Italian MA

Italian Modernism: Svevo And Pirandello ITALIAN4004

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Modern Languages and Cultures
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will look at two of the most influential authors writing in Italy in the first half of the Twentieth Century, the playwright Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936) and novelist Italo Svevo (1861-1928). The course will deal with the two writers in the context of their very different cultural and geographical backgrounds (Sicily and Trieste, respectively), but will also emphasise the convergence of some of their ideas.


20 1-hour seminars at days and times to be arranged.


·Class test (1.5 hours) under examination conditions in the examining period of Semester 1 (50%);
·Class essay (1800-2000 words), to be submitted by end of Semester 2 (50%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

To introduce Modernism in the cultural, intellectual and historical context of early 20th-century Italy;
To give an overview of the work, lives and ideas of Luigi Pirandello and Italo Svevo;
To give students an understanding of the originality and importance of the work of the two authors through a detailed study of some of their major works. (Sei personaggi in cerca d'autore; Enrico IV; La coscienza di Zeno.)
To read the works of the two authors in comparison to one another;
To introduce students to certain key critical works on the subject.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course, students should be able to:
Demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of the set texts and be able to refer to these texts freely while discussing underlying ideas;
Show a thorough familiarity with the backgrounds of both authors' lives, their main ideas and their different cultural backgrounds;
Write effective critical commentaries on extracts from the set texts;
Demonstrate an understanding of the works of both authors in relation to the idea of Modernism and be aware of their importance in the broader European context.;
Highlight and discuss parallels and differences between the works of the two authors;
Show an awareness of the principal critical works indicated.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.