Title: "Ancient Heroism and Modern Greatness in the Culture of the Novel: Walter Scott, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy ".
The course traces the influence of Scott’s historical novel in shaping – and determining the fortune of – the English regional novel from George Eliot to Thomas Hardy.
In Waverley, the first European historical novel, Walter Scott staged and investigated the historical clash between the old feudal loyalties of ancient Catholic Scotland and the new virtues of modern Hannoverian England, thus entering the crucial debate about past and present brought to urgent actuality by the events of the French Revolution. In the rural setting of George Eliot’s first novels and of Hardy’s Wessex novels ancient forms of life co-exist with, and often clash against, the more modern styles of life dominating the great tradition of Victorian urban novels. In tracing the continuities between Scott, Eliot, and Hardy particular attention will be paid to the ethical, historical and political issues of the modern process of rethinking and reformulating the idea of greatness of the ancients to adjust it to the social reality of modern life, and to the problematic contribution of the puritan tradition to that process.
Students should aim at reading as many as possible of the novels on the Syllabus before the course begins.
N.B. A special Seminar, with debates and discussions involving both students and professors, will be held by professor Franco Moretti (Columbia University, Stanford University, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) on the subject of « Teaching literature » (18th, 19th, and 22nd October 2018). It will be an essential addition to this course as part of the 2018/2019 teaching activities for all the LLEAP Students.
Primary Sources (To be read in English, and only in the editions “Penguin Classics” or “Oxford World’s Classics”.):
W.Scott, 'Waverley', ed. C.Lamont, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008.
G.Eliot, 'Adam Bede', ed. S.Gill, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1985.
G.Eliot, 'Il velo sollevato', a cura di E.Villari, Venezia, Marsilio, 2010 (Traduzione di E.Villari con testo inglese a fronte)*
T.Hardy, 'Tess of the D’Urbervilles',ed.T.Dolin and M.Higonnet, London, Penguin, 2003.
T.Hardy, 'Jude the Obscure', ed. D.Taylor, London, Penguin, 1998
E.Villari, 'Narrativa, storia e costume: Walter Scott', in 'Storia della civiltà letteraria inglese', diretta da Franco Marenco, Torino, Utet, 1996, vol. II, pp.477 96.*
I.Duncan, 'Waverley', in 'Il romanzo', a cura di F.Moretti, vol.II Le forme, Torino, Einaudi, 2002, pp. 135-142.*
E.Villari, 'La resistenza alla storia nei romanzi giacobiti di Walter Scott', in AA.VV., 'Storie su storie',Vicenza, Neri Pozza, 1985, pp. 5-30.*
E.Villari, 'Romance and History in 'Waverley'', in 'Athena's Shuttle. Myth Religion Ideology from Romanticism to Modernism', ed. F.Marucci and E.Sdegno, Milano, Cisalpino, 2000, pp. 93-111.
R.Ashton, 'Provincial Life Revisited: ‘Adam Bede’ 1858-9', in R.Ashton, 'George Eliot. A Life', Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1997, pp. 188-217.
Creeger, G.R., 'An Interpretation of ‘Adam Bede’ ', in Creeger, G.R. ed., 'George Eliot. A Collection of Critical Essays', Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall, 1970, pp. 86-106.
E.Villari, " "Falsehood is so easy, truth so difficult".'Adam Bede' e il realismo di George Eliot" , in "Studi sul Sette-Ottocento offerti a Marinella Colummi", a cura di Silvana Goldmann e Serena Fornasiero, Venezia, Edizioni Ca' Foscari Digital Publishing, 2015, pp. 253-265.
E.Villari, ' "Il vizio moderno dell'irrequietezza". Saggio sui romanzi di Thomas Hardy', Bari, Adriatica, 1990.*
E.Villari,' ‘La fatale ostilità tra carne e spirito’. Paganesimo, cristianesimo e tragico moderno in 'Tess of the D’Urbervilles' e 'Jude the Obscure’ ', in P.Tortonese, a cura di, 'Il Paganesimo nella letteratura dell’Ottocento',Roma, Bulzoni, 2009,pp.205-28.*
G.M.Young, 'Victorian England: Portrait of an Age' (1936, reprinted several times)
A.Sanders, 'The Short Oxford History of English Literature', Oxford, Clarendon, 1994.
(* Erasmus or Joint Degree foreign students may refer to the lecturer if they need a different syllabus, or a syllabus in a different language)
Students who can’t attend lessons should refer to the lecturer for additional set texts and secondary works.
• Advised further reading available online.