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ITALIAN 127: Spectacles of Love, Spectacles of Horror: Introduction to Medieval Italian Literature

This course is both an introduction to medieval Italian literature and culture and a continuation of the study of the Italian language. Our voyage through medieval Italian literature will explore the interconnected realms of Eros and Death, of Love and Horror: how to reconcile religiosity and the viscerally carnal images of this period's poetry? Why is the heart object of adoration and, at the same time, of cannibalistic cravings? We will begin our journey in the XIII century with religious poetry and the Sicilian School, to then move and dwell in the Florence of Cavalcanti, Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio. Florence will be the main stage for our Spectacles of Love and Horror: a city at once cradle of Dolce Stil Novo and of bloody political fights, almost completely annihilated by the 'Black Death' in the XIV century. The protagonists of our story will be some of the most extraordinary works of Italian Literature, such as Saint Francis' Cantico delle creature, Dante's Commedia, Petrarch's Canzoniere, Boccaccio's Decameron. All class discussion, reading, and writing will be in Italian. Prerequisites: ITALLANG 22A or equivalent level of proficiency.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Capra, A. (PI)
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