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lecture > La vita dell’altro. Joyce e Svevo: un’amicizia geniale @ Georgetown University, ICC Auditorium

Ritratto di Italo Svevo, dal ciclo Joyce: La musica delle parole, grafica policroma a pennarello su cartoncino, 2014 by author Monur88

Image credits: Portrait of Italo Svevo, from the Joyce cycle: The music of words, polychrome marker graphics on cardboard, 2014 by author Monur88

Join the Department of Italian Studies, Global Irish Studies, and the Department of English of Georgetown University and the Italian Cultural Institute of Washington for the presentation and launch of the book La vita dell’altro. Joyce e Svevo: un’amicizia geniale (The Other’s Life. Joyce and Svevo: A Brilliant Friendship). Author Enrico Terrinoni will engage in a conversation with Laura Benedetti and Cóilín Parsons of Georgetown University.

The book explores a very special friendship between two of the greatest writers of the 20th century. James Joyce arrived in Italy after leaving his native Ireland, which he felt was under the double yoke of the British Empire and the Catholic Church. In Trieste, he developed a close relationship with Italo Svevo, a middle-aged gentleman of Jewish descent who would become one of the main models for Leopold Bloom, as well as one of the most influential Italian novelists.

Joyce earned his living in Italy by teaching English, and immediately stood out in Trieste for his unorthodox behavior. Svevo, a good-natured family man, noticed him and employed him as a teacher. Soon they started exchanging their writings, admiring each other’s works. Svevo often helped Joyce by lending him money, and Joyce in time reciprocated his generosity by helping Svevo become an internationally renowned writer.

This event will be held in English. Refreshment will be served.

📍Georgetown University, ICC Auditorium
Intercultural Center (ICC)
37th and O Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20057



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Enrico Terrinoni is Professor in residence at the Centro Interdiciplinare ‘B. Segre’, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and Professor of English Literature at the University for Foreigners in Perugia. He has translated works by Joyce, Wilde, Orwell, Shaw, Hawthorne and many others, winning numerous prizes.

He is the translator of many works by Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland. His works include Occult Joyce. The Hidden in Ulysses (2008), James Joyce e la fine del romanzo (2015), Oltre abita il silenzio. Tradurre la letteratura (2019) e Su tutti i vivi e i morti. Joyce a Roma (Jury Prize – Francesco De Sanctis Prize; Jury Prize – Viareggio-Rèpaci Prize). His bilingual annotated Ulysses (Bompiani 2021) won the Capalbio International Prize for Translation in 2022.



Italo Svevo, born Aron Hector Schmitz in 1861 in Trieste, was a multifaceted Austro-Italian figure in the early 20th century. He excelled as a novelist, playwright, short story writer, and businessman. His close friendship with James Joyce is well-known. Svevo is celebrated for pioneering the psychological novel in Italy and for his acclaimed work, “La coscienza di Zeno” (1923), which was influenced by Sigmund Freud’s theories.

Raised in a bilingual environment, Svevo became fluent in German due to his German heritage. After facing financial challenges, he worked as a bank clerk, which inspired his debut novel, “Una Vita” (1892). He also contributed to socialist publications and advocated for a post-war European economic union.

Svevo’s writing journey began with short stories in 1880, and although his early novels gained little recognition, “La Coscienza di Zeno” earned acclaim, largely thanks to the support of James Joyce. His work delved into the human psyche and Freudian theory, leaving an indelible mark on modern literature.