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Italo Svevo’s Zeno’s Conscience is a novel that has stood the test of time and remains relevant even today. First published in Italian in 1923, this masterpiece of modernist literature has since been translated into numerous languages and continues to captivate readers around the world. But why should you read it? What makes this novel so special?

Zeno’s Conscience is a remarkable exploration of the human psyche. The novel is narrated by the eponymous Zeno Cosini, a middle-aged man who decides to write his memoirs in an attempt to make sense of his life. As he reminisces about his past, Zeno reveals his deepest fears, anxieties, and desires, and we see how his inner world is shaped by his upbringing, relationships, and personal struggles.
The novel’s stream-of-consciousness narration, fragmented structure, and ironic tone make it a fascinating and challenging read. Zeno’s humorous musings on life, love, and death provide a refreshing antidote to its darker themes.
This book is a must-read for anyone interested in modernist literature, the human psyche, or just a good story. It is a novel that rewards close reading and thoughtful reflection, and its insights into the human condition are both timeless and invaluable. So, pick up a copy of Italo Svevo’s masterpiece and discover for yourself why Zeno’s Conscience is a novel that continues to capture the hearts and minds of readers around the world.

Article written by Francesca Politi, JUMP Team