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David Birdsong, Chair 201 W 21ST STREET STOP B7600, HRH 2.114A, AUSTIN, TX 78712 • 512-471-5531

Spring 2006


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35700 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
HRH 2.112

Course Description

Italian literature has been a manifestation of a cultural elite with little or no contact with the masses. The distance between the learned language, taught in school, and the many dialects, spoken in the various regions has contributed to the problem. It was precisely against this historical and social phenomenon that Antonio Gramsci waged his battle. Literature, that is rooted in the history and culture of a country, must maintain this contact with the social-historical forces that have formed it and aim at the improvement of those very forces. In the narrative production of the first half of the twentieth century, the literature of the war and of the Resistance, represents the best attempt to achieve such goal: writing in order to remember, to tell of a past experience made of mistakes and suffering, not only in order to exorcise it, but also in order to learn from it. Placing them in their historical background, we will read six or seven novels dealing with the experience of the war, fascism and the resistance.

This course is taught in Italian.

Grading Policy

Four short papers:  40%
two exams: 40%
class participation and short quizzes: 20%
No final exam.


Italo Calvino:  Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno
Ignazio Silone:  Fontamara
Giorgio Bassani:  Il giardino dei Finzi-Contini
Cesare Pavese: La casa in collina
Beppe Fenoglio:  Una questione privata
Primo Levi:  Se questo ê un uomo
Vitaliano Brancati:  Il Bell'Antonio
Leonardo Sciascia:  "L'antimonio"
(at Speedway)


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