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The Leopard
by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
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In Sicily in 1860, as Italian unification grows inevitable, the smallest of gestures seems dense with meaning and melancholy, sensual agitation and disquiet: "Some huge irrational disaster is in the making." All around him, the prince, Don Fabrizio, witnesses the ruin of the class and inheritance that already disgust him. His favorite nephew, Tancredi, proffers the paradox, "If we want things to stay as they are, they will have to change," but Don Fabrizio would rather take refuge in skepticism or astronomy, "the sublime routine of the skies."
 
Giuseppe di Lampedusa, also an astronomer and a Sicilian prince, was 58 when he started to write The Leopard, though he had had it in his mind for 25 years. E. M. Forster called his work "one of the great lonely books." What renders it so beautiful and so discomfiting is its creator's grasp of human frailty and, equally, of Sicily's arid terrain--"comfortless and irrational, with no lines that the mind could grasp, conceived apparently in a delirious moment of creation; a sea suddenly petrified at the instant when a change of wind had flung waves into frenzy." The author died at the age of 60, soon after finishing The Leopard, though he did live long enough to see it rejected as unpublishable.


Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (16 of 20), Read 27 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Barbara Moors (bar647@aol.com) Date: Sunday, April 01, 2001 11:38 AM Since this should be starting the actual discussion, rather than pre-discussion comments, I'd thought I'd pull it back over to the left again. I just finished The Leopard this morning and feel that special zip that comes from finding a totally unanticipated gem. I had never heard of this book before its nomination here and, with all of our CR book talk over the past few years, that's becoming a rarer experience. Thanks again for nominating it, Tonya. Did anyone else find the 6th and 7th sections to be the best? The Prince's observations at the Ball and as he died will not leave me soon. Barb
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (17 of 20), Read 26 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Daniel LeBoeuf (dan1066@yahoo.com) Date: Sunday, April 01, 2001 05:48 PM Barb: I agree--reading this novel was a delight. The ball was an amazing section, but I found almost the entire book reverberated with meaning. I enjoyed the section describing the nephew and his love playing around the old house--a house so big there were rooms they would never, ever use or even visit. Of course, I also loved the description of some of the dishes served. When I have been eating out, I have been eating out at Italian restaurants of late. Dan
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (18 of 20), Read 25 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Sunday, April 01, 2001 06:47 PM I remembered so little of this book from my previous reading, it was like reading a new book. I loved the witty use of language. The count's humorous observations are a delight. Not quite finished yet. Ruth “Physics is like sex. Sure, it has some practical results, but that's not why we do it." Richard Feynman
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (19 of 20), Read 27 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Ann Davey (davey@tconl.com) Date: Sunday, April 01, 2001 07:07 PM Barb and Dan, I finished this book about an hour ago. I hadn't planned on devoting so much time to it, but by the time I got to the final chapters I really couldn't put it down. I agree with your assessments. I enjoyed the author's wit and psychological insights. It's a beautifully written work, which shines through this translation. Of course, we can only wonder what the original was like. Warning ******* Plot Spoiler************* Barb, I agree with you that Chapter 7 was one of the strongest in the entire book. I will never forget the prince's summing up of his entire life on his death bed. I'm seventy-three years old, and all in all I may have lived, really lived, a total of two...three at the most. You have to read the whole passage to appreciate the poignancy of his conclusion, but it certainly made me think about how I am spending my own limited time here on earth. Brilliant as this chapter was, I couldn't help feeling that this leap 26 years into the future to show us the Prince's death gave the novel a somewhat disjointed feel. There was so much foreshadowing regarding Angelica and Trancredi's future life that I fully expected the novel to trace their lives, but they become once more only background players in the last part of the book. I almost had the impression that the author had begun one book and finished another. Since it was completed only a few months before his death I wondered if Lampedusa knew he was dying himself and if that shaped the final chapters. What do you two think? Dan, I agree about the wonderful descriptions of the two lovers exploring and hiding out in the empty rooms of the old palace. I could see them in my mind. It was a charming picture of the early stages of love (infatuation?). So what did you think of the final revelation regarding Concetta? Ruth, have you ever visited Sicily? I loved the descriptions of the locale and the Sicilians. Ann
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (20 of 20), Read 28 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Sunday, April 01, 2001 07:31 PM I was in Sicily in August 1978, Ann. Catania, then across the middle to Palermo. It looks a lot like much of Southern California--rounded hills covered in golden grass and dotted with trees and scrub. I cruised about on the net a little, researching this book. Unfortunately, most of the references I turned up were written in Italian. I could have read them, but with difficulty, (difficulty being the operative word, here) but I didn't try. Evidently Sta. Margherita di Belice, where my father was born, in the center of the island, has some connection with Lampedusa. His family had a home near there, I think, and the description of one of his homes (Donnafugata?) is based on that. There's a park in the town, bearing Lampedusa's name. At any rate, you can be sure none of the Bavettas ever got invited to dinner with the Count. Ruth “Physics is like sex. Sure, it has some practical results, but that's not why we do it." Richard Feynman
