German literature 2 LM. Critical methodologies and textual interpretation (2017/2018)

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Name of lecturer
Peter Erwin Kofler
Peter Erwin Kofler
Number of ECTS credits allocated
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Semester 1 dal Oct 2, 2017 al Jan 20, 2018.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course is aimed at investigating the relationship between literature and visual arts, verbal and pictorial signs in German Classicism, as well as at analysing the most important descriptions of the Laocoon group. At the end of the course students will have to attain deep knowledge both of the literary-historical context and of the different works dealt with. They will also have to be able to analyse and understand the texts dealt with during the lessons and to properly express their knowledge in German.


Letture del “Laocoonte”: Winckelmann, Lessing, Heinse, Hirt, Goethe.
Il Corso è strutturato in un unico modulo (didattica frontale); il corso si svolge interamente in lingua tedesca. Verranno trattati i seguenti argomenti:
- La storia del Laocoonte a partire dalla sua riscoperta nel Rinascimento
- Il Laocoonte nella storia dell’arte contemporanea
- Il genere dell’ecfrasi: riflessioni critiche sul rapporto fra segni iconici e segni verbali
- Le descrizioni del Laocoonte ad opera di Winckelmann, Lessing, Heinse, Hirt e Goethe
- Helmut Pfotenhauer (a cura di): Frühklassizismus. Position und Opposition: Winckelmann, Mengs, Heinse, Frankfurt M., 1995.
- Gotthold Ephraim Lessing: Laokoon. Stuttgart, Reclam, 1986.
- Wilhelm Heinse: Ardinghello und die glückseligen Inseln. Stuttgart, Reclam, 1975.
- Aloys Hirt: Laokoon. In: Die Horen, 3. Jg., 10. Stück 1997, Darmstadt, 1959, pp. 1-26.
- Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Über Laokoon, in: Id., Ästhetische Schriften 1771-1805, a cura di Friedmar Apel, Frankfurt M., 1998, pp. 489-500.
Ulteriore bibliografia sarà fornita durante il corso.

Ulteriori letture consigliate:
- Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Hamburgische Dramaturgie. Reclam.
- Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Faust I. Der Tragödie erster Teil. Fischer Taschenbuch.
- Friedrich Schiller, Über naive und sentimentalische Dichtung. Reclam.
- Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder / Ludwig Tieck, Herzensergießungen eines kunstliebenden Klosterbruders. Reclam.

Una parte dei testi verrà messo a disposizione degli studenti in forma di fotocopia.

Gli studenti non frequentanti avranno la possibilità di concordare con il docente un programma che integri l’analisi intersemiotica dei testi con una essenziale bibliografia critica sull’argomento.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Wilhelm Heinse Ardinghello und die glückseligen Inseln 1975
Helmut Pfotenhauer Frühklassizismus. Position und Opposition: Winckelmann, Mengs, Heinse 1995
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing Laokoon 1986
Aloys Hirt Laokoon 1959
Johann Wolfgang Goethe Über Laokoon 1998

Assessment methods and criteria

Students will have to produce a written essay (ca. 10 pages) on one of the topics dealt with during the course.
The final oral exam is in German. It is aimed at testing students’ knowledge of all topics dealt with during the course and in particular at testing
- The depth and breadth of students’ knowledge
- Students’ ability to analyse and understand literary texts
- Students’ ability to discuss and connect different topics in a literary and intersemiotic perspective
- Students’ speaking ability in German
The final evaluation is expressed in marks out of thirty.
ERASMUS students are kindly requested to get in touch with the Professor in order to make arrangements.