Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

Litr 202 European Novel

Spring 2014

Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

Spring Semester 2014



Literature 202 - The European Novel

Prof. Grazia Sotis

Course description

The course focuses on two major European literary works of the 19th century and four of the early 20th century in order to give students an overview of the literary production of the most representative European novels.

Learning Outcome:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of literary traditions and expressions.
  • Study influential works as representative forms of literary production in which Europeans explore their historical and societal experience, their human experience and reflect on the process of literary creation.
  • Assess how formal qualities of literary works determine the nature of the experience offered and affect the response of the audience.
  • Examine multiple interpretive possibilities of the literary works and know that such interpretations both reflect the culture that produced them and change over time.


The House by the Medlar Tree (1881), Giovanni Verga - Italy            

The Kreutzer Sonata (1889), Leo Tolstoy - Russia         

Death in Venice (1912), Thomas Mann - Germany        

Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man (1916), James Joyce - Ireland     

The Metamorphosis (1916), Franz Kafka - Mittel-Europe (Cekia)

To the Lighthouse (1927), Virginia Woolf - England


Exams and two papers will be used to assess literary knowledge and critical thinking. They will assess whether or not you can:

  • Use critical and technical vocabulary to describe and analyze, and formulate an argument about literary works and literary types.
  • Examine multiple interpretative possibilities of literary works.
  • Assess the relationship of literary texts to the cultural-historical nexus that produced them.
  • Generate new ideas and hypotheses in relation to the study of literary works and of how they reflect changes over time; and develop strategies for seeking and synthesizing information to support your argument.


  • class participation                                  20%
  • two quizzes                                             20%
  • mid-term paper (~1500 words)             10%
  • mid-term examination                           15%
  • final paper (~2000 words)                    15%
  • final examination                                   20%

Grading scale:























below 57


  • Daily attendance and active participation in class are vital factors in gaining literary knowledge and developing critical thinking skills.
  • The student is welcome to see the instructor at regular office hours or by appointment when additional help is needed.
  • Students are invited to prepare all readings before discussion in class.
  • Topics for the papers are to be discussed with the instructor before writing: these present such a wide spectrum but the choice will rest ultimately on the student.
  • All papers should involve strictly personal research

Attendance Policy and Academic Integrity Statement:

“Pursuit of truth is the prime activity in a university community. As a member of this community each student pledges to maintain standards of honesty and integrity in all academic work. Exams: Students must rely exclusively upon their own knowledge. Papers: students must document sources of secondary information. Failure to comply with these standards will result in a failing grade.”

Schedule of Readings:

1st Week

Historical and Social Introduction

2nd & 3rd & 4th & 5th Week

The House by the Medlar Tree – Giovanni Verga
The Kreutzer Sonata
– Leo Tolstoy

Quiz 1

6th & 7th Week

Death in Venice – Thomas Mann

First paper due

Exam 1

Mar 1st -10th

Fall Break

8th &9th Week

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce

10th &11th Week

The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka

Quiz 2

12th & 13th Week

To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf

Second paper due

Study Day



Office hours: Tue and Thu 1,40 - 2,20 p.m. and by appointment.

E-mail: gsotis@luc.edu