Further Confessions of Zeno

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University of California Press, Jan 1, 1969 - Literary Criticism - 302 pages
5 short stories and a play dealing with old age - its frustrations and consolations.
 

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Contents

Bibliographical Note
7
CONFESSIONS
27
UMBERTINO
71
A CONTRACT
113
THIS INDOLENCE OF MINE
141
a Comedy
165
Copyright

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About the author (1969)

Born in Austrian Trieste of a Jewish Italian-German family, Svevo spoke German fluently and pursued a business career before taking up fiction under a pseudonym that means "Italus the Swabian" or South German. His Italian had indeed something foreign about it, as did the characterizations of heroes and heroines in his novels. His first novel, A Life (1893), published at his own expense, and his second, Senilita (As a Man Grows Older) (1898), were virtually ignored. Svevo might have despaired had it not been for his friendship with the expatriate Irish novelist James Joyce (see Vol. 1), with whom he exchanged language lessons in Trieste. Joyce's intervention eventually found a foreign audience for Svevo's third and perhaps best novel, The Confessions of Zeno (1923), first published and very well received in France. As Svevo's reputation spread, he was called the Italian Proust in France, the Italian Musil in Germany, and the Italian Joyce in England. Italian critics now point out that, despite Svevo's foreign success, it was an Italian, Eugenio Montale, who wrote the first significant critical appraisal in 1925. Still, by then Montale had already steeped himself in foreign literatures and could assume a foreign perspective, while more natively rooted Italian critics, including even Benedetto Croce, continued to discount Svevo as a writer writing to be translated.

P. N. Furbank was born Philip Nicholas Furbank in Cranleigh, Surrey on May 23, 1920. He studied at Cambridge University. During World War II, he served in the British Army in Italy. He was a lifelong stammerer, and this challenge led him to leave Cambridge, where he had taught in the late 1940s and early 1950s, to work in London as a librarian and an editor. He was a critic and scholar who wrote several books including Italo Svevo: The Man and the Writer, E. M. Forster: A Life, and Diderot: A Critical Biography, which was the first recipient of the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism in 1995. He and fellow scholar W. R. Owens began their Daniel Defoe collaboration in the early 1980s, and over 20 years they published four books and were the general editors of a 44-volume collection of Defoe's works. He died on June 27, 2014 at the age of 94.

Bibliographic information