Books: Italian Tycoon's Book

CONFESSIONS OF ZENO—Italo Svevo—Knopf ($3). Few authors would dare inflict on their readers such a queer bird as Zeno. Unclassifiable in any pigeonhole of good citizenry or good character, he is an eccentric fellow altogether, disliked even by his psychoanalyst. The plan of the book is simple but ingenious: Zeno's doctor persuades him to write his auto-biography as an exercise in analysis: when Zeno breaks with him before the treatment is complete, the doctor, in revenge, publishes Zeno's confessions:

Zeno Cosini, only child of a rich Trieste merchant, very early in his boyhood...

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