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Second Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)


- Provide the student with good critical skills and the ability to work within the historical, cultural and literary context of German-speaking countries from the Nineteenth (Module A) to the Twentieth century (module B) on the basis of the analysis of the legend of Faust and his pact with the devil;
- The course will also teach students how to carry out independent analysis and investigation of works from different literary genres.


Students should have:
- a general knowledge of the main historical, social and cultural phenomena that have affected European countries since the Nineteenth Century;
- the ability to synthesize and discuss the form and the contents of literary and critical texts;
- a basic knowledge of the German language.


The course is dedicated to: "The legend of Faust in German literature".

The course will provide an overview of German literature from the Nineteenth (Module A) and the Twentieth centuries (Module B) through the analysis of the most representative texts which directly or indirectly deal with the theme of the pact with the devil.

The first part of the course (Module A, 30h) introduces the theme of Faust and his pact with the devil. The different kinds of pacts will be analyzed in light of the major German works that are directly or indirectly related to this theme. Some texts will be analyzed and discussed in relation to the major historical, social and cultural phenomena of the Nineteenth Century,

In the second part of the course (Module B, 30 h) we will analyze works which resume the theme of the pact with the devil in the Twentieth Century and which relate it to the social, political and cultural aspect of that time.

During the lessons, the individual texts will be framed in their respective historical-literary context and studied from rhetorical, stylistic, thematic and cultural aspects.

Teaching Methods

Teaching will be based on lectures and seminars; students will be involved in discussion and dialogue, in order to deepen their hermeneutical skills. Any proposals for further enquiries or debate are welcomed.
The course is held in Italian. Texts will be discussed in an interdisciplinary perspective. Film adaptations and, in specific cases, language issues offered by original texts and / or Italian translations will be taken into account.

Verification of learning

In particular, students will need to demonstrate:
- their knowledge of the legend of Faust and of the different kinds of pacts with the devil, of the literary movements and of the historical and literary contexts of the period covered during the course, evaluated with a score ranging from 1 to 16.
- their ability to provide an accurate analysis of the main texts on the bibliography and to contextualize them in their historical, social and cultural context, evaluated with a score ranging from 1 to 10;
- their ability to construct an articulate, interpretive and critical discourse, and to reconstruct comparative links with other literary and / or artistic works and / or other disciplines, evaluated with a score ranging from 1 to 4.

The total of the above-mentioned marks will then constitute the overall examination mark.


Module A:
1. Students will be provided with handouts of the collection of texts to be analyzed on the course.
2. Ulrike Kindl, Storia della letteratura tedesca. Dal Settecento alla Prima Guerra Mondiale, Bari, Laterza, 2001, pp. 132-400;
3. Luca Zenobi, Faust. Il mito dalla tradizione orale al post-pop, Roma, Carocci, 2013;
4. Analysis of two texts in the original language or in an Italian translation, chosen from the following list or agreed on with the teacher.
- W. v. Goethe, Faust
- Fr. Hölderlin, Hyperion (Iperione)
- H. v. Kleist, Prinz Friedrich von Homburg (Il principe di Homburg)
- H. v. Kleist, Michael Kohlhaas
- Novalis, Heinrich von Ofterdingen (Enrico di Ofterdingen)
- J. V. Eichendorff, Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts (Dalla vita di un perdigiorno)
- E. T. A. Hoffmann, Der goldene Topf (Il vaso d’oro)
- E. T. A. Hoffmann, Der Sandmann (L’uomo della sabbia)
- E. Mörike, Mozart auf der Reise nach Prag (Mozart in viaggio verso Praga)
- G. Büchner, Woyzeck
- Fr. Grillparzer, Der Traum ein Leben (Il sogno è una vita)
- G. Keller, Romeo und Julia auf dem Dorfe (Romeo e Giulietta nel villaggio)
- A. Stifter, Bunte Steine (Pietre colorate)
- Th. Fontane, Effi Briest
- G. Hauptmann, Die Weber (I tessitori)
- H. von Hofmannsthal, Ein Brief des Lord Chandos (Lettera di lord Chandos)

Module B:
1. Students will be provided with handouts of the collection of texts analyzed on the course
2. Michael Dallapiazza, Claudio Santi (a cura di), Storia della letteratura tedesca. Il Novecento, Bari, Laterza, 2001, pp. 5-286;
3. Elena Giovannini, Il patto col diavolo nella letteratura tedesca dell’esilio, Roma, Aracne, 2001 (pp. 9-134; 187-267);
4. Analysis of two texts in the original language or in an Italian translation, chosen from the following list or agreed on with the teacher:

- R. Musil, Die Verwirrungen des Zöglings Törless, (I turbamenti dell’allievo Törless)
- Th. Mann, Tonio Kröger
- Th. Mann, Der Tod in Venedig, (La morte a Venezia)
- H. Mann, Professor Unrat, (L’angelo azzurro)
- H. Mann, Der Untertan, (Il suddito)
- F. Kafka, Der Prozess, (Il processo)
- E. M. Remarque, Im Westen nichts Neues (Niente di nuovo sul fronte occidentale)
- A. Döblin, Berlin Alexanderplatz
- B. Brecht, Leben des Galilei, (Vita di Galilei)
- Kl. Mann, Mephisto
- E. Jünger, Auf den Marmorklippen (Sulle scogliere di marmo)
- Th. Mann, Doktor Faustus
- W. Borchert, Draußen vor der Tür, (Fuori davanti alla porta)
- H. Böll, Wanderer, kommst du nach Spa…, (Viandante, se giungi a Spa…)
- H. Böll, Ansichten eines Clowns, (Opinioni di un clown)
- F. Dürrenmatt, Die Physiker, (I fisici)
- Ch. Wolf, Der geteilte Himmel, (Il cielo diviso)
- P. Handke, Wunschloses Unglück, (Infelicità senza desideri)
- Th. Bernhard, Heldenplatz, (Piazza degli eroi)

Further suggested texts::
Raul Calzoni, La letteratura tedesca del secondo dopoguerra. L’età delle macerie e della ricostruzione (1945-1961), Roma, Carocci, 2013

NON-ATTENDING STUDENTS will need to make an in-depth critical analysis of the detective novel through a collection of critical texts that will be provided by the teacher.

More Information

Non-attending students and Erasmus students are asked to contact the teacher to receive more information on how to prepare for the exam.
The program is to be considered as indicative and may be subject to some changes during the lessons.

Questionnaire and social

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