Italo Svevo

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Italo Svevo
Aron Ettore Schmitz
BirthplaceTrieste, Austria-Hungary
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Svevo, Italo


(pen name of Ettore Schmitz). Born Dec. 19, 1861, in Trieste; died Sept. 13, 1928, in Motta di Livenza, in the region of Venice. Italian writer.

Sevevo’s life and works were associated with Trieste. After his autobiographical novels A Life (1892) and As a Man Grows Older (1898) went unnoticed, he did not publish for 25 years. The realistic novel Confessions ofZeno (1923; Russian translation, 1972), which is permeated with an occasionally grotesque irony, revealed his talent for psychological self-examination. It satirizes both the hero’s own milieu of clever Trieste operators and bourgeois society in general. Svevo foresaw that technological progress would prove to be a mixed blessing for this society. It was only after the publication of Confessions of Zeno that Svevo gained recognition. In Western European literary studies he is regarded as a precursor of Joyce and Proust and a founder of the stream-of-consciousness literary method. However, his work is based on the traditions of the 19th-century realistic novel.


Opera omnia, vols. 1–3. Edited by B. Maier. Milan [1966–68].


Gramsci, A. “‘Otkrytie’ Italo Svevo.” In O literature i iskusstve. Moscow, 1967.
Khlodovskii, R. “Bolezn’ Dzeno.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1973, no. 6.
Lunetta, M. Invito alla lettura di Italo Svevo. Milan, 1972.
Spagnoletti, G. Svevo. Milan, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Zeno come cyborg." Italo Svevo and His Legacy for the Third Millennium.
Joyce began Ulysses here, promoted the fiction of his friend Ettore Schmitz (whose pseudonym Italo Svevo disguised his Jewish heredity), and from the city's polyglot loquacity wrested the verbal "chaosmos" of Finnegans Wake.
Robert Solow (Economics, 1987) I would choose The Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo, whose real name was Ettore Schmitz.
Roda discerns this same process in Italo Svevo's unfinished fantastic novella Il malocchio, in which the protagonist is a divided modernist individual.
This self-described "shadow-oratorio" was the first part of Confessions of Zeno, based on the Italian novel by Italo Svevo, which Kentridge developed in collaboration with Cape Town's Handspring Puppet Company.
Not everyone will agree, however, with the editors' selections of topics and chapters: that, for instance, Italo Svevo and Pier Paolo Pasolini should have chapters to themselves, and that the two avant-garde periods, the Futurists of the early twentieth century and the theatre of the 1960s and 1970s, should be compressed into one short chapter.
This carried her to the USA, where she met her first husband, Benjamin Johnson, the English translator of Italo Svevo's short stories.
An example will help us to clarify our position: L'invitation chez les Stirl by Paul Gadenne, Les Vainqueurs du jaloux by Jean Lagrolet, and The Conscience of Zeno by Italo Svevo are three books very close to our purpose: what is most essential in these novels is what does not get said; everything is a mask or a lie; the words conceal something: these are books one has to read between the lines (we can comment that this tendency has been consecrated by Jean Paulhan and Maurice Blanchot and that it constitutes one of the essential features of the nouveau roman).
These include a number of Europeans: Italo Svevo, Stefan Zweig, Primo Levi, Joseph Roth, Sybille Bedford, Penelope Fitzgerald.
Part 6, "The Modern Age," includes "Actors, Authors and Directors" (269-77); "Innovation and Theatre of the Grotesque" (278-84); "The March of the Avante-garde" (285-92); "Luigi Pirandello" (293-311); "Italo Svevo, Dramatist" (312-22); "D'Annunzio's Theatre" (323-38); "Theatre Under Fascista" (339-48); "Pier Paolo Pasolini" (349-56); "Dario Fo" (357-67); "Contemporary Women's Theatre" (368-78); and "The Contemporary Scene" (379-93).