Imagining Monsters in Nineteenth-Century Anglophone Literature
We shall work on some of the founding ‘myths’ of the British long nineteenth century: monsters and machines, which are indeed European, if not ‘Western’ topoi , characterizing and also question ing the very assets of ‘modernity’.
We shall use literary texts, but also iconographical and visual materials, which shall be expounded during specific thematic lectures, and which relate to mythical, often revised figures and texts such as Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Dracula.
Lectures will be divided into:
1. survey section, aiming at offering a general, integral view of the main cultural, historical, literary issues of the nineteenth century. For this section Professor Parlati will provide a ‘dispensa’, a set of anthological materials that will be available at the Centro Copie, Palazzo Maldura, and also on the Moodle platform once the module starts. The excerpts are generally also available on The Norton Anthology of English Literature.
2. Thematic, content-specific lectures on the representation of monstrosity in the nineteenth century (the three novels in the list refer to this section)
Primary Reading (the literary works we shall analyze):
M. Shelley, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1992
R. L. Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Harmondsworth, Penguin,
B. Stoker, Dracula, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1994
A selection of relevant excerpts will be provided and be available at the Centro Copie, Palazzo Maldura
Secondary Materials (which does NOT mean LESS important):
– D. Punter, The Literature of Terror, vol. I chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8
– ONE of the following Textbooks on the History of Literature in English:
1. R. Carter, J. Mc Rae, The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland, London, Routledge, 1997 (2001), Chapters, “The Romantic Period”, and “The Nineteenth Century”
2. A. Sanders, The Short Oxford History of English Literature, any edition, chapters on the nineteenth century (ed. 2000, chapters 6, 7, 8)
3. M. Alexander, A History of English Literature, Palgrave, 2000 (2007, 2013 3rd edition), chapters 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 (non yet available in our libraries)