A Life is the gruelling tale of the frustrated existence of a bank clerk with a poetic soul. The artistic aspirations of the protagonist and the emptiness of his daily life become tragic in the great divide between what he wants and what he actually has and gets. Alfonso the bank clerk wants to be a poet and seems to be falling in love with Annetta, the vain and arrogant daughter of his boss. But the emptiness of both his attempts at writing and at love lead to an ironic and painful conclusion.
About the Author
Italo Svevo was born in Trieste in 1861. His real name was Hector Schmitz. Educated mainly in Bavaria, he wrote in Italian, and as a young man had to work as a French and German correspondence clerk in a Trieste bank. He was not happy in the business world and at the age of thirty-one he wrote and published at his own expense, A Life. It was followed four years later by Senility, a novel of tortured eroticism. Both A Life and Senility were such failures that Svevo gave up writing for the next twenty years. During this time he became a good friend of James Joyce, who was also living in Trieste, and who was able to use his influence to make Svevo known in Europe. Svevo was just becoming recognised in Italy when he was killed in a car accident in 1928.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Life based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
This is the first ever book by Svevo apart from one on tram journeys. Triete is the backdrop - everyone is always walking up or down the Corso. Poor old Alfonso, the bank clerk, he does lead an unhappy life. It is all very analytical and soul searching and you rapidly realise he is doomed.