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Home > SMLLC home > Information for current students > IT3990 The Postmodern in Italian Literature: Pioneers, Practitioners and Critics
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IT3990 The Postmodern in Italian Literature: Pioneers, Practitioners and Critics

Course convenor: Dr Daniela Cerimonia


Presentation: 20%

Long Essay (3000-3,500 words): 80%


The course will introduce students to the cultural debate surrounding the notion of Postmodernism. Particular attention will be paid to the Italian context through a selection of literary and critical works by authors including Italo Calvino (Le città invisibili, 1973 – Invisible Cities), Umberto Eco (Il nome della rosa, 1980 – The Name of the Rose), Luther Blissett (Q, 1999), Wu Ming (The New Italian Epic, 2008) and Roberto Saviano (Gomorra – Gomorrah, 2006). All works studied are informed by or address postmodernist thinking, and challenge traditional notions of culture and literature through a range of innovative practices. The course also considers the recent crisis of postmodernist aesthetics and explores a new and emerging form of epic realism in Italian literature.

Set Texts in Italian:

Calvino, Italo, Le città invisibili (Turin: Einaudi, 1972)

Umberto Eco, Il nome della rosa (Milan: Bompiani, 2013)

Luther Blissett, Q (Turin: Einaudi, 1999)

Roberto Saviano, Gomorra (Milan: Mondadori, 2006)

Set Texts in English:

Calvino, Italo, Invisible Cities (London: Vintage, 1997)

Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose (London: Vintage, 2004)

Luther Blissett, Q (London: Arrow, 2004)

Roberto Saviano, Gomorrah: Italy’s Other Mafia (London: Media Tie-in, 2011)

Secondary Material:

Antonello, Pierpaolo, and Florian Mussgnug, eds, Postmodern Impegno: Ethics and Commitment in Contemporary Italian Culture (Bern: Peter Lang, 2009)

Bertens, Hans, The idea of the Postmodern (London: Routledge, 1995)

Brooker, Peter, Modernism / Postmodernism (London and New York: Longman, 1992)

Cannon, JoAnn, Postmodern Italian Fiction. The Crisis of Reason in Calvino, Eco, Sciascia, Malerba (London: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 1989)

Connor, Steven, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Postmodernism (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004)

Docherty, Thomas, Postmodernism: a Reader (London and New York: Harvester and Wheatsheaf, 1993)

Eco, Umberto, Reflections on the Name of the Rose (London: Secker & Warburg, 1985)



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