Fellini described La Strada as \"a complete catalogue of my entire mythological world, a dangerous representation of my identity that was undertaken with no precedent whatsoever.\" As a result, the film demanded more time and effort than any of his other works, before or later. The development process was long and tortuous; there were problems during production, including insecure financial backing, problematic casting, and numerous delays. Finally, just before the production completed shooting, Fellini suffered a nervous breakdown that required medical treatment so he could complete principal photography. Initial critical reaction was harsh, and the film's screening at the Venice Film Festival was the occasion of a bitter controversy that escalated into a public brawl between Fellini's supporters and detractors.
Fellini scholar Thomas Van Order has pointed out that Fellini is equally free in the treatment of ambient sound in his films, preferring to cultivate what Chion called, \"a subjective sense of point of audition,\" in which what is heard on screen mirrors a particular character's perceptions, as opposed to the visible reality of the scene. As an example, ducks and chickens appear on the screen throughout Gelsomina's conversation with the nun, but, reflecting the girl's growing sense of enlightenment concerning her place in the world, the quacking and clucking of barnyard fowl dissolves into the chirping of songbirds.
In a 1957 interview, Fellini reported that Masina had received over a thousand letters from abandoned women whose husbands had returned to them after seeing the film and that she had also heard from many people with disabilities who had gained a new sense of self-worth after viewing the film: \"Such letters come from all over the world\".
This course provides fundamental skills of textual analysis in the context of literary texts written in English, drama, and poetry (from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century) that address large questions of ethical and social value. Course reading includes English-language texts from around the world. Students learn to speak and write clearly about the ideas generated by the texts as they consider interpretive issues found in their assigned readings and participate actively in the various forms of critical thinking required to address those issues.
This course examines the literature of the Bible. Throughout this course, students will study the language, thought, images, and structures of the book that has arguably proved the central text of Western literature. Students will also actively explore the ways in which the Bible has shaped the literature of English-speaking cultures around the world. Students will read substantial portions of the Old and New Testaments, learning to read critically and to interpret the Bible as they would any other literary text. They will also learn about the historical construction of the Bible, some history of its translation, and contemplate the competing versions of existing Biblical texts. Accordingly, reading the Bible as literature by necessity requires critical engagement with different international cultures from different historical periods.
This course introduces the variety of literature that has been written and published by Pennsylvania authors from the colonial era through the present day. This course explores how the literature written in Pennsylvania relates to historical developments within the Commonwealth, and to literary, cultural, and historical developments across the United States and throughout the world. Toward that end, the course provides a chronological survey of developments in the literature of Pennsylvania through readings from the work of Pennsylvania authors whose work illuminates developments in literary history and exemplifies important aspects of Pennsylvania history and culture.
English 129 constitutes a broad introduction to Shakespeare's dramatic works from a variety of thematic, historical, formal, and/or generic vantages. Students practice close reading Shakespeare's language while also learning how his plays reflect upon the social and theatrical conventions of the historical period in which they were written and performed. The class will consider issues such as gender, social class, politics, sexuality, and race, as students learn how early modern perspectives on these issues may differ from their own. In order to analyze how Shakespeare's plays continue to be adapted and transformed around the world, the class may also nvolve the study of modern stage and film performances of Shakespeare. This class prepares students for advanced courses in early modern literatures as well as other academic courses that engage in the verbal and written analysis of complex written texts.
English 129H constitutes a broad introduction to Shakespeare's dramatic works from a variety of thematic, historical, formal, and/or generic vantages. Students practice close reading Shakespeare's language while also learning how his plays reflect upon the social and theatrical conventions of the historical period in which they were written and performed. The class will consider issues such as gender, social class, politics, sexuality, and race, as students learn how early modern perspectives on these issues may differ from their own. In order to analyze how Shakespeare's plays continue to be adapted and transformed around the world, the class may also involve the study of modern stage and film performances of Shakespeare. This class prepares students for advanced courses in early modern literatures as well as other academic courses that engage in the verbal and written analysis of complex written texts.
READING POPULAR TEXTS explores a variety of popular texts across various media with the goal of enabling students to sharpen their ability to interpret the social, political, and cultural significance of such texts in the contemporary world. Since these texts are primarily examples of popular culture-pervasive, selfreplicating, commercialized artifacts of the contemporary scene-they are familiar to the general student outside the classroom. Too often, however, students have not seen such texts subjected to the same kind of critical readings more elite cultural forms (e.g., canonized literature, art, and music). The purpose of the course is fulfilled if such students come away from it with a sharpened awareness of the role that pupular texts play in their daily lives and the means to discuss and explain their influence-in short, to read their culture more crirically.
This course will provide an introduction to Jewish American literature through a historical survey of the tradition's key texts, figures, and themes. The course will focus on the defining aspects of the literature and on what the literature \"thinks\" about Jewish American culture and identity. But rather than assuming a unity to Jewish-American culture, this course will use Jewish literature to seek ways of articulating and representing both the points of cohesion and the points of divergence that characterize Jewish life in America. The United States has absorbed large numbers of Jewish immigrants hailing from many parts of the world, holding many different ideas about Jewish practice, and affiliating themselves with many different political, social, and cultural traditions. Moreover, Jews have settled and made homes in a wide variety of American communities. This course aims to explore Jewish American culture's marked diversity by offering a literary window onto the major fault-lines running through Jewish American culture: lines demarcated by gender, by political affiliation, by geography, by pre-immigration community by religious practice, by attitude toward world Jewry, by national allegiance, and by minhag (or custom), to name just a few. The class therefore provides an opportunity to consider the constitution, origin, and development of Jewish American's identity and social formations by looking at how that identity and those social formations exist and what they \"do\" in literature written by and about Jews in America. Materials will consist predominantly of primary texts, including prose fiction and nonfiction, poetry, drama, and film. Course methodology will emphasize the close reading of these texts. The course complements offerings in Jewish Studies and English, and it will satisfy the GH and US requirements. Most obviously, the course will offer students of Jewish literature, world literature, and American literature an opportunity for contextualization. It enables students in Jewish Studies to study the rich literature of American Jews, and it adds to courses covering Jewish American history, religion, and culture. The course offers students in English a valuable, sustained introduction to an important U.S. and world sub-culture.
ENGL 133 Modern American Literature to World War II (3) (GH)(BA)(US) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. ENGL 133 will constitute a wide ranging study of modernist American literature, and may include novels, short stories, poems, plays, and non-fictional prose, written roughly between the turn of the 19th century and the end of the Second World War. The class will approach this literature from a variety of thematic, historical, and/or generic vantages. Topics under consideration will vary from class to class, but may include a chronological introduction to the development of modernist American literature, a consideration of a principle theme or themes common to modernist American literature through a number of works from across the period, a consideration of a number of modernist works in the context of historical events central to the period, such as the American participation in the First World War and/or the effect on American literature of the ensuing world-wide economic depression. This class will prepare students for advanced courses in modernist literatures as well