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (21 of 25), Read 24 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, April 03, 2001 11:10 PM Ruth, This book must have special meaning since your family is from that area of Italy. One thought that keeps mulling around in my head is when the Prince is dying and it says something on the line of, when a man is dying, he owns only his body. Wow, did that make me stop and think. Beej
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (22 of 25), Read 10 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Ernest Belden (drernest@pacbell.net) Date: Thursday, April 05, 2001 01:26 AM As happened many times before I am terribly impressed by the comments by the CC group. I usually agree with most everything that they have to say but even more so this time. Like Ruth I read this book many years ago probably in the sixties or seventies because some of my bookish friends had recommended it highly. Also, like Ruth I remembered but little about the content but only that I had a feeling of grandeur. I was terribly impressed by it and did have in mind to recommend it for future reading, but can't remember if I recommended and or voted for it. The prince is someone I can both understand and identify with. He is very human in most ways but has a fine yet practical understanding of people and life in general. Tancredi is also well portrayed and understandable. But I am most impressed by the actions that took place. Namely what happened during this historical period in Italy and especially in Palermo. Perhaps 8 or so years ago we accidentally were stuck for one week in Palermo after we had circled Sicily by car. We had to wait for the ferry boat to take us to Genoa. So we wandered around Palermo and I got a feel for the town. I had been reading about Fredrick II (I hope I am correct) and was anxious to see his grave at the Cathedral which supposedly reflected nordic architecture. This king has been described as totally uncharacteristic for his time. {Perhaps he could be called modern in some ways but also wrote poetry) It is impossible to describe the strange feeling Sicily and especially Palermo evoked in me. The history of Sicily is perhaps the strangest of any area in Italy as it was invaded and fought over for hundreds if not thousands of years. But - all these things became more important and meaningful to me after having read the leopard. Ernie
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (23 of 25), Read 10 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Tonya Presley (t-pr@home.com) Date: Thursday, April 05, 2001 02:08 AM As I mentioned on another topic, I finished The Leopard a couple of days ago. I really enjoyed it, and am glad I don't have to be sorry I nominated it! One of the things that was a special touch to me from the beginning was the inclusion of his dog in so many scenes. So then when we skipped all those years, it was nice to hear something about Bendico again (even if a little icky). I cannot for anything see why Chapter 5 is there. There was nothing in it necessary to this story, and I was distracted by this sidetrack. I agree the 6th and 7th chapters were very good, but I'd rather not have gone from the the one straight to the next. Have to agree with Ann, it feels like something is missing. I was interested in the political situation, the early stages of the marriage (and how Concetta would react), and the continuation of the Mayor's attempts to enter society. I don't think I have a favorite chapter though. I loved the interview between the Prince and the Mayor, loved the hunt and conversation with Don Ciccio, so I was glued to the 3rd chapter from start to finish. Really, the best of the book, for me, was any part that included Don Fabrizio. He is endearing and memorable. Apart from the possibility that it could just be a fact (since the book is somewhat biographical) I can't imagine why the three girls were spinsters in the end. Was this a reflection of changing politics, and that they were not good matches? It was sad to go from giggling snickering girls to jaded old women in the span of a few pages. Tonya
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (24 of 25), Read 8 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: David Moody (davidmoody@prodigy.net) Date: Thursday, April 05, 2001 07:09 AM Tonya: I have to agree with you about chapter five (the one where the priest goes home and arranges for a marriage). The only thing I can think of is that it illustrates the place of the Church at that time in Italy among the common people, even though nationally it was an era of rampant anti-clericalism. As for the girls being spinsters: it seems to me a reflection of a theme running throughout, the dying out of the old ways. No children, no tradition. David
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (25 of 25), Read 2 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Tonya Presley (t-pr@home.com) Date: Thursday, April 05, 2001 09:43 AM David, It could be seen to illustrate the place of the Church; as I read it I wondered if the point was to illustrate that the stuff going on around Tancredi's marriage was possible at any level of society, anywhere. Reminds me of some friends who got a big boat several years ago. They had a very nice bigger-than-average boat on Texoma for several years, then finally decided to get this BIG boat. For what seemed like months it dominated every conversation. They went to every boat show, shopped from Texas to Seattle, and finally chose (if memory serves) something just under 40 feet that could easily sleep 4. She said their first weekend on the lake was marvelous. They cruised all over, and every time she saw people in littler boats looking up at them, she was reminded of all their years on the first boat, planning for the second. Then, on Sunday as they were heading back in, they were passed by a BIG big boat, some enormous thing really much too large for Texoma, and looking up at that one, she said, she just had to laugh. Tonya
