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Sicily in Film and Literature

ENGL 292.404
instructor(s):
TR 10:30-12

Sicily has always occupied a privileged place in the Italian literary and cinematic imagination. While such writers as Pirandello, Sciascia, and Verga have created what can legitimately called a distinctly Sicilian category of Italian literature, such filmmakers as Visconti, Rosi, and Tornatore have been drawn to the island as a space for cinematic experimentation and artistic self-discovery. From Visonti's 1948 neorealist masterpiece *La Terra Trema* to Tornatore's 1988 Oscar-winning *Cinema Paradiso*, from Verga's late nineteenth century short stories to Sciascia's Mafia-based thrillers, Sicily has become both a mythic space of the mind, as well as a signifier, *in extremis* for its own, and the rest of Italy's, social, poilitical, and historical concerns. The course will involove close analysis of selected novels, short stories, and films with a specific focus on such issues as unification history, the Mafia, and social/sexual mores. Attendance at the Monday night screenings is required.

There will be three papers of at least 4 pages each, a mid-term and a comprehensive final exam. Since the course will be conducted as a seminar, a great deal of emphasis will be places on active class participation. The final grade will be computed as follows:

Texts:
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, *The Leopard*
Vitaliano Brancati, *Bell'Antonio*
Leonardo Sciascia, *To Each His Own*
Luigi Pirandello, selected short stories
Giovanni Verga, selected short stories
Films:
Gianni Amelio, *Stolen Children*
Pietro Germi, *Divorce Italian Style*, *Seduced and Abondoned*
Vittorio and Paolo Taviani, *Kaos*
Francis Ford Coppola, *Godfather II*
Lina Wertmuller, *Seduction of Mimi*
Ricky Tognazzi, *La Scorta*