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Italo Svevo

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Credit for this entry to:
Alan Patient of

Italo Svevo

Person  Male  Born 19/12/1861  Died 13/9/1928

Categories: Commerce, Literature

Countries: Austria, Hungary, Italy

Businessman and author. Born in Trieste (then part of Austria-Hungary) as Aron Ettore Schmitz. The pseudonym translates as 'Swabian Italian', but as the only definitions of Swabian relate to places in Germany and Sicily, it is hard to understand the connection. He is best known for his novel, 'La Coscienza de Zeno', (Confessions of Zeno). He was befriended by James Joyce who taught him English and helped to publicise his book. He was supposedly the model for the character of Leopold Bloom in Joyce's 'Ulysses'. Died Motta di Livenza, Italy.

2019: At Greenwich Industrial History we read that "South East London Mercury ran a piece on 22nd September on the unveiling of a plaque to authoor, Italo Svevo, in Charlton Church Lane. It describes how in 1897 he had become a partner in his father-in-laws Triest based paint company. He negotiated a contract for anti-corrosive paint with the Admmiralty and came to Chatlton to set up a factory in Anchor and Hope Lane - hence the plaque. Further information and a picture can be found at - which is actually the web site of the Italian paint company. This describes how ‘Veneziani fonda la prima fabbrica di antivegetativa all’estera Charlton in Inghilterra. A lavori vengono diretti dal genero del fondatore, Ettore Schmitzm, in arte Italo Svevo’. {We've not corrected typos, etc.}

Our Italian consultant, John Hartley, clarifies that the paint company was Veneziani and the Charlton factory was the first one set up overseas, making industrial paint used on naval ships. We note that Anchor and Hope Lane (contrary to its charming name) for most of its length is lost to modern sheds and car-parks.

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Italo Svevo

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Italo Svevo

Ettore Schmitz alias Italo Svevo, 1861-1928, writer, lived here 1903-1913. En...

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