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (26 of 36), Read 41 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Saturday, April 07, 2001 03:18 PM All: While waiting for my copy of THE LEOPARD to come in at the library this week, I made do by sampling a contemporary novel on the "new books" shelf. I was so disappointed after the first few chapters that I couldn't go on. Same thing happened with a second book. And a third. I was about to decide I was just in a crappy mood for reading, which sometimes happens. But this morning, Lampedusa's THE LEOPARD arrived, and it hooked me from the first page. I have the instinctive feeling I'm in the hands of a master. I can't wait to get further along and catch up on the wealth of posts already on this thread. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (27 of 36), Read 36 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Ann Davey (davey@tconl.com) Date: Saturday, April 07, 2001 07:52 PM Dale, I feel certain that you will really enjoy this one. I look forward to hearing (seeing?) your reaction. David, excellent point about the three spinsters personalizing the end of tradition and the old ways. I hadn't thought of that. At the end did you think that Concetta destroyed her chances with Trancredi because she wouldn't let him enter the convent? SPOLER ALERT**************** I'm not sure it matters, of course. She wasted her life no matter how you look at it. IMHO. Tonya, I liked the recurring dog scenes too. The dog seemed to be the only one that Don Fabrizio liked without qualification. Another touch I liked was the way he made the paintings of the gods and goddesses in the villa seem alive. Ann
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (28 of 36), Read 32 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Saturday, April 07, 2001 09:06 PM Thanks, Ann. I'm savoring this gem. I especially like Lampedusa's sense of humor... Toward dawn, however, the Princess had occasion to make the sign of the Cross. Next morning, the sun lit on a refreshed Prince... >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (29 of 36), Read 34 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Saturday, April 07, 2001 09:32 PM This book is sprinkled with witty gems like that, Dale. I loved it. Ruth “Physics is like sex. Sure, it has some practical results, but that's not why we do it." Richard Feynman
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (30 of 36), Read 23 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Sunday, April 08, 2001 07:03 AM And what about the Prince's justification for his affairs? "seven children I've had with her, seven: and never once have I seen her navel. Is that right?" Now, whipped by this odd anguish, he was almost shouting. "Is it right? I ask you all!" And he turned to the portico of the Catena. "Why, she's the real sinner!" Comforted by this reassuring discovery, he gave a firm knock at Mariannina's door. He's such a rascal, but he's so delightful, you don't mind. Beej
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (31 of 36), Read 20 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: David Moody (davidmoody@prodigy.net) Date: Sunday, April 08, 2001 08:22 AM Ann, I don't think Concetta really stood a chance with Tancredi once Angelica showed up. Frankly, I think Tancredi was interested in Concetta mainly for the money; with Angelica, he could get that and some heh-heh-heh to boot. When the book first started, did you think that the Prince was going to be an evil villain? Yet, it's not like he changed; just the angle from which he was seen. One of those cases where first impressions were misleading David
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (32 of 36), Read 18 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Sunday, April 08, 2001 09:03 AM David: I agree; I thought from get-go that the Prince was going to be a cruel, self-centered controller of his household. But as Beej points out, he's such a sweet cruel, self-centered controller...{G} A heck of a feat for the author to pull off, I think. BTW: My edition of the book has a tidbit about its publication history that makes me want to know more. Not long before Lampedusa's death, an editor told him this manuscript (his first and only book) was "unpublishable" despite the fact that the author was a person of influence and some renown, and L. died thinking that. Eventually the manuscript was submitted by L.'s widow, unsigned, to another editor who jumped on it and made it a publishing sensation in Europe. Such stories are commonplace in the insane business of publishing, but does anybody know details, i.e. what reasons the first editor gave for his thumbs-down? >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (33 of 36), Read 18 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Sunday, April 08, 2001 09:10 AM Dale, I also read somewhere that when a publisher finally expressed interest in the manuscript, it was a jumbled mess and the family made a mad dash to put it in some sort of order. I wonder if this might be why the chapter Tonya mentions doesn't quite 'fit' in with the rest of the story. I got the impression di Lampedusa didn't have the chapters in order when he died. Beej
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (34 of 36), Read 15 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Ann Davey (davey@tconl.com) Date: Sunday, April 08, 2001 11:42 AM David, I agree that Concetta really never stood a chance with Tancredi, but there was that scene at the end where she seemed to think that her behavior was partially responsible for the breakup. That's why I raised the question. I think we could all accept (speak up if you didn't feel that way) that Tancredi needed to marry for money and that he didn't do anything wrong in pursuing Angelica. At least he was physically attracted to her. However, when the poor farmer seduced and impregnated his cousin in order to get her land, most of us were probably appalled by his behavior. Lampedusa's point seemed to be that there wasn't that much difference between the classes after all when it came to using marriage as a tool for improving one's economic position. Ernie, I envy you that trip to Sicily. Isn't Sicily the birthplace of the Mafia? I got a kick out of Tancredi and his friend Cavrighi telling the Chevalley di Monterzuolo those gruesome of revenge and murder that were "revolting but unfortunately quite true." Apparently Sicily is a land of strong passions. Ann
