Journeys and Islands in British Literature
We shall work on some of the most famous and still most widely read prose works of the British canonical tradition. By referring to the category of ‘novel’, we shall start with Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, and later move on to Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, with the discourses on journeys, islands and empire well in our minds.
The course will later focus upon the adaptations, reductions, manipulations of these essential topical texts, written for an adult readership but eventually also and mainly read by children. Late Victorian and Edwardian fantasy literature and theatre offer the equally famous cases of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, in which real/probable geographical locations are programmatically transformed into utopian, fantastic sites of unforeseen possibilities. In between, we shall also focus upon a wonderfully ambiguous eighteenth-century text by L. Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, which both parodies the realistic novel and anticipates the experimental fiction of modernist novelists such as Woolf and Joyce.
A. Sanders, The Short Oxford History of English Literature, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1994
D. Defoe, The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, 1719 qualsiasi edizione
J. Swift, Gulliver’s Travels: Based on the 1726 Text: Contexts: Criticism, ed. by A. J. Rivero, New York-London, Norton, 2002
L. Carroll, The Annotated Alice: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; and, Through the Looking Glass, London, Allen Lane, 2000
J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens; Peter and Wendy, ed. by P. Hollindale, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1999
L. Sterne. A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy (Penguin/Oxford)
Bibliografia critica (parti scelte)
THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO DEFOE (2008)
THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO SWIFT (2003), CAPP. 3, 5, 6, 7, 12
C. H. Flynn, The Body in Swift and Defoe, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1990 capp. 3, 4, 7, 8
Other texts on specific topics will be suggested during the course