The Italian Novel: Pirandello, Svevo, and Calvino Explored: A Three Part Course with Dr. Kristin Stasiowski

The Italian Novel: Pirandello, Svevo, and Calvino Explored: A Three Part Course with Dr. Kristin Stasiowski


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after each event.

This course will focus on the close reading and analysis of selected masterworks of the modern Italian novel tradition. The main goals will be to investigate the Italian novel’s evolution from the nineteenth-century emphasis on realism, history, and socio-familial issues, to early twentieth-century themes highlighting the role of the individual, the birth of psychology, and the trauma of modernity.

We shall also consider the diverse geographic and regional linguistic contexts out of which these novels emerged. Participants will read selections from: Luigi Pirandello’s The Late Mattia Pascal (1904), Italo Svevo’s The Confessions of Zeno (1923) and Italo Calvino’s The Nonexistent Knight (1951). 

Narrative techniques, language, and thematics will be discussed in detail during our time together. All texts will be discussed in their English translation. No prior experience, or reading, is required. 

Led by an expert in Italian literature and culture, Kristin Stasiowski, Ph.D., this interactive seminar will introduce participants to three Italian Classics. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the ways that Italian literature presents us with themes still relevant to us today.

Lecture One – Italo Calvino’s The Nonexistent Knight (1951)
Our course begins by exploring the post-modern aspects of one of Calvino’s most entertaining novels. Participants will also learn about the Italian Renaissance Epic, the tradition from which Calvino draws, in order to understand the literary, historical, and psychological context for this masterwork of Italian literature. Though this novel is considered post-modern, its various themes will provide a bridge to the modern for readers with a previous experience of Italian authors such as Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, Ariosto, Tasso, and Boiardo.

Lecture Two – Luigi Pirandello’s The Late Mattia Pascal (1904)
Our second discussion will explore the extraordinary psychological and existential themes for which Luigi Pirandello is best known and for which famed literary critic Harold Bloom held him in esteem, comparing him to Kakfka, Proust, Joyce, and Beckett among others.

Lecture Three – Italo Svevo’s The Confessions of Zeno (1923)
We conclude by examining the continued theme of psychology in narrative as we discuss Svevo’s use of Freudian psychoanalysis in the life of his protagonist, Zeno. Mentored by none other than James Joyce, and lauded by Eugenio Montale, Svevo’s Zeno represents a breakthrough success in the Italian experimental novel. 

Kristin Stasiowski, Ph.D. is the Assistant Dean of International Programs and Education Abroad for the College of Arts and Sciences and is also an Assistant Professor of Italian Language and Literature in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at Kent State University. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University in Italian Language and Literature and has taught Italian language, literature, cinema, history, and culture in both Florence, Italy, and at Kent State. She recently published a chapter entitled "A Divine Comedy for All Time: Dante's Enduring Relevance for the Contemporary Reader" in Italian Pop Culture: Media, Product, Imageries. Rome, Italy: Viella Editrice s.r.. Her current research is focused on Dante, Boccaccio, and the modern poet Clemente Rebora.

How does it work?
This is a three-part course held weekly and hosted on Zoom. Please check the schedule above for the specific dates and times for each lecture.

When will I receive the Zoom link?
The link used to enter your Zoom room will be the same for each lecture in the course. It will be sent to the email address that was used to place your order 30 minutes prior to each session's start time.

Is there a reading list?
Though the course is open to participants with no background on this topic, we do encourage reading alongside the discussion as the course progresses. Our recommended edition of the texts are as follows:
How long are the lectures?
Each lecture is 90 minutes long with time included for Q&A.

How much is the course?
The course is $175 USD for five lectures.

Is a recording available?
Yes. All registered participants will be sent a recording within 48 hours of each event's conclusion.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
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G
G. (Riviere-Rouge, CA)
The Modern Italian Novel

As always with Dr Kristin Stasiowski, a real treat.

Dr Stasiowski always situates the topic under discussion within its context - historical, modern/post-modern and within the broader international perspective.

And then she draws out the commonalities and differences specific to the writers.
And with a close reading of the text illustrates all of the above.
Her power point slides include relevant artistic illustrations and the texts to be analyzed are included in the slides making the comments and comparisons easy to follow.

Her enthusiasm and love of the subject matter plus her wonderful sense of humor round off all of the above to make it a stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable learning experience.

C
C. (Maisons-Laffitte, FR)
Wonderful…..as always !

Very interesting departure from Dr Stasiowski’s Italian Renaissance subject matter, but as we have learned, it’s all somehow related. Very good follow-up to the Modernism discussion, although each seminar stands on its own. Fascinating to see how all these subjects are inter-related…keep them coming !

J
J.T. (La Quinta, US)
Something new

What a lively and inspiring introduction into the world of the Italian novel Dr Stasiowski provided these past 2 weeks. Her enthusiasm and knowledge of the genre and the context of the chosen pieces in world and specifically Italian literature was apparent. I enjoyed the subject matter as much as I did listening to and watching her lectures. Funny and personable as well as bright and scholarly, she opened my eyes to a world of insights and reading unknown to me heretofore.

E
E.E. (Los Angeles, US)
Thought-provoking Italian novels

Dr. Stasiowski selected three thought-provoking novels which I had never heard of--from Italian writers I did know. Her discussion of the novels was terrific. She connected these three novels with other Italian works. Finally, she included information on modern and post-modern literature as a welcome bonus. I am looking forward to her next offering!

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
100%
(4)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
G
G. (Riviere-Rouge, CA)
The Modern Italian Novel

As always with Dr Kristin Stasiowski, a real treat.

Dr Stasiowski always situates the topic under discussion within its context - historical, modern/post-modern and within the broader international perspective.

And then she draws out the commonalities and differences specific to the writers.
And with a close reading of the text illustrates all of the above.
Her power point slides include relevant artistic illustrations and the texts to be analyzed are included in the slides making the comments and comparisons easy to follow.

Her enthusiasm and love of the subject matter plus her wonderful sense of humor round off all of the above to make it a stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable learning experience.

C
C. (Maisons-Laffitte, FR)
Wonderful…..as always !

Very interesting departure from Dr Stasiowski’s Italian Renaissance subject matter, but as we have learned, it’s all somehow related. Very good follow-up to the Modernism discussion, although each seminar stands on its own. Fascinating to see how all these subjects are inter-related…keep them coming !

J
J.T. (La Quinta, US)
Something new

What a lively and inspiring introduction into the world of the Italian novel Dr Stasiowski provided these past 2 weeks. Her enthusiasm and knowledge of the genre and the context of the chosen pieces in world and specifically Italian literature was apparent. I enjoyed the subject matter as much as I did listening to and watching her lectures. Funny and personable as well as bright and scholarly, she opened my eyes to a world of insights and reading unknown to me heretofore.

E
E.E. (Los Angeles, US)
Thought-provoking Italian novels

Dr. Stasiowski selected three thought-provoking novels which I had never heard of--from Italian writers I did know. Her discussion of the novels was terrific. She connected these three novels with other Italian works. Finally, she included information on modern and post-modern literature as a welcome bonus. I am looking forward to her next offering!