Is death the cure for life or is it merely an incurable disease? Often the story moves slowly as we watch the protagonist agonize over simple decisions and, almost inevitably, make a hurried, rash decision. The doctor has left a little note in the beginning, saying he had Zeno write an autobiography to help him in his psychoanalysis. : Zeno is almost like an early 20th century George, : Castanza, and those who like Seinfeld are likely to, : enjoy “Zeno’s Conscience.” Am I way off base. Zeno cant be a tragic figure- like Anna said, his humanity hasnt been portrayed enough to be tragic- but Zeno is pathetic- caused not by his trivial problems themselves, but with Zeno’s illumination of them, focus on them and attempt to ‘cure’ them…. These two roles sometimes clash and in the end this clashing is responsible for the existence of the novel in the first place. But it also recreates the epoch and the sense of place quite well. To me this speaks against exposing yourself to the ruthless scrutiny of a shrink and/or your own mind, unless you are seriously malfunctioning. As Zeno puts it: “From that, : moment on, England was intolerable.” Ada later, : asks “And you felt the cat represented the entire, : English nation?,” to which Zeno calmly replies, : “Certainly no Italian cat would be capable of such, : a thing…(attacking him) because I was Italian.”. One was to study the quirks and neuroses perhaps but not attempt to artifically change them. If we were discussing this book chapter by chapter I would give both five hearts. On the one hand he is a sick man, a mere caricature of a real person, and on the other hand, he is just a lover for whom 5 days of not visiting his loved one is like 5 years. 3 likes. The novel is presented as a diary written by Zeno, published by his doctor (who claims that it is full of lies). : Being a naturally skeptical person, those terms sounded to me, : much more like literature than science. Throughout the novel, we learn about his father, his business, his wife, and his tobacco habit. : 4. At one point, he engaged James Joyce as an English tutor. And the reason?, you were in love with Augusta's sister Ada but she didn't fe. Cats are nationalistic because they’re very territorial animals. His ability to be looked upon by her family as the ‘man’ of the house was also important and, I think, leads to his acceptance of the situation. He remarked to a friend, "Until last year, I was ... the least ambitious old man in the world. Of course, Zeno Cosini is Italo Svevo’s creation ultimately, no matter Joyce’s influence. ed. When I was a little girl I used to think about the process of swallowing our food and drinks, and I swear that the same happened to me a couple of times: I was not able to do it!! Zeno is also very human (and this is the first point I want to make about why I liked the novel). I hate him for this. So in this way he ‘turns the joke on us’. Like “Her vanity did not worry him since he profited by it so much;” ― Italo Svevo, As a Man Grows Older. Occasionally, Svevo can tend to verbosity, dragging out a series of guilty recriminations or comedy of errors well past the reader's attention span. He’s simlpy very hypochondriac and his neurosis may easily come from the simple fact that he NEVER REALLY WORKS. I kept forgetting all the time that these were memories supposed to help in psychoanalyisis, precisely becasue it seemed to be a XIXth century costumbrist novel. I was completely taken aback by how funny this was. Zeno's Conscience, is a novel by Italian writer: Italo Svevo. It wasn't a novel I'd previously come across. Of course, he goes to the extreme, but hey, he is a literature character! As I am not very knowledgeable in the ways and means of psychoanalysis, I am approaching this discussion from a somewhat different point of view than Paul so expertly did below. As if his gifts of Stephen Deadalus, Leopold Bloom and Molly Bloom were not enough, Joyce also helped give to literature a character that rivals, and perhaps even surpasses, those other characters: Zeno Cosini. His name was Ettore Schmitz, changed for publishing purposes to Italo Svevo—standing for the Italian Swabian—and the book, a novel, is called "Zeno's Conscience" (or, in an earlier translation, "The Confessions of Zeno.") But the more I think about it, I can see how he is both crazy and genius- that is, his ability to truly unravel a behavior, trace it backwards through associations, thoughts, actions (and when none provide themselves, cheerfully make them up), can be thought of as both genius or craziness- all depending on how functional the individual is in other ways. 5. : 5. It struck me as some maniacal blend of David Sedaris and Dostoevsky. But I swear I didn’t dream it up out of the blue. The fictional autobiography and journal of Zeno Cosini proves to be full of comic contradictions, highlighting his own unreliability. It is the narrative of the life of a man living in Trieste at the end of the 19th century and the tumultuous beginning of the 20th. I am tempted to rattle off excuses, my various ineptitudes and the inumerable distractions that kept the book on the floor so many days.

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