In these two sessions, we will look at two Italian family sagas: The Leopard (1958) by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, and All Our Yesterdays by Natalia Ginzburgs (1952). We will see how these two novels encourage readers to imagine the fading of the normative horizon of the patriarchal family – a social change that is also reflected in changes in Italian constitutional and civil laws (1948, 1975).
More broadly, our objective will be to understand how literature might address ethical and moral concerns. For here might be the common ground between literature and the law, which also reflects and responds to such concerns, albeit differently.
Lecture 1 (6 Dec)
The Fading of Patriarchy: Pluralism and Moral Equality in Lampedusa’s The Leopard
Lecture 2 (7 Dec)
Confronting Moral Luck: Literature, Emotions and Morality in Ginzburg’s All Our Yesterdays
Suggested readings (background readings for the lectures):
- [L1] Dworkin, R. 1996. The Moral Reading of the Constitution. New York Review of Books. [Online]. 43(5). [Accessed 1 December 2016]. [no pagination]. Available from:
- [L1] Gaut, B. 2009. Morality and Art. In: Davies, S. Higgins, K. M. Hopkins, R. Stecker, R. and Cooper, D. E. A Companion to Aesthetics. 2nd ed. Chichester, UK, Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 428-31
- [L2] Kieran, M. Emotions, 2010. Art and Immorality. In: Goldie, P. ed. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 681-703
- [L2] Williams, B. and Nagel, T. 1976 Moral Luck. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society: Supplementary Volumes. 50, pp. 115-151
Supplementary readings (a critical perspective on the ethical turn in literature and the law):
- Posner, R. 1997. Against Ethical Criticism. Philosophy and Literature. 21(1), pp. 1-27
- Posner, R. 1998. The Problematics of Moral and Legal Theory. Harvard Law Review. 111(7), pp. 1637-1717
To read Alessio Baldini’s CV click HERE.