La conciencia de Zeno

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Ediciones Cátedra, May 23, 2005 - Fiction - 488 pages
" Italo Svevo " (pseudónimo con el que Aron Hector Schmitz quiso recalcar su componente italo-alemana) nació en Trieste, en 1869, y murió en 1928. Estudió en Alemania, y trabajó en la banca, en su ciudad natal. La primera edición de «La conciencia de Zeno» (1923) tuvo que pagarla el mismo Svevo, y de hecho la fama no le alcanzó hasta después de su muerte. Esta novela revela en parte la seducción por las doctrinas de Freud, pero fundamentalmente es una cala irónica y autobiográfica en la condición del hombre. Joyce (a la sazón en Trieste) saludó con alegría su aparición, y contribuyó a su difusión fuera de Italia.

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About the author (2005)

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.

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