Academic year
2018/2019 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LT40AB (AF:248291 AR:135862)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
6 out of 12 of SWEDISH LITERATURE 2
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
Go to Moodle page
Swedish Literature 2 (module 2) is offered at the second year of the BA-programme in Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures (Lingue, Civiltà e Scienze del Linguaggio) to the students who choose Swedish as one of their two main, three-year languages to be studied, and in particular to those who choose the literary-cultural curriculum. This subject is included in the type B of subjects ("characterizing") or in the type C ("completing"), according to whether Swedish is chosen as the first or the second language. Swedish literature 2 (module 2) is not included in the other two curricula offered in this BA-programme: the Linguistic-philological one as well as the Political-international one, but as a freely chosen subject it is recommended to all Swedish language students who wish to go deeper in Scandinavian Studies.
Swedish Literature 2, Module 2, deals with “Scandinavian countryside and tramps on the threshold of modernity”, and it examines Swedish as well as Danish and Norwegian prose works written between the last years of the 19th century and the 1950s. Its purpose is to analyze the literary representation of the traditional rural world and the problem of its radical changes. Two nostalgic figures develop in the tradition, and they are both antithetical and interacting – the farmer and the tramp, the rooted man and the rootless one.
The aim of the course is to give an in-depth knowledge of the theme in its specific Swedish and Scandinavian version; the students should also learn to contextualize the studied works historically, socially and literarily, and to analyze their contents and forms.
The course is addressed to the students of the literary-cultural curriculum, who have already attended Swedish Literature 1 and are attending in parallel Swedish Literature 2, module 1. The course is open, as a free choice, also to the Swedish language students of the other curricula. Skills in Swedish language will allow the more advanced students to approach the original texts.
Scandinavian countryside and tramps on the threshold of modernity

The threshold experience of passing from the ancient rural community, with its self-sufficient economy, to 20th century urban and industrial modernity, is a recurrent literary theme, and it is presented, with similarities and differences, by several Scandinavian authors. The Danish writer J.V. Jensen depicts memorable figures of tramps and outsiders in the stern rural world of his Himmerland; the Norwegian fellow writer Knut Hamsun describes the wanderer of the Romantic tradition, but a wanderer who is also marked by 20th-century anxiety and disharmony. The Swedish writer Harry Martinson combines the novel form, the lyrical quality, and the historical-sociological perspective in his novel about the luffare, the Swedish tramps. The Swedish writer of children’s books Astrid Lindgren is inspired by the same context when she writes the story of an adoptive relationship between a luffare and a young orphan and fugitive.
The comparative work will help to highlight similarities and differences, as to both contents and form, between these works.
1) General part:

Contextualizing the works and profiles of the four authors within the Swedish and Scandinavian literary history from about 1890 to 1950 through the notes written by the professor and uploaded on Moodle:

file pdf "Storia letteratura Nord 1_2018-19"
file pdf “Storia letteratura Nord2_2018-19”

any materials uploaded on Moodle and connected to the course

2) Studied works

Johannes V. Jensen 1898-1910, selezione da Racconti (da Storie dello Himmerland), Milano, Fabbri, 1967 / Himmerlandshistorier: et udvalg, København, Gyldendal, 1981

The selection includes (in Italian translation) the following stories: “Trentatré anni”, “Il cacciatore di Lindby”, “Il podere fuori mano”, “Un abitante della terra”, “Il circo Wombwell”, “I dormiglioni”, “Il cercatore d’oro” and “Tordenkalven”

Knut Hamsun 1906, Sotto la stella d’autunno, Milano, Iperborea, 1995 / Under høststjærnen, in K. Hamsun, Samlede verker, 4, Oslo, Gyldendal, 1976

Knut Hamsun 1909, Un vagabondo suona in sordina, Milano, Iperborea, 2005 / En vandrer spiller med sordin, in K. Hamsun, Samlede verker, 5, Oslo, Gyldendal, 1976

Harry Martinson 1948, La strada per Klockrike, in Harry Martinson. Eyvind Johnson: Premi Nobel 1974, a cura di Giacomo Oreglia, Torino, UTET, 1978 / Vägen till Klockrike, Stockholm, Bonnier, 2004

