German literature 1 (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturers
Isolde Schiffermuller, Elisa Destro
Isolde Schiffermuller
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Language of instruction
II semestre (Lingue e letterature straniere) dal Feb 17, 2020 al May 30, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

This course’s aim is to offer an introduction to the German Language Literature of the twentieth-century. At the end of the course students will be able to understand and explain the texts discussed during the lessons, to comment both their authors and their aesthetical style, to situate them in the historical, cultural and literary context of German twentieth-century.


The course, held in Italian ("frontal" teaching), is structured in 2 modules (18+36 hours). The texts are first introduced in Italian and their most significant parts are then analysed in German.

1. part (18 hours, Schiffermueller):
Franz Kafka: Lettera al padre (Oscar Mondadori)/ Brief an den Vater (Reclam)
- I racconti di Kafka (BUR, Rizzoli): La condanna (Das Urteil), La metamorfosi (Die Verwandlung)
- Rainer Maria Rilke (chosen selection of poems)
- Georg Trakl (chosen selection of poems)

2° part (36 hours, Destro):
- Thomas Mann: La morte a Venezia, Tonio Kröger (Oscar Mondadori)/ Der Tod in Venedig (Reclam), Tonio Kröger (Reclam)
- Bertolt Brecht: Scritti teatrali (a selection of passages), Madre Courage e i suoi figli/Mutter Courage (Einaudi, bilingual edition), A coloro che verranno/An die Nachgeborenen (photocopy)
- Gottfried Benn (una scelta di poesie)
- Paul Celan: Fuga di morte/Todesfuge (photocopy)
- Ingeborg Bachmann (a selection of poems)
- Peter Weiss: L’istruttoria (Einaudi)/ Die Ermittlung (Suhrkamp).
Students must choose one of the following texts:
- Heinrich Böll: L’onore perduto di Katharina Blum (Einaudi)/Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum (Reclam)
- Günter Grass: Il tamburo di latta (Feltrinelli)/Die Blechtrommel (Reclam)
- Peter Handke: Infelicità senza desideri (Garzanti)/Wunschloses Unglück (Suhrkamp)
- Christa Wolf: Cassandra (Edizioni E/O)/ Kassandra (DTV)
- Thomas Bernhard: L’origine (Adelphi)/Die Ursache (DTV).

Photocopies of the selected poems will be provided during the course.
Handbook: Marino Freschi, La letteratura tedesca (2008).
Distancelearning students are kindly requested to contact the professor.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Marino Freschi La letteratura tedesca Il Mulino 2008 E' consigliato l'acquisto del manuale.
Thomas Mann La morte a Venezia; Tristano; Tonio Kroeger Oscar Mondadori  
Franz Kafka Lettera al padre Oscar Mondadori  
Peter Weiss L'istruttoria Einaudi  
Bertold Brecht Madre Courage e i suoi figli Einaudi  
Ladislao Mittner Storia della letteratura tedesca Einaudi 1978
Franz Kafka Tutti i racconti Oscar Mondadori 2017 disponibile in diverse riedizioni (1. ed. 1985)

Assessment methods and criteria

The final exam will be oral and held in German. The oral exam will be on the whole programme and it will consist in a conversation aimed at testing:
- the depth and the wideness of the acquired knowledges
- the ability to analyse and understand the literary texts in the programme
- the argumentative ability and the ability to link knowledges in a historical-cultural and critical-literary reflection
The final mark will be in 30ths.