English Literature I (2013/2014)

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Course code
Lisanna Calvi
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Teaching is organised as follows:
Activity Credits Period Academic staff Timetable
Modulo 1 6 II semestre Lisanna Calvi
Modulo 2 3 II semestre Silvia Bigliazzi

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

L. Calvi (36 ore)
S. Bigliazzi (18 ore)

The module aims at offering an overview of late-nineteenth- to twentieth-century English literature, as well as at presenting the students with the basics of textual analysis.


Experimentation on dramatic forms: texts and genres between the 19th and the 20th century.
The module will focus on the transformation of poetic, narrative and dramatic forms between the 19th and the 20th century with regard to emerging subjectivity issues in the background of a new conception of conscience and memory within society. Various forms of theatrical monologue (Beckett) and non theatrical ones (from Browning to Woolf) will be discussed alongside Yeats’s symbolist dramatic experiments, Wesker’s social drama and Pinter’s theatrical investigation of time and memory.

Please be advised
Students are required to do all the readings indicated in the three sections below: 1. Primary Texts, 2a. References, 3. Handbooks.
Non-attending students are also required to do the readings listed in 2b. Supplementary references for non-attending students.
Further details on required readings and general information on bibliographical material will be provided during classes.
Language: the module will be held in Italian; primary texts will be read in English.

1. Primary texts (any edition)
- R. Browning, “Porphyria’s Lover”; “My Last Duchess”, from Dramatic Lyrics (1842), in R. Browning, Poems/Poesie, a c. di A. Righetti, Mursia, 1990.
- T.S. Eliot, “Prufrock and Other Observations” (1917), in R. Sanesi (a c. di), Poesie, Bompiani, 1983.
- Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway (1925), La Signora Dalloway, a c. di M. Sestito, Marsilio, 2012.
- W.B. Yeats, At the Hawk’s Well (1916), in ID., Four Plays for Dancers, Macmillan, 1921 (scaricabile dal sito: www.archive.org).
- S. Beckett, Krapp’s Last Tape (1958), in ID., Krapp’s Last Tape and Embers, Faber, 2006.
- H. Pinter, The Room (1959), in ID., Celebration and The Room, Faber, 2000.
- A. Wesker, The Kitchen (1961), Oberon, 2011.
- H. Pinter, Old Times (1971), Faber, 2004.

2a. References
- A. Righetti, “Introduzione”, in R. Browning, Poems/Poesie, a c. di A. Righetti, Mursia, 1990, pp. 5-33.
- A. Serpieri, “La prospettiva fenomenologia nella raccolta di Prufrock”, in ID., Le strutture profonde, Il Mulino, 1973, pp. 89-119.
- M. DiBattista, Virginia Woolf’s Major Novels: The Fables of Anon, Yale University Press, 1980, pp. 22-63.
- B. O’Donoghue, “Yeats and the drama”, in The Cambridge Companion to W.B. Yeats, CUP, 2006, pp.101-114.
- P. Lawley, “Stages of identity: from Krapp’s Last Tape to Play”, in The Cambridge Companion to Samuel Beckett, ed. by J. Pilling, CUP, 1994, pp. 88-105.
- G. Leeming and S. Trussler, The Plays of Arnold Wesker. An Assessment, Victor Gollancz, 1971, pp. 25-42.
- A. Rayner, “Harold Pinter: Narrative and Presence”, Theatre Journal, Vol. 40, No. 4 (Dec., 1988), pp. 482-497.

2b. Supplementary references for non-attending students
- S. Bigliazzi, “Verso un teatro di danza: i Four Plays for Dancers di W.B. Yeats”, in Figure e intersezioni: tra danza e letteratura, a c. di L. Colombo e S. Genetti, Fiorini, 2010, pp. 301-321.
- S. Debevec Henning, “Narrative and Textual Doubles in the Works of Samuel Beckett”, SubStance, Vol. 9, No. 4, Issue 29 (1980), pp. 97-104.
- R. Wicher, Understanding Arnold Wesker, University of South Carolina Press, 1991, pp. 1-31.
- R. Knowles, “Pinter and twentieth-century drama”, in The Cambridge Companion to Harold Pinter, ed. by P. Raby, CUP, 2001, pp. 73-86.

3. Handbooks
As regards the literary and cultural context spanning from 1830-2000 (from the Victorian Age to the present), students are free to choose between the following handbooks:
- A. Sanders, The Short Oxford History of English Literature, OUP, 2004.
- L.M. Crisafulli, K. Elam (a c. di), Manuale di letteratura e cultura inglese, Bononia University Press, 2009.

Assessment methods and criteria

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

Teaching aids
Title Format (Language, Size, Publication date)
Calendario Modulo 6 CFU  pdfpdf (it, 49 KB, 19/03/14)
Dal Settecento al primo Novecento  pdfpdf (it, 731 KB, 21/03/14)
Krapp's Last Tape  pdfpdf (it, 2644 KB, 11/04/14)
Modalità di accesso a JStor  pdfpdf (it, 2479 KB, 19/03/14)
Pinter, Old Times  pdfpdf (it, 611 KB, 10/05/14)
Pinter, The Room  pdfpdf (it, 220 KB, 06/05/14)
Symons and Craig  pdfpdf (it, 554 KB, 21/03/14)
Wesker and The Kitchen  pdfpdf (it, 314 KB, 06/05/14)
William Poel  pdfpdf (it, 274 KB, 21/03/14)
Yeats e la danza  pdfpdf (it, 2122 KB, 03/04/14)