Italo Svevo

Giuliana Minghelli (Harvard University)
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The Jewish-Italian writer Italo Svevo was born and lived in Trieste, then under the rule of Austria-Hungary. He authored three major novels:

Una vita


A Life

, 1892],



As a Man Grows Older

, 1898], and

La coscienza di Zeno


Confessions of Zeno

, 1923], as well as numerous short stories, plays and fables. A major figure of Italian modernism, he elevated the novelistic genre within the Italian literary canon, facilitating the transformation from the nineteenth-century naturalist style to the more self-conscious and subjective style of the twentieth. His work was influenced by the philosophy of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, as well as an engagement with Darwinism and psychoanalysis. Throughout his oeuvre, Svevo articulated a critique of bourgeois ideology through the elaboration of a…

4218 words

Citation: Minghelli, Giuliana. "Italo Svevo". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 March 2010 [, accessed 12 June 2024.]

4291 Italo Svevo 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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