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (35 of 36), Read 4 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Ernest Belden (drernest@pacbell.net) Date: Sunday, April 08, 2001 02:46 PM I am my usual self being probably the last one to finish this book. But what a book this is! I am 2/3rd through and savour every line of it. I may have said that about other books before, but I truly feel this is one appeals to me more than the majority of books I have read. There is something so genuine about the prince and some of the other major characters that I am amazed. I am starting to get worried about my memory since there are only very few instances that I remember from my first reading. I just retained the impression that this was a wonderful and great book. Of course one needs the analyze the reason why this is the case. Well Di Lampedusa understands people of various social classes as well as his Sicily. Tonya, I give you full credit for nominating this book and my congratulations. I, must have been thinking about The Leopard, but may not have remembered the author at "Book Nomination Time" But I am sure I voted for it. Perhaps the fact that I drove around Sicily for a week or so stayed in a ancient (Roman Ruins) resort town whose name I can't remember, looked at the Greek temples added to my enjoyment of this book. Right next to my computer I am hangs a framed picture I took of my wife standing at the end of the ruins of a Greek temple. I have no idea how to scan pictures but will try to talk more knowledgeable computer people into getting it on this web site. Ernie
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (36 of 36), Read 2 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Tonya Presley (t-pr@home.com) Date: Sunday, April 08, 2001 02:49 PM >>>Lampedusa's point seemed to be that there wasn't that much difference between the classes after all when it came to using marriage as a tool for improving one's economic position. Ann, I agree, and may have said something similar above-- I know it was the only reason I could see for that chapter. But maybe he was saying also that the extreme to which marriage could be used had widened for the ruling classes, to an extent that had been accepted in other classes before Garibaldi. I had the impression that Lampedusa saw a general benefit in this shift, while acknowledging a certain sadness at losing the old order. There were several things that were started, or mentioned, that never came up again. One of these I continue to think about, which was when Angelica's father mentioned that they were possibly of royal descent. Was it in order to point out that there is a constant turmoil and shifting and repositioning at the top? Tonya
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (37 of 44), Read 19 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Ann Davey (davey@tconl.com) Date: Sunday, April 08, 2001 04:30 PM Tonya, You said, "I had the impression that Lampedusa saw a general benefit in this shift, while acknowledging a certain sadness at losing the old order." I think that expresses the overall tone of the novel very well. I took the remark about Angelica's family being of royal descent to be mere social climbing on the part of her father, although I suppose they could have had some royal blood through an illegitimate off shoot. Angelica's maternal family was certainly colorful, wasn't it? Several people have mentioned the wit in this novel. I especially liked the descriptions of the Princess, a good hearted woman with definite limitations. This was from a scene where she is describing her nephew Tancredi to Angelica: The Princess, who possessed to imminent degree the faculty of reducing emotions to the least common denominator, began narrating sublime episodes from Tancredi's childhood; so insistent was she about these that it really began to seem as if Angleica should consider herself lucky to be marrying a man who had been so reasonable at the age of six as to submit to necessary enemas without a fuss and so bold at twelve as to have stolen a handful of cherries. But the author can also be very insightful: Anyone deducing from this attitude of Angelica that she loved Tancredi would have been mistaken; she had too much pride and too much ambition to be capable of that annihilation, however temporary, of one's own personality without which there is no love; apart from that she was too young and inexperienced to be able to appreciate yet his genuine qualities , of all subtle nuances; but although she did not love him, she was, then, in love with him, a very different thing... Ann
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (38 of 44), Read 20 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Ann Davey (davey@tconl.com) Date: Sunday, April 08, 2001 04:31 PM Ernie, Maybe Pat can help you post that picture of her in Sicily. I'd like to see it. Ann
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (39 of 44), Read 13 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Sunday, April 08, 2001 07:45 PM Ernie: I enjoyed your LEOPARD post (also the one on Cheever's "Country Husband"), and would love to see the photo of Pat in Sicily. If you don't have a scanner available, I've found that shops such as Kinko's can scan a photo and store it on diskette, to go, for a reasonable fee. Be sure to tell them you need a low resolution scan (about 100 to 150 lines-per-inch for a 4x6" original, for example, so that when posted it'll be small enough fit on the computer screen without having to scroll around to see all sides. Ann: Wow, this guy's brief observation on the difference between Angelica's "loving" Tancresi and "being in love" with him is very, very profound, isn't it? So much, in so few words. This book has enough humanity for 8 or 10 novels, I think. What a rare find. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (40 of 44), Read 25 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Sunday, April 08, 2001 09:44 PM Can anybody explain to me exactly what the symbolism of 'the leopard' is? I know I should know this...but I really don't. Beej
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (41 of 44), Read 9 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Sunday, April 08, 2001 10:19 PM It was on the family coat of arms, but I've no idea what it symbolized there.' Ruth “There ain't no happy songs, really. Even the ones that sound happy are sad underneath."Hank Williams
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (42 of 44), Read 9 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Sunday, April 08, 2001 10:23 PM I knew it was the family crest, but thought I simply missed what it signified.. Beej
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (43 of 44), Read 9 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Sunday, April 08, 2001 10:28 PM All those symbols on crests mean something. I suppose one could do a search on it. Ruth “There ain't no happy songs, really. Even the ones that sound happy are sad underneath."Hank Williams
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (44 of 44), Read 1 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Monday, April 09, 2001 08:26 AM Beej: I'm not sure what the leopard means as symbol, but here's the artist's conception of the coat of arms that's used on the cover of the edition I have...
>>Dale in Ala.
