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    Vassar College
  Jan 19, 2018
Catalogue 2017-2018
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ITAL 331 - Heroes, Paladins, and Non-existent Knights: The Italian Epic Tradition from Charlemagne to Calvino.

Semester Offered: Fall
1 unit(s)

A study of the epic tradition from the early Carolingian cantari and Arthurian romances of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries to the leading Italian epics of the sixteenth century written at the Ferrara Renaissance court and their great influence on later literature, music, and paintings. Readings include selections from the Chanson de Roland and the Roman de Tristan, Pulci’s Morgante, Bolardo’s Orlando Innamorato, Ariosto’s Orlando furioso, Torquato Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata, and Italo Calvino’s parody Il cavaliere inesistente, as a contemporary reference to the traditional epic poetry. This book, epitomizing Calvino’s long interest in the epic poem, provides a good basis for analyzing the archetypal character of Roland, his stoic and ascetic demeanor, and his transformation through the centuries until he becomes indeed “nonexistent.” Roberta Antognini.


Prerequisite: ITAL 220 , 220  or 218  with permission of the instructor.

One 3-hour period.

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