Textual and comparative studies (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Federico Bellini
Federico Bellini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
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

The learning outcomes of the class “Textual and com-parative studies” LM37 lead students to acquire a deep knowledge of the historical, cultural, and literary context in comparison and contrast related to the subject impart-ed; they aim to give useful information to comment, con-textualize text belonging to different literary genre, as well as to develop advanced analysis skills. They also aim at shaping students’ comparative skills, in terms of methodology, regarding mostly the interpretation of text, critical analysis, and the hermeneutic circle. The class is designed to focus on a systematic comparison rooted in its originally of both being monumentum and documen-tum. At the end of the course, the student must demon-strate that s/he has gained highly specialized knowledge, regarding the ability of understanding (knowledge and understanding); to have totally acquired a mastery of the research method associated with the specific field of investigation; finally, having the ability to integrate knowledge and manage complexity with a high degree of autonomy in broader (or interdisciplinary) contexts (communication skills).


The course addresses the philosophical theme of the relationship between identity and repetition as represented in literary texts. The course is divided into independent but interconnected modules, each dedicated to an individual figure of repetition: rhythm, memory, habit, repetition compulsion, and discipline. For each figure, the approach to the literary texts will address a different facet of the issue. The theme of memory in Samuel Beckett will be considered in the light of the influence of Marcel Proust and of XIX century French spiritualist philosophers; Samuel Butler’s heterodox Lamarckian theories will be explored as reflected in his novel The Way of All Flesh; turn-of-the-century hygienism will be used as a valuable tool to interpret Italo Svevo’s La Coscienza di Zeno; Peter Sloterdijk’s philosophical anthropology will shed light on Georges Perec’s works and poetics.

Teaching methods:
Lectures and seminars. ATTENTION: students who will not attend classes should contact the lecturer before the end of the course to discuss an individual program.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Dispensa dispensa 2020 Verrà fornita agli studenti una dispensa in formato digitale.
Marcel Proust Du côté de chez Swann Folio Classique 2000 Tr. italiana: Proust, Marcel. (1983) Alla ricerca del tempo perduto. Vol I. Milano: Mondadori. Engl: Proust, Marcel. (2004) Swann's Way. London: Penguin). (Solo la sezione “Combray”)
Samuel Beckett Krapp's Last Tape qualsiasi edizione in inglese / any English edition 1958
Italo Svevo La Coscienza di Zeno Mondadori 2006 Solo le parti: 1. Prefazione, 2. Preambolo, 3. Il Fumo, 8. Psico-Analisi.
Georges Perec La vie mode d'emploi Hachette 2013 Engl: Perec Georges. (2008) Life A User's Manual. London: Vintage. Tr. Italiana: Perec, Georges. (1997) La vita istruzioni per l'uso. Milano: Rizzoli. (Estratti. I capitoli da leggere verranno indicati durante il corso).
Samuel Butler The Way of All Flesh Penguin 1986

Assessment methods and criteria

The aural examination will assess the knowledge of the topics discussed in class, the ability to analyse literary texts and to offer personal interpretations. Students will be given the opportunity to do presentations in class, which will contribute to the final mark by 20% and will allow for a reduction of the required readings.