English literature 1 LM. Forms, genres, and critical approaches (2020/2021)

Course code
4S002940
Name of lecturer
Susanna Zinato
Coordinator
Susanna Zinato
Number of ECTS credits allocated
6
Academic sector
L-LIN/10 - ENGLISH LITERATURE
Language of instruction
English
Location
VERONA
Period
I semestre (Lingue e letterature straniere) dal Sep 28, 2020 al Jan 9, 2021.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course is held in English and aims at providing students with advanced notions of English Literature, especially in relation to forms, genres and critical approaches. It also aims to develop an autonomous and original critical approach to literary texts.

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to: -
read and interpret literary texts by structuring ideas and concepts with argumentative skill and expressive mastery;
- critically comment on the texts in such a way as to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the theoretical debate surrounding them;
- develop critical and autonomous thinking by personally elaborating on debated issues.

Syllabus

DIS-FIGURING, RE-FIGURING CHARACTERIZATION: FROM JACOB TO MURPHY

This module will deal with the textual analysis of the highly experimental formal choices employed for characterization by Virginia Wollf and Samuel Beckett, and on the study of the poetic-philosophical reasons behind them. Therefore, the focus will be on the art of fiction and its character 're-figurations' in passing from the high modernist aesthetics (with additional exemplifications from Joyce and Mansfield) to its most radical late-modernist 'dis-figuring', that paves the way to the postmodern novel writing.

A) PRIMARY SOURCES:
-V. WOOLF, "Jacob's Room" (1922)
-J. JOYCE, from "Ulysses" 1922), ch.13 ("Nausicaa")
-K. MANSFIELD, "Bliss" (1918)., uploaded on moodle
-S. BECKETT, "Murphy" (1938)

B) CRITICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY
- U. MARGOLIN, "Character" (ch.5, pp.66-79) ) in D. HERMAN (ed.), "The Cambridge Companion to Narrative" (2007) [not obligatory for non-attending students], OR, alternatively, S. Chatman, "Story and Discourse. Narrative Structure in Fiction and Film", pp.108-134 (on character),uploaded on moodle.
-K. WALL, "Significant Form in Jacob's Room: Ekphrasis and Elegy", articolo in Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Fall 2002, 44, 3 [ scaricabile da banca dati Lion, in bilbioteca Frinzi]
-J. ACHESON, "Murphy's Metaphysics" in ID, "Samuel Beckett's Artistic Theory and Practice" (1997), ch.3, pp.41-58 [reperibile in bilbioteca Frinzi]

C) SUPPLEMENTARY (OBLIGATORY) CRITICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR NON-ATTENDING STUDENTS
N.B. Non-attending students are recommended to read the introductions in the editions of "Jacob's Room" and of "Murphy" they have bought (if present), as well as to be informed on the bio-bibliographical profiles of V. Woolf and S. Beckett.
-J.WALLACE, "Modernists on the art of fiction", in "The Cambridge Companion to the Modernist Novel" ed. by M. Shiach, 2007, pp.15-31
- L. PEACH, "Virginia Woolf" (2000), ch.4, pp.67-87 [in Frinzi Library]
-P.Golban, D. AVER, "A Modernist Insight into Character Formation: The Bildungsroman and Its Thematic Perspectives in 'Jacob's Room', 2015. Uploaded on moodle.
- J. PILLING, "Beckett's English Fiction" (ch.2) in ID (ed.) "The Cambridge Companion to Beckett" (1994) [ in Frinzi Library]
-L. LIN, "Labor, Alienation, and the Status of being: The Rhetoric of Indolence in Beckett's 'Murphy'", Philological Quarterly, Spring 2000, Vol. 79 (2), 249-269. [access via Lion in Frinzi's Banca Dati, and uploaded on moodle.

Advised reading on focalization and discourse technique, propedeutical to the reading of the scheduled texts: S. Chatman, "Story and Discourse. Narrative Structure in Fiction and Film", pp.181-209, uploaded on moodle.

All the above-listed texts are to be found at Frinzi Library.
N.B.: students are recommended to buy paperback unabridged editions of the primary sources.

Optional :
-MCLEOD, "The visual arts", ch. 8 (94-216) in M. Levenson (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Modernism (2011)

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Virginia Woolf "Jacob's Room" (1922) Marsilio, testo a fronte (edizione consigliata) 1994
Samuel Beckett "Murphy" (1938)  

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam will be oral: a conversation in English aimed at testing both the students' acquisition of the
contents of the classes, the scheduled texts (A) and accompanying critical bibliography (B), and their argumentative ability.

Non-attending students will add section (C) of the critical bibliography, to replace the contents of classes.