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (45 of 55), Read 34 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Monday, April 09, 2001 08:42 AM Still haven't found the significance of the leopard, but here's an interesting link about Sicilian nobility... http://www.bestofsicily.com/nobility.htm >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (46 of 55), Read 30 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Monday, April 09, 2001 01:38 PM Dale, This 'bestofsicily' site is awesome! I read in there, at the time of his death, di Lampedusa was writing a sequel to The Leopard, called The Blind Kittens, based on the same family..so this must mean he was writing the sequel even though he didn't have a publisher..interesting. Beej
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (47 of 55), Read 24 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Ann Davey (davey@tconl.com) Date: Monday, April 09, 2001 04:45 PM Beej, Thanks for posting those comments about the sequel. The first time I just read the page about the Italian nobility, but when I went back to the home page I saw that there was also a books section. This says that the sequel was about the same family, but from the perspective of the newly rich. Now that would have been interesting, wouldn't it? We could have had the perspective of Angelica and her father, the mayor, perhaps. That book might also have filled in some of those holes concerning Tancredi and Angelica's future. What a shame it was never completed. Ann
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (48 of 55), Read 25 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: David Moody (davidmoody@prodigy.net) Date: Monday, April 09, 2001 05:42 PM I examined a few online dictionaries of heraldry and found explanations like: "Leopard, in heraldry, represents those brave and generous warriors who have performed some bold enterprise with force, courage, promptitude, and activity." I don't see exactly how this applies, but I have to agree that there's something behind the choice of symbol; it's emphasized just too often. David
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (49 of 55), Read 17 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Monday, April 09, 2001 07:40 PM David, the Prince was actually gracious enough where perhaps he was considered brave and generous...but then again, the leopard was mentioned in the story from the get go, so I don't think that would be it..Another idea...I wonder if the leopard was part of the di Lampedusa crest..it has to be extremely relevant since its the title of the novel, wouldn't you say? Ann, I need to go back to that best of sicily site because I think it said The Blind Kittens was published as a short story! It really would be interesting to find what occurred with the newly rich. We know Tancredi dies before Angelica, but something tells me she became a real bitch somewhere along the line. Did anyone else pick up on that thought? Beej
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (50 of 55), Read 17 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Barbara Moors (bar647@aol.com) Date: Monday, April 09, 2001 09:21 PM Really interesting website but I still can't find the stuff about Lampredi's other writing. Help me out? I loved that section in The Leopard in which the Prince describes to Chevalley why Sicilians behave as they do. I had no idea that Sicily had been under the rule of others for so long and that it was so incredibly hot! My husband just pointed out to me that it's not a terribly popular tourist destination. Dale, thanks for posting that color picture of the coat of arms. I rarely am taken by that sort of thing, but I find this one oddly beautiful. Barb
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (51 of 55), Read 17 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Monday, April 09, 2001 09:32 PM Barb, If you scroll down on Dale's opening best of sicily page to where The Leopard is underlined and click there, the page with that info is there. I thought the coat of arms was beautiful, too. Is it just the photo, or is the crown floating above the leopard's head? Beej
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (52 of 55), Read 10 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Dean Denis (dddenis@iname.com) Date: Monday, April 09, 2001 11:56 PM What a wonderful book. The Prince's humanity is so complete. We see him from his heights to his depths. I admired the former and forgave him the latter. Because the book was such a personal view of history I didn't mind the gaps in time. I especially liked the description of the transformation of Don Calogero to an attitude of "...profitable altruism (a formula in which the usefulness of the adjective made him tolerate the uselessness of the noun)." Beej, you said, "...Angelica, but something tells me she became a real bitch somewhere along the line." I can't find it right now but I do remember reading that Angelica becomes one of the most venomous string pullers.
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (53 of 55), Read 8 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: David Moody (davidmoody@prodigy.net) Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001 12:10 AM Personally, I think Angelica knew exactly what she wanted and what she was willing to do to get it before walking into that dinner in the first place. David
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (54 of 55), Read 7 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001 01:15 AM Everybody and his brother has marched through Sicily at one time or another. The Greeks, the Arabs, the French, even the Vikings. We used to joke that that was how my brother turned up with blue eyes. Ruth “There ain't no happy songs, really. Even the ones that sound happy are sad underneath."Hank Williams
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (55 of 55), Read 2 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Tonya Presley (t-pr@home.com) Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001 09:10 AM David, Whether or not Angelica knew exactly what she was doing remained a question in my mind, although I had no doubt her father knew exactly what he was doing. Tonya
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (56 of 60), Read 25 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001 11:33 AM I just finished the chapter where Angelica debuts at the dinner party. Got to be one of the most perfectly realized scenes I've ever read, with the different people's responses. I was laughing and hurting for them all at the same time. And sweet Concetta sure settled Tancredi's hash afterward, didn't she? {G} I loved Lampedusa's line: Under the first shock from her beauty the men were incapable of noticing or analyzing its defects, which were numerous; there were to be many forever incapable of this critical appraisal. Well, it's a guy thing. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (57 of 60), Read 24 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001 12:41 PM On a net search I turned up a biography of Lampedusa: GILMOUR, DAVID The Last Leopard: a life Giuseppe Di Lampedusa But it's out of print. Couldn't locate anything on Blind Kittens or the Professor and the Mermaid, even tho I tried a search for the latter in Italian. Best I could do was a quote. "But she, with astounding vigor, emerged straight from the sea as far as the waist and put her arms around my neck, enveloping me in a scent I had never smelled before, then let herself slither into the boat; beneath her groin, beneath her gluteal muscles, her body was that of a fish, covered in minute scales of blue and mother-of-pearl, and ending in a forked tail which was slowly beating the bottom of the boat. She was a mermaid." - Giuseppe di Lampedusa, "The Professor and the Mermaid" Ruth “There ain't no happy songs, really. Even the ones that sound happy are sad underneath."Hank Williams
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (58 of 60), Read 18 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Barbara Moors (bar647@aol.com) Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001 05:26 PM Ruth, what were they all marching to (when they marched through Sicily)? Barb...who is ashamed of her ignorance....
