years except the first)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Susanna Zinato
Susanna Zinato
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
II semestre dal Feb 25, 2013 al May 31, 2013.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The course aims at making the students informed about authors and genre modes which are held to be representative of the English literature and culture belonging to the periodization scheduled for the first-year course syllabus, by making them familiar with tools necessary to critically approach literary texts and genres in their contexts.


The short-story genre, between Joyce and Kureishi. After devoting a section of introductory classes to the formal/narratological aspects of fiction, this module will guide the students though a close reading of the modes of the chosen short stories, starting from the modernist period, widely acknowledged as the heyday of this borderline genre that, while enjoying its own rules and conventions, has proved itself to be ideal for experimentation, thus attracting pioneering critical approaches.
Testi primari/Primary sources
J. JOYCE, Dubliners (1914, qualsiasi edizione integrale), in particolare: “The Sisters”, “Araby”, “Eveline”, “A Little Cloud”, “Clay”, “A Painful Case”.
V. WOOLF, “The Mark on the Wall”, “Kew Gardens”, “The Evening Party”, “An Unwritten Novel”, “Monday or Tewsday”.
K. MANSFIELD, “Prelude”, “Je ne Parle pas Français”, “Bliss”, “Miss Brill”, “Her First Ball”, At the Bay”, “The Garden Party”, “The Fly”.
J. FRAME, “The Lagoon”, “The Reservoir”, “Keel and Kool”, “”The Day of the Sheep”, “The Teacup”, Ian Godfrey”, “A Relative of the Famous”, “The Terrible Screaming”.
H. KUREISHI, da Love in a Blue Time (1997, Faber and Faber), “We’re not Jews”, “My Son the Fanatic”, “Lately”, “The Flies”.
Inoltre, gli studenti dovranno aver letto i seguenti racconti:
E.A. POE, “The Tell-Tale Heart”
A. Cechov, “L’uomo nell’astuccio” (in originale o in trad. italiana)
G. FLAUBERT, “Un coeur simple” (in originale o in trad. italiana)

Testi secondary/Secondary sources
-C.E. MAY, da The New Short Story Theories, Ohio UP, 1994: E.A. Poe, “Poe on Short Fiction” (pp.59-72); B.M. Èjxenbaum, “O. Henry and the Theory of the Short Story” (pp.81-90); M.L. PRATT, “The Short Story. The Long and the Short of it” (pp.91-113); A. Chekhov, “The Short Story” (pp.195-198); C.E. May, “Chekhov and the Modern Short Story” (pp.199-217); J. Cortàzar, “Some Aspects of the Short Story” (pp.245-267); N. Gordimer, “The Flash of Fireflies” (pp.263-267).
-A. HUNTER , The Cambridge Introduction to the Short Story in English, Cambridge UP, 2007, Part I (“The Nineteenth Century”) e Part II (“The Modernist Short Story”);
-S. ZINATO, “Screaming Silence: Language and Fear in Janet Frame’s Short Fiction”, pp.181-194 in A. Righetti (a cura di), Theory and Practice of the Short Story: Australia, New Zealand, The South Pacific, collana “Saggi e Testi”, Università di Verona, 2006;
-B. BUCHANAN, Hanif Kureishi, Palgrave, Macmillan, 2007 (le parti che verranno indicate a lezione)
Il manuale di riferimento consigliato per il contesto storico-letterario (dal tardo Vittorianesimo al XX secolo), è:
A. Sanders, The Short Oxford History of English Literature, Clarendon Press, 2004
Per quanto attiene agli aspetti formali dei testi oggetto d’analisi si consigliano i seguenti testi di riferimento, del tutto facoltativi:
A. Marchese, L’officina del racconto: semiotica della narratività, Mondadori,
1983; A. Marchese, Dizionario di retorica e stilistica, Mondadori,1981; B. Mortara Garavelli, Manuale di retorica, Bompiani, 1999
Altre fonti in generale, del tutto facoltative, sulla short story in inglese che possono essere utilmente consultate sono:
C. Hanson (ed.), Re-reading the Short Story, 1989 e C. May, The Short Story. The Reality of Artifice, Routledge, 2002 (Ch.1: “Overview”).

Gli studenti non-frequentanti sono tenuti ad integrare la suddetta bibliografia con i seguenti testi:
S. CHATMAN, Story and Discourse. Narrative structure in fiction and film, Cornell U.P., 1978, ch.3: 108-134; ch.4: 173-186; ch.5: 197-215 ;
D. HEAD, The Modernist Short Story. A Study in Theory and Practice, Cambridge UP, 2009, ch.s 1,2,3,4;
G. LEONARD, “Dubliners”, in D. Attridge (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to James Joyce, Cambridge UP, 2006;
K.C. KALETA, Hanif Kureishi. Postcolonial Storyteller, University of Texas Press, 1998 (pagine sulla narrativa breve).
Il corso sarà tenuto in italiano e in inglese

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam, possibly preceded by an optional written test at the end of the course.