Italian Literature - Svevo and psychianalysis

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Modalità esame

Oral exam


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The course is aimed at students of the ordinary course and of PHD.


The course will focus attention on Italo Svevo's controversial relationship with psychoanalysis and above all the fashion for this therapy in Trieste at the time and in Europe. Consequently, we will proceed to a close examination of La coscienza di Zeno, the first novel ever to focus precisely on psychoanalysis and in which Svevo explicitly distances himself from Freudian doctrine. Some biographical experiences of the author that have to do with Freud and his treatment will be retraced, but also the two previous novels written by Svevo will be analyzed in relation to the arrival of Consciousness to evaluate the prodromes, albeit in texts still all in nineteenth-century naturalism, of the position taken against Freud. A parallel will also be drawn between La coscienza di Zeno and the comedy entitled Regeneratione, which similarly pillories another cure then fashionable as the Voronoff cure.

Obiettivi formativi

The course aims to give a reading of Svevo's most important and well-known novel in the context of his fiction with special regard to the fact that it is a thesis-novel, that is written intentionally to ridicule Freudian psychoanalysis.

Riferimenti bibliografici

M. Lavagetto, L'impiegato Schmitz e altri saggi su Svevo, Torino, Einaudi, 1975.

Svevo, a c. di C. Gigante e M. Tortora, Roma, Carocci, 2021.

S. Carrai, Il caso clinico di Zeno e altri studi di filologia e critica sveviana, seconda ed. rivista e accresciuta, Pisa, Pacini, 2021.