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (59 of 60), Read 21 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001 05:56 PM They were just taking over the place, Barb. Ruth “There ain't no happy songs, really. Even the ones that sound happy are sad underneath."Hank Williams
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (60 of 60), Read 16 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Sherry Keller (shkell@starband.net) Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001 08:47 PM I finished this two days ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it. At first I was a little taken aback by some of the ways Lampedusa injected modern day descriptions. It felt like the author was intruding. But I got used to the humorous way it was done, and came to appreciate it. I, too, wish we had found out more about the marriage between Tancredi and Angelica. The safaris through the palace were wonderfully evocative. How about that apartment where they found the door blocked by a big piece of furniture? I wanted to know more about that place. I wanted to know more about lots of stuff, but the book was too short. You don't usually hear me making that complaint. Sherry
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (61 of 64), Read 16 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Barbara Moors (bar647@aol.com) Date: Friday, April 13, 2001 08:58 AM I'd forgotten about that closed door, Sherry. At the time, I wondered if there was some subtle connection there that I had missed. Can you think of anything? Barb
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (62 of 64), Read 12 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Sherry Keller (shkell@starband.net) Date: Friday, April 13, 2001 11:36 AM The only thing I can think of is that Lampedusa had an experience like that and wanted to put it in the book. It's the kind of detail that you might wonder about for a long time, but might never discover the meaning. I get the sense that there could have been numerous offshoots of this book. So many doors we could have looked into, but we'll never be able to. Sherry
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (63 of 64), Read 14 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Friday, April 13, 2001 12:06 PM The young couple's romp through all the unused rooms of the castle was a beautiful and erotic sequence, wasn't it? I was reading that part at bedtime, and I had to get up and turn on the ceiling fan. And I'm an old guy.{G} >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (64 of 64), Read 16 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Friday, April 13, 2001 01:02 PM It sure was a beautiful section of the book. And quite erotic. This is one of my all time favorite books. The writing is just so descriptive, so exquisite. Almost like a poem from beginning to end. Beej
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (65 of 70), Read 15 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Monday, April 16, 2001 11:25 PM I have been intending to read this novel for years. Classics Corner got me off the dime, and I can’t think of another novel that I have enjoyed more in recent years. No doubt in my mind which section I enjoyed most. As with Dan, it was “Love at Donnafugata,” the heart of the novel as far as I was concerned. The lovely Angelica’s entry into the palace had made them [those little hibernating, powdered demons] stir a little, as may be remembered; but it was the arrival of two young men in love which really awoke the instincts lying dormant in the house; and these now showed themselves everywhere, like ants wakened by the sun, no longer poisonous, but livelier than ever. Even the architecture, the rococo decoration itself, evoked thoughts of fleshly curves and taut erect breasts; and every opening door seemed like a curtain rustling in a bed-alcove. Wow! Is that perfectly steamy or what? I don’t see how anyone who has any pulse left at all could read “Love at Donnafugata” and not wish he could be there with these people. Let’s be honest with each other. We all got a little turned on by this novel now and again. Steve
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (66 of 70), Read 8 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Barbara Moors (bar647@aol.com) Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 06:06 AM Definitely, Steve. There was this slow sensuality throughout even when it was not connected directly with sexuality. The contrast with Concetta's control was even more striking in that contrast. Do you think that her obsession with the religious artifacts in the end, and maybe even with Bendico, was her outlet for those feelings? And, it's great to see you back. Barb
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (67 of 70), Read 17 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 06:33 AM Barb, Why do you think she held on to Bendico for so long, and why do you think she discarded it in the end? She does say: 'even Bendico was hinting at bitter memories.' It seemed she invested all her emotions in relics, and when she discovered many of them..including her memories of her ill fated love for Tancredi..were false, she was only then able to then put the past behind her. She lived for relics from the past. Beej
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (68 of 70), Read 13 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Barbara Moors (bar647@aol.com) Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 06:45 AM Hmmm....well said, Beej. And, this was a family that was leaving all of their prestige in the past. Concetta and her relics are probably a symbol of all of that. Lampedusa obviously had incredibly conflicting feelings about his family's heritage, but what a gift he gave us while trying to work it all out. Barb
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (69 of 70), Read 12 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 06:58 AM Tancredi makes this observation that things have to change in order for them to stay the same. Concetta seemed to fight against any change. I think you're right, Barb,,holding on to the past was a way, maybe, to not face the great changes that had occurred throughout her life. She entered the convent, She did not seem to progress emotionally. She seemed to stagnate emotionally, to me. Only in the end did she seem to be able to let go. I was a bit confused by the ending. Tassoni tells Concetta that Tancredi loved her as a sister. She realizes she was the one who caused the alienation of his feelings for her. And she begins to view her past as 'mummified memories'. I also get the feeling Angelica was very jealous of Concetta. As I said, I can't quite tie the loose ends together from the conclusion of this book. Beej
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (70 of 70), Read 4 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 09:18 AM Hey, Steve! This one is a turn-on, for sure. Even for a guy my age.{G} What impresses me most, I think, is Lampedusa's range. He can write sensuality with grandeur, as in the great passage you quote, and then turn around and have fun with it, as in the scene were Tancredi first meets Angelica: He was letting himself be drawn along by the physical stimulus that a beautiful woman was to his fiery youth, and also by the (as it were) measurable excitement aroused by a rich girl in the mind of a man both ambitious and poor. Measurable excitement, indeed. Gosh, those were the days. How's things in Iowa country? We're about to freeze, down here in the Sun Belt. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (23 of 78), Read 6 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Ernest Belden (drernest@pacbell.net) Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 10:55 PM Tonya, Your questions about the purpose of Ch. 5 made me go back and read it once more. The only way I can interpret its purpose is to contrast the life of the common Sicilian with the life of the nobility. The family is the priest's who lives both lives, the life of the nobility while having a lower class background. Yet, as I recall now and am not sure about it these two social group in their own way show similarities in their interpretation of life in Sicily. Is it possible that Lampedusa threw in Ch. 5 to round out the socio-historical picture of that period. Otherwise the book follows closely the major characters i.e. the prince, Tancredi and the children. I did not get much of an impression of the princess. Did anyone? Tony, I give full credit for the book's nomination to you and strongly voted for it. Thank you for nominating it as it is as of now my favorite. Ernie
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (72 of 78), Read 21 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Gail Singer (gailsinger_gross@hotmail.com) Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 04:52 PM greetings all on CLASSICS CORNER.. after reading all these posts..i called up the library to send the book over.. i have always wanted to read THE LEOPARD and thanks to you all.. it is next on my list!! gail..a passionate reader who needs a bit of prodding now and then!!...actually yours discussions sold the book!!
