Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Paolo Bartoloni
Svevo’s ordigni: writing, technology and modernity in La coscienza di Zeno
Lecture on Svevo's modernist novel La coscienza di Zeno
Swinburne University, Melbourne
Invited Lecture
Optional Fields
02-SEP-14
02-SEP-14
<!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:10.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;} @page WordSection1 {size:612.0pt 792.0pt; margin:72.0pt 90.0pt 72.0pt 90.0pt; mso-header-margin:36.0pt; mso-footer-margin:36.0pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} --> As Giovanni Palmieri has noted, in Svevo’s lexicon “ordegno/ordigno” means tool, and it acquires, therefore, a practical purpose in the process of making. In Svevo “ordigno” is employed towards the working of an idea, a plot, a hypothesis. Moreover, it becomes the necessary passage for an approximation to conscience, which in Svevo stands both for consciousness and knowledge. Writing itself is an “ordigno” that Svevo places in the hands of his fictitious “golem” Zeno, the leading character of Zeno’s Conscience (La coscienza di Zeno, 1923), to write the autobiography of his life, which in turn becomes, unbeknown to the character but known to the author, a critique of the moral illness of the bourgeoisie on the eve of the First World War, a metanarrative reflection on writing fiction, and a staggering prediction of the failures of modernity and attendant future unsustainability, climate changes and global conflicts. The talk will focus on writing as a cognitive tool, on the relation between author and character in La coscienza di Zeno, and on Svevo’s critique of a world on the verge of self-annihilation.
Australasian Society for Italian Studies
Publication Themes