The literary history of Trieste is unique and irreproducible. In the early 1920s, it was one of the cradles of modernism, as the span of just three years brought to light the Canzoniere by Umberto Saba (1921), James Joyce’s Ulysses, published in Paris but begun in Trieste in 1922, and  Zeno’s Conscience by Svevo (1923). The 100th anniversary of this extraordinary time will soon be celebrated.  During the very same years, Ivo Andrić was Deputy Consul in Trieste and began writing a novel set in the city, the young Slovene poet Srečko Kosovel published his constructivist verses and Rainer Maria Rilke wrote the Duino Elegies.

“My soul isin Trieste”

James Joyce

Later, writers such as  Giani Stuparich and Giorgio Voghera, slovene authors Vladimir Bartol and Boris Pahor, and  Fulvio Tomizza from Istria painfully interwove their lives and art with the upheavals in the wake of the Second World War. Subsequently, a new generation – among which Claudio Magris stands out –  wrote universalizing events and emotions, fostering reflection on what unites – rather than divides – the people of Trieste.