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (73 of 78), Read 20 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Lynn Isvik (washualum@yahoo.com) Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 05:31 PM Gail's not the only one who was sold on this book on the basis of the discussion here. I just ordered a used copy through half.com ($1.45!), since it's not in either of my local libraries and I think I might want to share it with a friend after I've read it. Lynn
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (74 of 78), Read 14 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 07:41 PM You will not be sorry, Lynn. The Leopard's definitely worth $1.45. Ruth “There ain't no happy songs, really. Even the ones that sound happy are sad underneath."Hank Williams
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (75 of 78), Read 14 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Barbara Moors (bar647@aol.com) Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 08:44 PM Oh good, gail and Lynn. Be sure and post here after you read it. I'm sure we'll all still want to talk about it. Barb
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (76 of 78), Read 16 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 09:57 PM For sure, Barb. There are parts we haven't even begun to discuss yet.. Right before The Prince dies he imagines he is greeted by the young woman in the brown dress. He thinks she 'looked lovelier than she ever had when glimpsed in stellar space.' I take it, in a hallucinatory state prior to death, he envisions meeting Venus face to face..what an incredibly beautiful and again, sensual, image. Even his death scene is sensual. Beej
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (77 of 78), Read 7 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Dean Denis (dddenis@iname.com) Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 11:28 PM I enjoyed the use of metaphor in this book not only to give vivid descriptions of the physical setting but, at the same time, to convey the political and emotional setting.
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (78 of 78), Read 3 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Lynn Isvik (washualum@yahoo.com) Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2001 08:06 AM Ruth, I'm still chuckling about your dry understatement... The Leopard's definitely worth $1.45, indeed! Lynn
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (79 of 83), Read 16 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2001 12:03 PM Dean: I agree; the images and the story fit together perfectly, didn't they? Nothing felt dragged in as window dressing. It all fit the purpose. That's the mark of a really good book, to me. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (80 of 83), Read 13 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Ann Davey (davey@tconl.com) Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2001 01:15 PM Beej, I thought the death scene was very powerful too. It took me awhile to realize that the beautiful woman in white represented not only Venus, but death itself. It gave me shivers. Ann
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (81 of 83), Read 16 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Barbara Moors (bar647@aol.com) Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2001 03:52 PM This was one of my favorite sections in the aging/dying process: ...this continuous whittling away of his personality seemed linked to a vague presage of the rebuilding elsewhere of a personality (thanks be to God) less conscious and yet broader. Those tiny grains of sand were not lost; they were vanishing, but accumulating elsewhere to cement some more lasting pile. though "pile", he had reflected, was not the exact word, for it suggested weight; nor was "grain of sand" either for that matter. They were more like the tiny particles of watery vapor exhaled from a narrow pond, then mounting into the sky to great clouds, light and free. What religion or philosophy does this sound like? It reminds me of something that I read in the 70's...or maybe it just smacks of everything I read in the 70's, but I like it. Barb
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (82 of 83), Read 17 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2001 04:47 PM . They were more like the tiny particles of watery vapor exhaled from a narrow pond, then mounting into the sky to great clouds, light and free. Barb, can't you just feel the life slipping from his body with that line? Beej
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (83 of 83), Read 12 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Barbara Moors (bar647@aol.com) Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2001 08:37 PM Yes, I can. And, later: The silence was absolute. Under the high, high light Don Fabrizio heard no other sound that that inner one of life gushing from him. Barb
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (71 of 75), Read 16 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Robert Armstrong (rla@nac.net) Date: Sunday, May 20, 2001 07:14 PM Not to be accused of being on the cutting edge, today I finished THE LEOPARD. The novel is exquisite from beginning to end and I join those who expressed that it is one of the best that they have read. Chapter 7, "Death of a Prince," is the finest description of death that I have come across. It is especially dear to me since 5-6 years ago when I was dangerously ill I had several near death experiences and this chapter evoked certain elements of my own experience. This novel holds to the adage: always keep them wanting more. I found Lampedusa's choice of building curiosity and then omitting the conclusion of the story for various characters, such as Tancredi and Angelica's marriage, to add the the deliciousness of the reading experience. It created for me mystery and the unexpected. I found the foray into rural Sicilian life by way of Father Pirrone's visit home in Chapter 5 to be another enticement of detail. I agree with the CC posts which point out that this chapter creates a parallel between the rich and poor in the way that marriage is often pursued for economic gain. I would add that Father Pirrone's deft handling of his family crisis showed a parallel between clerical and secular practices of strategy and diplomacy. Like many of you I was completely swept away by the passage of Angelica and Tancredi's wanderings in the palace of Donnafugata. It reminded me of the wanderings of Mary through Misselthwaite Manor, the huge empty mansion on the moor, in Frances Hodgson Burnett's THE SECRET GARDEN. However, Lampedusa's description is by far the better one, especially with its eroticism. Lampedusa was fourteen in 1910, so his three spinster aunts and their interiors at Villa Salina, as well as the elderly Princess Angelica and her magnificently appointed Villa Falconari, were all most likely experienced first hand by the author. So, the last chapter, "Relics," may be in large part a description of a memory and perhaps even the seed for the novel. And the three sisters were themselves relics and who could attest to their authenticity? Well, this novel does in the finest manner possible. Robt
