What is the course about?
In the 14th century, the Italian peninsula was going through an unparalleled period of change. Even though political unity would not be achieved until over five centuries later, Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio managed to kickstart a unification process by turning the spoken vernacular of the Florentines into a language with high literary value and, in that process, introduced (or re-introduced) styles and literary forms that had not been used since the Classical era. Come and find out how and why these authors were so important and continue to be read today.
This is a live online course. For more information please see our guide to online learning.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
After a short overview of the historical and cultural background, we will look at the importance of Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio for the creation of Italian language and literature, their sources of inspiration for their work and their influence on later literature in Italian and other countries. We will read some extracts from their main works.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- demonstrate a better understanding of 14th-century Italy
- name some of the innovations brought about by the three authors
- appreciate their writing ability by reading and discussing extracts.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No knowledge of Italian or other particular skills are required; a passion for reading, an interest in foreign literature and discussing literary works with others would be beneficial. The extracts from the authors' works will be read in the English translation.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The session will consist of a mixture of lecture, discussion, group and pair work.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Extracts from the book will be provided by the tutor during the session; further reading recommendations will be given during the session. Bring pen and paper or any writing material.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Francesco Bucciol will also be teaching HLT140 Dante's Divine Comedy: an introduction and HLT148 Jewish characters in 20th century Italian literature: Ginzburg, Bassani and Morante
Look for other Literary History courses under Literature in History, Culture and Writing at www.citylit.ac.uk.