Zeno’s Conscience is the first book I read from Italo Svevo, and I think I want to read a few more of his work. The characters he created are so exquisite that I wanted to bow before Svevo. I am sure that the author, who has a very different voice and style, will affect you as well as everyone else.
However, as with any highly praised book, some people find Zeno’s Conscience very dull and not even close to Proust, to whom he is compared. Svevo, who is known as the Proust of Italy, is a safer choice than Proust. In my opinion, those who don’t enjoy Proust may like Svevo.
Zeno, who is a charming anti-hero, is a character that you will immediately sympathize with. In the first parts of the book, I immediately liked him because I compared Zeno to my late grandfather. Although the book got less exciting towards the end, I still cared about Zeno. He is a fantastic character.
The story starts with the note of Doctor S; we read Zeno’s Conscience from his confessions. Zeno explains how he fell in love, how he did business, what he got angry with, his fight with quitting smoking, and many more unnecessary details. But I read it with great pleasure because this is one of those great books.
If you haven’t read a good character recently, you will fall in love with Zeno. I am sure you will especially love it if you like stream of consciousness. However, if you do not like it very much, I’d recommend you to read a few pages in the bookstore before purchasing it. Enjoy!
A marvel of psychological insight from one of the most important Italian literary figures of the twentieth century
When vain, obsessive and guilt-ridden Zeno Cosini seeks help for his neuroses. His psychoanalyst suggests he writes his memoirs as a form of therapy. Zeno’s account is an alternative reality. A series of elliptical episodes dealing with the death of his father, his career, his marriage and affairs. And, above all, his passion for smoking and his spectacular failure to resist the promise of that last cigarette. A hymn to self-delusion and procrastination. Svevo’s devilishly funny portrayal of a man’s attempt to give up smoking and make sense of his life has become a cult classic.
Aron Ettore Schmitz, better known by the pseudonym Italo Svevo, was an Italian writer. Also a businessman, novelist, playwright, and short-story writer.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: