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Italy & Anglo-American Fiction & Films

ENGL 291.401
instructor(s):
TR 12-1:30

This course will examine films and novels whose English or American creators and/or fictional characters are confronted with Italian people and culture. Films include Roberto Rossellini's Voyage in Italy (starring Ingrid Bergman), Ettore Scola's Macaroni (starring Jack Lemmon) and Franco Zeffirelli's Tea with Mussolini (starring Cher). Readings range from E.M.Forster's A Room with a View and Louis de Bernières' Captain Corelli's Mandolin to the Italy-inspired poetry by Lord Byron and Robert Browning. The works studied in this course are a gateway to gaining knowledge of Rome, Venice, Tuscany, Naples, of their past and present. In turn, the images of Italy and the Italians constructed by these authors shed light on the essence of their art and vision of the world.

Midterm (30% of course grade) and Final Examination (40 % of course grade) will consist in compositions on assigned themes. Class attendance, preparation (including viewing of films, see separate sheet), and participation are expected (30% of course grade).

Students should purchase the books listed below at the bookstore. Supplementary material will be given out in class.

E.M Forster, A Room with a View
E.M Forster, Where Angels Fear to Tread
Henry James, Daisy Miller
Katie Schneider, All we Know of Love
Louis de Bernieres, Captain Corelli's Mandolin
Charles Dickens, Pictures from Italy

Syllabus Jan 16 Introduction

Part I: Themes of Love and Self-Discovery

Jan 18 James Joyce's short story The Dead (from the Dubliners ) Joyce and Italy

Jan 23 Roberto Rossellini's film Voyage in Italy
Jan 25 Ettore Scola's film Macaroni //Naples

Jan 30 E.M.Forster's novel A Room with a View // Tuscany
Feb 1 Forster's Italian short stories and film drawn from the novel

Feb 6 Forster's novel Where Angels Fear to Tread
Feb 8 Film drawn from the novel

Feb 13 Henry James, Daisy Miller, Edith Wharton, RomanFever. Film Roman Holiday //Rome
Feb 15 Henry James on Venice; Film Summertime (Venice)

Feb 20 Henry James' The Madonna of the Future// Florence and Italian painting
Feb 22 Katie Schneider's All we Know of Love //Florence and Italian painting

Part II Historical Themes: Fascism and World War II

Feb 27 Some excerpts from Dennis McSmith's Mussolini;

March 1 Franco Zeffirelli's film Tea with Mussolini

March 6 Roberto Rossellini's film Paisan
March 8 Louis de Bernieres' Captain Corelli's Mandolin (Part I)

March 20 Captain Corelli's Mandolin (Part II)

March 22 Midterm Examination

Part III Historical Themes: Risorgimento and Rinascimento

March 27 Browning The Englishman in Italy, The Italian in England, and other poems/ Risorgimento
March 29 Browning My last Duchess // Renaissance Ferrara, The Bishop, // Renaissance Rome

April 3 Byron Prophecy of Dante, Ode on Venice, excerpts from Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
April 5 Byron's historical tragedy Marino Faliero//Venice

April 10 Shelley Ode to Naples Lines written among the Euganean Hills
April 12 Shelley's historical tragedy The Cenci //Rome

April 17 Charles Dickens' Pictures from Italy (part I)
April 19 Dickens' Pictures from Italy (part II)

April 24 review
April 26 Final Exam