Instructor: prof. Lorenzo Pubblici Ph.D.
Credit Hours: 3 -- Contact hours: 45
Course Number: TBA
Department: Liberal Arts and Cultural Studies
Prerequisite: A sincere interest in English Literature and/or in pre-modern Italian culture.
Between 1816 and 1817, Wolfgang Goethe published the memoire his travels in Italy from 1786 to 1788. The book soon became the manifesto of a generation, the generation of young aristocrats eager to travel around Europe and learn as much as possible “on the field”.
The early 1800’s was the dawn of a new era, marked by the decline of aristocracy and the rise of the middle class. But it was a time strongly influenced by new classicism; the re-discovery of the ancient treasures was part of every good family boy. Italy represented the cradle of the ancient civilization and its medieval revival: the Rinascimento. Rome, Pompeii and Florence became the travel goal of young artists. While Europe was going through this epochal change, England was becoming the greatest world power. During the Victorian age, the English literary production reached highest peaks. The young English aristocrats travelled all over Europe, and especially in Italy. The accounts they have left on the Bel Paese and on Florence in particular, are marvelous mixes of literary genius and love for the ancient civilizations.
This course will track, through the reading and the analysis of remarkable English literary works written by that generation, the experience of the Grand Tour and the social and cultural atmosphere of those years. Students will be guided in the discovery and understanding of early 19th century Italy and will be taught the analysis of original literary texts (novels, memoire books, poems). Furthermore, they will be given the instruments to become oriented in one of the most interesting periods of world literature