Astrid Lindgren 1956, Rasmus e il vagabondo, Milano, Salani, 2008 / Rasmus på luffen, Stockholm, Rabén & Sjögren, 2006

3) Critical studies

Maria Ludovica Koch, “La vita e l’opera di Johannes V. Jensen”, in J.V. Jensen, Premio Nobel per la letteratura 1944 (1967), pp. 21-53

Niels Ingwersen – Sven H. Rossel, “The early years of the new century”, in Sven H. Rossel (ed.), A History of Danish literature (1992), pp. 301-310

Claudio Magris, “Fra le crepe dell’io: Knut Hamsun”, in Id., L’anello di Clarisse. Grande stile e nichilismo nella letteratura moderna (1984), pp. 142-164

Fulvio Ferrari, “Introduzione”, in K. Hamsun, Sotto la stella d’autunno (1995), pp. 7-11

Fulvio Ferrari, “Postfazione”, in K. Hamsun, Un vagabondo suona in sordina (2005), pp. 203-207

Mary Kay Norseng, “The Startling Vagueness of Knut Pedersen (From an American Point of View)”, Edda 1979, pp. 157-173

Marie Wells, “A Narratological Analysis of Knut Hamsun’s Novel En vandrer spiller med sordin”, Scandinavica 2003, pp. 239-254

Giacomo Oreglia, “Harry Martinson. Eyvind Johnson”, in H. Martinson – E. Johnson, Premi Nobel 1974 (1978), pp. vii-xxv

Massimo Ciaravolo, “Harry Martinson’s Prose Nomadism. A Comparative Reading of Resor utan mål, Kap Farväl!, and Vägen till Klockrike”, in A.M. Segala, P. Marelli, D. Finco (a cura di / eds.), Le avanguardie dei Paesi nordici nel contest europeo del primo Novecento. The Nordic Avant-gardes in the European Context of the Early 20th Century, Bari, Edizioni di Pagina, 2017, pp. 226-242

Eva-Maria Metcalf, Astrid Lindgren (1995), pp. 1-27, 49, 56-59

4) Additional syllabus for students not attending the course

In addition to the syllabus described above, students not attending the course have to study some literary historical and critical essays on J.V. Jensen, K. Hamsun and H. Martinson, plus a story by Astrid Lindgren to be read in Swedish (the knowledge of the Swedish text will be assessed too):

Carlo Picchio, “Johannes Vilhelm Jensen”, in J.V. Jensen, Premio Nobel 1944 (1969), pp. ix-xxxiv

James McFarlane, “Knut Hamsun”, in Harald S. Næss (ed.), A History of Norwegian Literature (1993), pp. 184-194

Susan Brantly, “Harry Martinson”, in Lars W. Warme (ed.), A History of Swedish Literature (1996), pp. 356-360

Astrid Lindgren, “Godnatt, herr luffare!”, in Kajsa Kavat och andra barn, Stockholm, Rabén & Sjögren, 1950, pp. 134-148
The examination is oral, it is generally in Italian and it lasts approximately 20 minutes. Some of the works dealt with in the course are discussed and they are referred to their significant literary, cultural and social contexts. Students at an advanced level of Swedish might be asked to translate, contextualize and analyze short passages from the original texts. Normally 3 questions are asked: 2 of them deal with the literary texts and their contexts; 1 deals with one of the critical essays.
The students who have not attended the course must study the additional materials described above. They must come and talk to the professor at least once before the oral examination.
The course offers mainly frontal lectures, but with moments of participatory learning, as students may, on a voluntary basis, present in class one of the works included in the syllabus. The use of the original texts will be practiced in class. Italian is the language used in teaching, but with the presence of the original texts in Swedish, Danish and Norwegian.
If you have questions or need further explanations, please write to massimo.ciaravolo@unive.it. Booking time with an e-mail is recommended if you want to meet the professor. Student who cannot attend the course must contact the teacher in order to discuss the syllabus with the supplementary reading.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Natural capital and environmental quality" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 30/09/2018