115: Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture: “Musei, Cimiteri!” La letteratura italiana dal romanticismo al futurismo

MWF 11-12 | Dwinelle 6331 | Instructor: Emily Rabiner

Units: 4 Satisfies L&S Arts & Literature breadth requirement.

This course is taught in Italian.

In his poem Dei sepolcri (1806), Ugo Foscolo exalts tombs and monuments to the dead as reminders of Italy’s past virtue that can inspire each new generation. A century later, F. T. Marinetti, in his Manifesto del Futurismo (1909), demands that young artists cast off the chains of the past and destroy libraries, academies, and museums, memorably scorned as cemeteries. In this course we will examine this tension between the desire to look to tradition for inspiration and the impulse to careen into the future by exploring its expressions in Italian literature from the early nineteenth century up through the eve of World War I, thereby covering a century that saw momentous political change on the peninsula alongside tremendous literary developments. Among the topics to be discussed are the lyricism and nationalism of Foscolo and Leopardi, the classicism of Carducci, the avant-gardism of the scapigliati, the decadence of D’Annunzio and Pascoli, and the political and stylistic revolts of the Futurists.

Texts to be announced.

PREREQUISITES: Italian 101/ability to communicate in Italian.