Textual Interpretation and Comparative Analisys (2017/2018)

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Course code
Name of lecturer
Alberto Comparini
Alberto Comparini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Semester 2 dal Feb 26, 2018 al Jun 9, 2018.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims to tackle the representation of the Holocaust in twentieth-century culture from an interdisciplinary perspective. The course will include the reading, viewing and studying of novels, essays and films dealing with the ethical-aesthetic problems of the literary representation of the Holocaust. The study of the proposed texts will allow the student to acquire interpretative, political and philosophical knowledge in the field of literature, history, philosophy and cinema; the student will be able to comment, contextualize and historicize texts belonging to different literary genres, as well as to develop analytical skills and acquire notions in the field of literature theory and comparative literature.



Enzo Traverso, Auschwitz e gli intellettuali, la Shoah nella cultura del dopoguerra, Bologna, il Mulino, 2004.

Wayne C. Booth, Retorica della narrativa [1961], traduzione Eleonora Zoratti e Ada Poli, Roma, Dino Audino, 2016


Primo Levi, Se questo è un uomo [1947, 1958], Torino, Einaudi, 1958;

Elie Wiesel, Notte [1958], prefazione di François Mauriac, traduzione di Daniel Vogelmann
Firenze, Giuntina, 2014;

Winfried Georg Sebald, Austerlitz [2001], traduzione di Ada Vigliani, Milano, Adelphi, 2011;

Robert Benigni, La vita è bella;

Radu Mihaileanu, Train De Vie;

Roman Polanski, Il pianista;

Lionel Chetwynd, Varian’s War;

For those who cannot attend the class, read the following works: Enrico Mattioda, Levi, Roma, Salerno Editrice, 2011; Matteo Sozzi, La notte di Auschwitz. La concezione del male nei testi letterari di Elie Wiesel, Massa, Transeuropa, 2014; Elena Agazzi, W. G. Sebald. In difesa dell'uomo, Firenze, Le Lettere, 2012.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Enzo Traverso Auschwitz e gli intellettuali, la Shoah nella cultura del dopoguerra il Mulino 2004
Winfried Georg Sebald Austerlitz Adelphi 2011
Elie Wiesel La notte Giuntina 1995
Wayne C. Booth Retorica della narrativa Dino Audino 2016
Primo Levi Se questo è un uomo Einaudi 2014

Assessment methods and criteria

Students will have to show, during an oral exam, to have learned the critical skills that have been developed during the course, showing an analytical and argumentative ability in linking the various cultural elements and reaching a depth and breadth of the knowledge of the texts, essays and films studied and commented on in class. The student must also write a 10 page essay - to be agreed with the instructor - on a text / film about the Holocaust, which must be delivered before the oral examination takes place.