Hoo boy. I started reading Italo Svevo’s Zeno’s Conscience back in the summer of 2014, months before we started this blog. It was one of the eight reading assignments for my very first class in the writing program–an eight-week class where we read one big-ass book after another (Kafka’s The Castle, Roth’s American Pastoral*, Svevo’s Zeno’s Conscience, etc.) each week. This book was in the later half of the class, and by the time we got to this one, I was pretty burned out by the reading schedule and wedding planning. So I got about halfway through this book and then had to drop it.
But I picked it back up two weeks, and, man, am I glad I did. For a guy who learned english from James Joyce (this book was written in italian but after Svevo met Joyce), it’s actually a pretty fun read. It’s an entertaining game trying to read between the lines on everything the narrator says.
Here’s a fun paper idea for our college-age readers: Zeno’s ideas about psychoanalysis compared/contrasted with Rick’s at the end of the Rick & Morty episode Pickle Rick.
* Fuck this book.