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    Vassar College
  Dec 13, 2017
Catalogue 2017-2018
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ITAL 177 - Italy and the Modern Self

1 unit(s)

In this course we analyze the ways in which the experience of modernity has shaped Italian literature at the beginning of the 20th century. In particular we focus on the crisis of the self and its literary expressions: fragmentation, illness, madness, but also masquerading and performance. Frequently employed as metaphors for the alienated condition of the artist and intellectual in modern society, these ideas contribute to redefine the notion of self in a country increasingly concerned with progress and modernization while still looking to the past in search of a national identity. While the radical changes in material and social structures, gender roles, moral values challenge traditional certainties, artists and intellectuals challenge formal traditions and provide multiple definitions of the modern experience. Readings include works, in English translation, by Luigi Pirandello, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Eugenio Montale, Italo Svevo and others. As a Freshman Writing Seminar, the course is designed to help students develop analytical and critical skills, and to practice clear and persuasive writing. Students produce a variety of brief informal writing assignments and formal interpretive essays. Simona Bondavalli.

Open only to freshmen; satisfies the college requirement for a Freshman Writing Seminar.

May not be counted towards the Italian major.

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

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