The Italian Kafkaesque: Talking Animals, Cruel Families, & Strange Situations

Using Franz Kafka as a guide, this course explored a range of modern Italian authors, all of whom were interested in Kafka’s literary vision. By comparing select Kafka stories with the works of Italian authors such as Italo Calvino, Italo Svevo, Susanna Tamaro, Tommaso Landolfi, Elsa Morante, Massimo Bontempelli, and Dino Buzzati, we examined how Kafkan qualities, both thematic and stylistic, are transformed in Italian settings. With these readings students refined their critical reading skills, while developing a sense of the variety modern Italian literature. Taught (in Italian) at Duke University, Fall 2009 and the University of California at Berkeley, Fall 2010.

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