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FR922 The Lure of Italy


This is an MA module [FR922-30] designed primarily to complement the core module on the MA in European Gothic and Romantic Studies but which will also complement the MA in Translation, Writing and Cultural Difference. A good reading level of ONE of French, German or Italian is essential and prior study of some aspect of literature is desirable.

The module aims to evaluate the impact of Italy on German and French writers of the Romantic age but also the influence these countries may have had in return on Italy. Seminars will take a thematic approach to permit a broad exploration of the last decades of the 18th century and the first decades of the 19th. Topics to be covered will include:

  • travel literature
  • the grand tour
  • art, architecture and archaeology
  • fictional representation
  • political consciousness

Works marked with * are available in English translation

Introduction (tbc)

Week 1: The Grand tour

The Germans and Italy

Week 2 Goethe and Italy

Core Reading:

*J.W. Goethe’s poem: ‘Mignon / Kennst du das Land…’ Bi-lingual version here:

*J. W. Goethe, Italienische Reise / Italian Journey, London: Penguin, 1982

[It is not nececessary to read all of this travel account; but please be sure you are familiar with the section on Venice, October 1786 (which is around pp. 74-105 in my edition) and Goethe’s first visit to Rome on October 1786- Feb 1787 (which is around pp. 128-178 in my edition)

J. W. Goethe ‘Roman Elegy No. 5’ in: J.W. Goethe, Erotic Poems, Oxford: OUP, 1997

Week 3

*Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder (1773-1798) / Ludwig Tieck 1773-1853), Herzensergießungen eines kunstliebenden Klosterbruders (1797) /Outpourings of an art loving friar [translated by Edwin Mornin]

Week 4

*Josef von Eichendorff Das Marmorbild (1817) [ = the Marble Statue]

Translation avalaible here:

*Goethe's Römische Elegien (1795) /Roman Elegies

The French and Italy (Kate Astbury)

Week 5: French enlightenment reactions to Italy: Voltaire, Candide (extracts) (1759)*, Encyclopédie, entries Italie* and opéra*

Week 7: Art and architecture: Mme de Stael, Corinne ou l’Italie (1807, Folio edn)*

Week 8: Politics and passion: Stendhal, Chroniques Italiennes (3 Italian Chronicles: The Cenci, The abbess of Castro, Vanina Vanini.)

The Italians and Italy (Fabio Camilletti)

The suggested readings are Luzzi's Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy, Dainotto's Europe (In Theory) and Camilletti, Classicism and Romanticism.

Week 9: intersections between the British Romantics (Byron and Shelley, mainly, but also Mary Shelley and Keats) and Italy

Week 10: The Rossettis