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Book Salon
Zeno's Conscience

  • This month we're reading Zeno's Conscience by Italo Svevo. Our faculty host is Scott Hutchins.

    "Even though it was published almost 100 years ago, to me the voice telescopes across time and I feel I'm sitting in the chair across from Zeno as he recounts his entire life."

    Scott Hutchins, lecturer for the Creative Writing Program

How to Participate

>> Read the interview transcript with this month's host, Scott Hutchins 

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About this quarter's book selection

Italo Svevo’s charming and splendidly idiosyncratic novel conducts readers deep into one hilariously hyperactive and endlessly self-deluding mind. The mind in question belongs to Zeno Cosini, a neurotic Italian businessman who is writing his confessions at the behest of his psychiatrist. Here are Zeno’s interminable attempts to quit smoking, his courtship of the beautiful yet unresponsive Ada, his unexpected–and unexpectedly happy–marriage to Ada’s homely sister Augusta, and his affair with a shrill-voiced aspiring singer. Relating these misadventures with wry wit and a perspicacity at once unblinking and compassionate, Zeno’s Conscience is a miracle of psychological realism.

The Stanford Book Salon [Seriously Unstuffy]