Italo Svevo's early novel Senilit... (1898) remained unknown for many years until James Joyce encountered the novelist in Trieste & came to admire Senilit... as a preeminent modern Italian novel. Joyce helped to launch Svevo's career, & years later Svevo achieved great fame with his masterpiece, Confessions of Zeno. In Senilit... , Svevo tells the story of the amorous entanglement of Emilio, a failed writer already old at thirty-five, & Angiolina, a seductively beautiful but promiscuous young woman. A study in jealousy & self torment, the novel traces the intoxicating effect of a narcissistic & amoral woman on an indecisive daydreamer who vacillates between guilt & moral smugness. The novel is suffused with a tragic sense of existence, & the unbreachable distance between one consciousness & another. Svevo's unmistakably modern voice subtly captures rapid shifts in mood & intention, exploiting irony, indirection, & multiple points of view to reveal Emilio's increasing anguish as he comes to recognize the dissonance between himself & his world.