Modern Jewish Italian Authors

Many of the most important twentieth-century Italian authors are Jewish or part Jewish, including Italo Svevo, Giorgio Bassani, Umberto Saba, Elsa Morante, Natalia Ginzburg, Alberto Moravia, and Primo Levi. This class will cover a selection of these authors’ writings (and others) as well as address what the phrase “Jewish Italian Authors” means (or could mean). Topics will include humor, love, and the difficulty of representing the Shoah, among others. We will examine the impact of these authors’ Jewishness on their works, as well as the problems of discussing whether these authors’ religious and ethnic background influences their writing. In addition, the course will explore the effect important historical events had on these authors and their works. While covering some canonical works of twentieth-century Italian literature, the course will also provide a unique perspective on modern Italian literature. Teaching at the University of California at Berkeley, Fall 2011.

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2 thoughts on “Modern Jewish Italian Authors

  1. This sounds like a truly interesting course. Too often, unique ethnic backgrounds and also migrant writers get overlooked when examining modern Italian literature. We recently covered modern Italian literature in the July 2011 issue of World Literature Today and while reading about these trends I found your blog. On a side note, if you would find any interest in using this issue or any other issue from our literary publication for any of your courses, please let me know and I’d be happy to send you a free copy. All best. Jen Rickard, Digital Media Editor, World Literature Today

    • Dear Jen Richard,
      Thank you for your comment! I am very interested in seeing the recent issue of World Literature Today and will send you an email.
      yours, Saskia

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