La Settima A
Our Settima A, named for Anna Livia, brings together Italo Svevo and James Joyce
La Settima A
Our Settima A, named for Anna Livia, brings together Italo Svevo and James Joyce.
The two met in 1907 when Joyce became Svevo’s English teacher, but the intellectual affinity between the two created a profound friendship that would endure for the rest of their lives. The Irish author met Svevo’s family, including his wife, Livia Veneziani. She would become one of the inspirations for the character of Anna Livia Plurabelle, the protagonist in one of the episodes of his final work, Finnegans Wake.
The rooms in Settima A are therefore dedicated to Joyce, and take their names from works written or published during the author’s Triestine period.
Giacomo Joyce is a short and deeply enigmatic work written in poetic verse. It is also the only one of his works, with the exception of a few individual poems, to be explicitly set in Trieste which reveals much about Joyce’s world.
Most likely written 1912-1914, but published only posthumously in 1968, the story revolves around a female character who is seduced by the eponymous protagonist.
Many researchers have attempted to identify the individuals who inspired the writer, with the consensus being that she was most likely a combination of three middle-class Triestine students to whom Joyce gave English lessons: Annie Schleimer, Emma Cuzzi and Amalia Popper.
Exiles is a theatrical comedy, most likely written from 1913-1915, which revolves around the subject of distance – not only the distance from one’s homeland, but also the distance between people.
The theatrical text focuses heavily on adultery, and is most likely rooted in attempts by Roberto Prezioso, a friend of Joyce’s and the editor-in-chief of the local newspaper Il Piccolo, to seduce Nora Barnacle, Joyce’s life partner.
Chamber Music is a collection of youth-oriented poetry published in 1907, shortly after Joyce’s return to Trieste from Rome, where he visited the London-based editor who would later reject Dubliners.
It appears that Joyce made the decision to publish this collection only after a long discussion with his brother, Stanislaus, while on an evening stroll in Piazza delle Poste.
The tormented prose of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man written from 1904-1914 coincided with his time in Trieste. Italo Svevo wrote a letter to Joyce with his thoughts on the first three chapters.
In 1911, following a heated argument with Nora, Joyce tossed the manuscript into the fireplace. It was only the rapid intervention of his sister, Eileen, who had moved to Trieste in 1910, that saved it from the flames.
Joyce attempted to have Dubliners published all throughout his years in Trieste. It was only in 1914, with the intervention of Ezra Pound, that the book finally saw the light of day.
The city of Trieste does not have a large part to play in these stories, aside from the use of the name Sinico, borrowed from Francesco Sinico, from whom Joyce took singing lessons from 1905-1906.