From the Back Story
. . . ‘Oscar Progresso’s’ (one of his aliases) mad obsession with and aversion to coffee is homage to Italo Svevo’s Confessions of Zeno, a book that apparently no critic in the United States has ever read. This omission has led in turn to the belief that I myself am an anti-coffee maniac. Although it is true that in seven decades I have never even tasted coffee, much less had a cup of it (I did, in college, experiment with tea, but that was many years ago), I have no objection to coffee drinking, and I do not assault coffee drinkers. I just prefer not to kiss them . . .