Humoristc Lit:I promessi sposi
Beyond "History": "I promessi sposi" as a Humorist Novel Ciccarelli In this course we will analyze Alessandro Manzoni's famous novel as a model of humoristic literature for the subsequent Italian narrative tradition. From Pirandello to Calvino, from Svevo to Gadda, most Italian writers who have been associated to the humoristic literary current have demonstrated a keen appreciation of Manzoni's novel and work, without judging it, mostly or exclusively, for its religious or moralistic goal.
To the contrary, they have identified the novel's strength in its irony and humor, which have been seen as powerful intellectual weapons of Manzoni's poetics. It is through these rhetorical weapons that Manzoni, in his novel, uncovers and denounces the harshness of reality, without ever losing contact with the paradoxical aspects that affect human life. Manzoni combines his strong belief in the historical truth with his strong religious belief to ridicule hypocrisy and falsity, and to offer an anthropological view of human conditions which embraces empathy as well as condemnation of humanity's inevitable flaws. In this class we will read the novel and its appendix, the 'Storia della colonna infame,' as well as a few passages from some of the works by the 20th-century authors mentioned above.
Texts are available online. Critical texts will be at the Middlebury library