Skip to main content

The Modern Italian Novel

Tu/Th  9:30-10:45
Instructor: Jennifer Mackenzie (
jennifer.mackenzi@unc.edu)

Although an understudied genre from the perspective of literary theory, the family novel embraces some of the most beloved works of modern Italian literature. This course introduces a selection of these texts from the twentieth century, including some short stories and films, which make the family a collective protagonist, examine familial relationships, and reimagine what family is at all. Authors include Italo Calvino, Giuseppe Tommasi di Lampedusa, Dacia Maraini, and Clara Sereni. Readings, assignments, and class discussions are in Italian. Coursework will focus on close reading, dramatic reading, discussion, and creative responses in words and images.

Prerequisites: ITAL 204 or ITAL 402 or permission of instructor
Fulfills Literary Arts (LA) Gen Ed requirement
Counts as elective for Italian Major and Minor
Counts as 6th-semester elective for Global Studies Major

We will read some of the most significant horror and crime novels and short stories of modern Italian literature, including selections from I fatali by Iginio Ugo Tarchetti, Il cappello del prete by Emilio de Marchi, Ofelia by Luigi Capuana, Mal di luna by Luigi Pirandello, Una storia semplice and Il giorno della civetta by Leonardo Sciascia, and Il cane di terracotta by Andrea Camilleri. We will also read chapters from Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merulana by Carlo Emilio Gadda, Il nome della rosa by Umberto Eco, and Gomorra by Roberto Saviano. Film adaptations of these texts will also be part of the course.

Prerequisites: ITAL 204, ITAL 402, or permission of the instructor

Previously Offered:

Fall 2014