ITALIAN 483 - Ariosto and Tasso
Section: 001 Romance, Adventure, and the Real World
Term: WN 2014
Subject: Italian (ITALIAN)
Department: LSA Romance Languages & Literatures
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
ITALIAN 230, 232, or 233.
May not be repeated for credit.
Undergrad and Grad
Meet Together Classes:
Primary Instructor:

The adventure of this course will be to read Ludovico Ariosto’s epic romance, Orlando furioso, full of ladies, knights, warfare, and love interests, as well as the first appearance in world literature of the Hippogriff. We will read the text over the course of the academic term in its presentation by the 20th-century story-teller, Italo Calvino, who frames the poem’s original stanzas with his equally lively and entertaining prose.

The goals of the course are

  1. practice in the four skills of the Italian language and
  2. familiarity with a masterpiece of European literature and the cultural context that produced it.

Ariosto’s poem will be the occasion to learn about the Renaissance city of Ferrara and its “enlightened despots”, the Este family, as well as innovations in art, literature, religion, warfare, and politics that marked the beginning of the modern era.

In addition, we will study the 2001 prize-winning film by Ermanno Olmi, “Il mestiere delle armi” as a didactic text, for language-learning and perspective on key events of the Italian Renaissance, such as the sea-change brought about by the introduction of firearms.

Course Requirements:

Students enrolled in ITALIAN 483 will be expected to achieve greater facility in deciphering original stanzas of the Orlando furioso, and will write a final paper.

Intended Audience:

Students of Italian language and culture with the equivalent of at least two years of college language study.

Class Format:

Two days a week, discussion of reading, presentations on relevant cultural phenomena, work on grammar and vocabulary.

ITALIAN 483 - Ariosto and Tasso
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

The main text for the course will be Italo Calvino's recasting of Ariosto's Orlando furioso. Most students will find it useful to have Waldman's English translation of the entire Orlando furioso. If you want the whole real thing, you should order the Einaudi 2 volume edition, but I am not requiring it.
ISBN: 8804524405
Orlando Furioso di Ludovico Ariosto raccontato da Italo Calvino : con una scelta del poema, Author: ., Publisher: Mondadori 15. rist 2005
ISBN: 0199540381
Orlando Furioso, Author: Ludovico Ariosto ; translated with an introduction by Guido Waldman., Publisher: Oxford University Press 2008
ISBN: 8806176986
Orlando furioso, Author: Ludovico Ariosto ; introduzione, note e bibliografia di Lanfranco Caretti ; presentazione di Italo Calvino., Publisher: Einaudi 12a ed. 2005
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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