E f320M • Italian Journeys in Literature and Art (ITALY)
Course taught in Italy
Before the modern period no one told artists they had to specialize. Poets painted; sculptors wrought in words as well as marble. This seminar will take up the ways in which the region surrounding Santa Chiara flourished in the Renaissance and remained an inspiration to artists and writers of the future, especially in the nineteenth century. Beginning with the poetry of Michelangelo and the writings of Vasari, Palladio, Cellini, and Veronese, we shall read what Italy itself inspired and how Italian artists saw themselves. These artists knew they were doing something special and saw their work as shaping their world aesthetically, culturally, and politically. The artistic flourishing was accompanied by a literary one; indeed, they competed in the famous "battle of the arts": Do words or images do more to (and for) our souls? Each of our writers actually stood where you will stand, and each captured that moment in words, stone, or paint. Students will be encouraged to analyze and write about both the works of art and the literary responses to them.
Students will be expected to attend all seminar meetings and participate in all course trips. They will be expected to read and discuss the readings with energy and collegiality (15%).
Students will also be asked to prepare a number of short writing assignments: two 3-page essays of individual responses to the readings (40%), a 5-page essay (25%), and a final assignment (20%).
Dante, "Inferno," selections from the poetry and prose of Michelangelo, Palladio, Vasari, Cellini and Piranesi, Walpole, "The Castle of Otranto," Goethe, selections from "The Italian Journey," Lessing, "Laocoon, or on the Limits of Painting," Hegel, selections from "Lectures on Aesthetics," Byron, "Manfred" and selections from "Childe Harold" and "Don Juan," Shelley, "The Cenci," Keats, Odes of 1819 and selected letters, Polidori "The Vampire," Gogol, "Rome," selected lyrics by Pushkin and Batyushvok, Pater, The Poetry of Michelangelo, and selections from "The Renaissance," Wilde, "Ravenna" and selected essays, Henry James, "Daisy Miller," Rilke, "Duino Elegies" Calvino, "Invisible Cities"