Interpreting Italo Svevo: When Literary Orthodoxy Misses The Mark

Dario Maestripieri in Quillette. Literary studies has for several decades been given over to theory-saturated “activism masquerading as inquiry.” It’s self-aggrandizing political and identitarian Newspeak, as the late D. G. Myers put it, is “a caterwaul of screeching, dogmatic ‘movements.’ Neither method nor logic unites them.”

Both Freudians and Marxists have missed the mark on Svevo. There is another, more compelling interpretation of his novels, which has never been fully articulated in print, mainly because it challenges these orthodoxies.