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Title: Descent, Transition and Raising in James Joyce's "Ulysses" and Italo Svevo's "La coscienza di Zeno"
Authors: Randaccio, Monica
Keywords: Post-war literatureJoyce and SvevoJoyce and TriesteMyth in literature
Issue Date: 1999
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Monica Randaccio, "Descent, Transition and Raising in James Joyce's "Ulysses" and Italo Svevo's "La coscienza di Zeno"", in: Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali, VI (1999), pp. 117-131
Series/Report no.: Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali
VI (1999)
In "Ulysses", Joyce made many references to the atmosphere he found in Trieste during his second stay between 1919 and 1920, and they were mostly connected with the decay of the town and with death itself. Italo Svevo gave a lecture about Joyce, an occasion in which he remarked that, while remembering, artists create at the same time, thus causing autobiographical elements to undergo a transformation. The relationship between Joyce, Svevo, and Trieste is reflected in some literary references in their works, although they are rather implicit. The critical reading of two passages from "Ulysses" and "La Coscienza di Zeno", both dealing with a funeral, could make these references come to the fore. Joyce’s episode is tripartite, divided into descent, transition, and raising, and seems to borrow its structure from Dante’s "Divina Comedia". This same scheme might be applied to Guido Speier’s funeral in "La Coscienza di Zeno", and an accurate analysis could provide even more similarities between the two authors’ styles. Svevo’s narrative, like Joyce’s, reflects the relationship of the author with his surrounding reality: the doubts and fears permeating post-war society, the death of hope and optimism, the disappointment, and the choosing of a myth as a refuge and as a coping strategy.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1123-2684
Appears in Collections:1999 / 6 Prospero. Rivista di culture anglo-germaniche

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