Zeno's Conscience

Italo Svevo

About the book

Italo Svevo’s charming and splendidly idiosyncratic novel conducts readers deep into one hilariously hyperactive and endlessly self-deluding mind. The mind in question belongs to Zeno Cosini, a neurotic Italian businessman who is writing his confessions at the behest of his psychiatrist. Here are Zeno’s interminable attempts to quit smoking, his courtship of the beautiful yet unresponsive Ada, his unexpected–and unexpectedly happy–marriage to Ada’s homely sister Augusta, and his affair with a shrill-voiced aspiring singer. Relating these misadventures with wry wit and a perspicacity at once unblinking and compassionate, Zeno’s Conscience is a miracle of psychological realism.

Italo Svevo published the novel with his own money when various companies rejected the manuscript. James Joyce was a friend of Italo Svevo who started pushing "La coscienza di Zeno" which was not highly regarded in Italy initially, made Svevo extremely popular, especially in France, where critics immediately called him the most important contemporary Italian novelist.


Listen to Lit Cities Radio with Zeno Cosini here.

ISBN: 978-0-375-72776-4

When I read Italo Svevo's La coscienza di Zeno for the first time, I immediately knew that I had to go to Trieste! Before I had finished reading it, I was already there.

Milen Till

Milen Till



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