They became close friends, and Joyce let the middle-aged businessman read portions of his unpublished Dubliners, after which Svevo timidly produced his own two novels.
While working on a sequel to Zeno , Svevo was killed in an automobile accident. Svevo ultimately has been recognized as one of the most important figures in modern Italian literary history. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind.
Zeno's Conscience (Penguin Modern Classics)
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The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Sep 9, See Article History. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: The surreal writings of Massimo Bontempelli….
James Joyce , Irish novelist noted for his experimental use of language and exploration of new literary methods in such large works of fiction as Ulysses and Finnegans Wake Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations. View or edit your browsing history. Get to Know Us.
English Choose a language for shopping. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. Partly autobiographical, the book is in effect an extended monologue, self-analytical and deeply introspective, telling the story of a man's life as he observes it from the outside.
A member of a middle-class mercantile family, the hero regards his life as empty of meaning, a succession of failures. Caught up in dreams and visions and beset by psychological complexes, he becomes a melancholic and ironical spokesman of the absurdity of the human condition.
Svevo, Italo ()
Like the people in similar condition with whom he comes in contact, he finds life full of irremediable disappointments. Svevo's own rejection of the unremitting flow of life is thus projected onto his hero. In spite of the fact that Svevo never explicitly related to Jews or to a Jewish milieu in his literary works, some scholars have considered them crypto-Jewish.
This thesis appeared in the late s in an article by Giacomo Debenedetti, one of the outstanding Italian literary critics of the last century a Jew himself , and since then it has been proposed many times in several different versions. According to Debenedetti, Svevo symbolically describes in his works the uneasiness of the emancipated Jew not completely belonging to European Christian society, and his approach to Judaism is in some way close to the negative attitude of the Jewish-born philosopher Otto Weininger.
Svevo's colloquial style was something of an innovation in Italian writing.
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His cosmopolitan background and education undoubtedly contributed to his unique position in his country's literature. Immediately before and after his death in an automobile accident some of his short novellas were published. They include Una burla riuscita ; The Hoax , and La novella del buon vecchio e della bella fanciulla ; The Nice Old Man and the Pretty Girl , , both successfully combining pessimism with humor and gentle irony.