A Perfect Hoax
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From the publisher
Travelling salesman Enrico Gaia decides to play a trick on the conceited ageing litterateur Mario Samigli: he dupes him into thinking that a representative of a prestigious Viennese publishing house wants to commission a German translation of a long-forgotten novel Samigli had written and published at his own expense forty years ago. This leads the old man to reach new heights of self-delusion, spurred on by Gaia's succession of ruses. In this tragicomic study of deception and disappointment, Italo Svevo - who himself was an undiscovered writer until his old age - parodies elements of his own life and offers an insightful psychological portrait of a person who has lost touch with reality.