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As a Man Grows Older

Italo Svevo

Translated by Beryl De Zoete, Introduction by Stanislaus Joyce, Essay by Edouard Roditi

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Digital Edition
Price: U.S. $5.00
Italo Svevo
As a Man Grows Older
Series No.: SMC 025
ISBN: 1-55713-128-7, Pages: 291
Italian Literature, Fiction

A Sun & Moon title.

* * *

The story of As a Man Grows Older is deceptively simple: a bachelor in Trieste, a clerk with literary leanings, allows himself to become infatuated with a beautiful but flirtatious young girl who drags him down into a betrayal of himself that is half false idealism, half pure sensuality. Yet this simple tale is one of the most complex psychological portraits of twentieth-century Italian literature. Svevo's depiction of Emilio Bretani's mind, as his growing passion for the seductive Aniolina plays havoc with his emotions, can be compared to those of Stendhal or Proust.

As author-critic Edouard Roditi points out in his introduction to this volume, James Joyce, a close friend of Svevo, knew passages of As a Man Grows Older (which was first published in 1898) by heart, and he later declared it among the most poetic of Svevo's creations. Certainly, along with his Confessions of Zeno, As a Man Grows Older places the Triestine businessman-writer in the forefront of European modernism.

Sensitively and beautifully translated by Beryl De Zoete, this psychologically profound work sits comfortably alongside the other twentieth-century classics of the Sun & Moon Classics Series.

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