By the end of the module, students will be able to: a) critically read the proposed texts and films; b) analyse the cultural, literary, political and historical contexts that shaped the representation of Sicily during the twentieth century; c) reflect on how these models have influenced the construction of the image of Sicily and how they, and some specific stereotypes, have been taken up and reproduced in Italian fiction and cinematography; d) evaluate how the image of Sicily can be considered a metaphor for the Italian reality and, more generally, for the universal human condition.
Sicily as a metaphor. For the Sicilian Leonardo Sciascia, but also for the Genoese Pietro Germi, Sicily represents a land where it is possible to recognize not only national but universal characters, because the landscape, the natural and climatic conformation and the social conditions that throughout history have consolidated create a whole of a poignant beauty and charm, but at the same time destructive and deadly. These characteristics make Sicily a land "where the contradictions of our customs, of our civilization are more evident than elsewhere".
The Sicilian setting of films and novels therefore tends to emphasize these aspects, raising them to a universal meaning: directors and writers take the Sicilian reality as a mythical scenario, as a privileged stage of a collective drama not only Italian, but whose scope extends to the entire contemporary and rises to an existential dimension.
Through the analysis of the novels and films proposed, the course will try to find the elements that make Sicily a metaphor for the entire nation and the manifestation of a human condition, expressing itself through the development of themes such as reaction to the Risorgimento, the phenomenon mafia, and the zoological images used to make some typical behaviors of Sicilian society: the "Gattopardismo" and the "Gallismo".
The course will be held in Italian and it will be based on lectures, yet directly involving the students in discussion and dialogue. During classes, students’ proposals for further analyses or debate will be welcome.
The evaluation will be oral. The questions will concern the content of the literary and cinematographic works and critical texts listed in the program, and will focus both on the cultural, literary, political and historical contexts that during the twentieth century have shaped the representation of Sicily, and on their literary and cinematographic translation.
The course will take place in the fourth sub-period and is taught in Italian. The course programs are valid for two years. Erasmus students are kindly asked to contact the lecturer.
If the teaching is taught in a mixed or remote mode, the program established in the Syllabus can be modified to adapt the course and the exam to the new mode.