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Mixed Feelings

James Wood: Italo Svevo’s Last Cigarette

3 January 2002
Zeno's Conscience 
by Italo Svevo, edited by William Weaver.
Everyman, 437 pp., £12.99, November 2001, 1 85715 249 2
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Memoir of Italo Svevo 
by Livia Veneziani Svevo, translated by Isabel Quigly.
Northwestern, 178 pp., $15.95, June 2001, 0 8101 6084 6
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Emilio's Carnival 
by Italo Svevo, translated by Beth Archer Brombert.
Yale, 233 pp., £22.50, October 2001, 0 300 09049 8
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... strategy, of weakly wishing that destiny had made him strong, is typical of the senilità , the early senility or moral feebleness, that binds all Svevo’s heroes together. In an introduction to BethArcherBrombert’s splendid and lucid new translation of Senilità (now given Svevo’s first title, Emilio’s Carnival), her husband, Victor Brombert, defines that imprisonment as ‘a special ...

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