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (72 of 75), Read 16 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Sunday, May 20, 2001 07:23 PM Robert, beautiful post..beautiful summary..thanks. Beej
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (73 of 75), Read 17 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Sunday, May 20, 2001 08:05 PM Dear Robt: I am far behind you on the cutting edge, as I still have a few chapters to go in THE LEOPARD. But I read a couple of those chapters this weekend, and am totally blown away. In the beginning, I thought I might be overvaluing Lampedusa's writing because I was in a reading "slump" and the book was so invigorating, but with the benefit of distance (even though I haven't finished, but have "rationed" it to myself...i.e., plain laziness) I can say that hereafter when I think of my favorite authors, Lampedusa now has a permanent place in my pantheon, and heart, alongside Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, something I could never have conceived when ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE forever changed my life and my writing. When will I be ready to objectively discuss THE LEOPARD? Surely not now. Maybe never. What a hell of a book. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (74 of 75), Read 11 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Sunday, May 20, 2001 10:27 PM Well, I'm glad you two finally caught up. This was not one you should miss. Ruth “Ain't it funny how an old broken bottle looks just like a diamond ring." John Prine
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (75 of 75), Read 13 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Ann Davey (davey@tconl.com) Date: Sunday, May 20, 2001 10:32 PM Good to hear from you, Robt and Dale. This was definitely a book to savor, and one that I would never have found on my own. Ann Davey
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (75 of 82), Read 39 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Monday, May 21, 2001 11:48 AM Very nice post on this novel, Robert. I enjoyed your observations and am glad that you temporarily revivified the discussion of this book. However, I found these remarks by Dale interesting: When will I be ready to objectively discuss THE LEOPARD? Surely not now. Maybe never. Discussion of this book seems almost beside the point, doesn't it. What one would really like to do is sit around with friends and several bottles of wine and simply read passages to each other. Steve
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (76 of 82), Read 39 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Monday, May 21, 2001 12:05 PM What I find strange is that this was a second read for me. I first read it maybe 25-30 years ago. It sat on my shelf since then, never calling to be reread. I remembered little about it. I almost didn't read it again with you people. And this time I loved it. I gloried in the graceful, witty writing. Where was my head 25 years ago? Ruth “Ain't it funny how an old broken bottle looks just like a diamond ring." John Prine
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (77 of 82), Read 40 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Monday, May 21, 2001 12:12 PM Hi, Steve & Ruth! Ruth writes, And this time I loved it. I gloried in the graceful, witty writing. Where was my head 25 years ago? I know where MY head was 25 years ago, but I probably shouldn't say it on a family bulletin board. {G} >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (78 of 82), Read 39 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Dean Denis (dddenis@iname.com) Date: Monday, May 21, 2001 03:42 PM Thank you, Robert, for bringing to mind again Angelica and Tancredi's wanderings in the palace of Donnafugata. It occurred to me that here we have a rich portrayal of the future meeting the past. The young couple themselves representing the new social order, moving through rooms in the palace which had been unused for years. These unused rooms giving mute testimony to the falling away of nobility. In the case, of the tiled room whose entrance was blocked, we see the changing relationship between the nobility and its subjects. It stood in stark contrast to the gentle authority which Fabrizio imposed on his hunting companion from the village, when he said, "Of course, you understand, I must lock you up now."
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (79 of 82), Read 29 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Tuesday, May 22, 2001 08:08 AM Dean, I need to axe you a question. Are you the same Dean Denis who chairs the discussion of The Crying of Lot 49 over on Salon's Table Talk? Steve
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (80 of 82), Read 32 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Dean Denis (dddenis@iname.com) Date: Tuesday, May 22, 2001 09:53 AM Hi, Steve. I did participate in that discussion but CatherineJ was the chairman.
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (81 of 82), Read 14 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Barbara Moors (bar647@aol.com) Date: Monday, May 28, 2001 06:16 AM Robt, I'm glad that you reacted to the death scene as I did given your experience. It's a chapter that I will certainly reread. And, I hadn't thought of Lampedusa being alive when those aunts were old ladies. It really enhances my view of it. Do you suppose she really kept Bendico embalmed? And, thank you, Dean, for the view of Angelica and Tancredi in the castle as the wanderings of the new among the old. Can't you just imagine a painting based on those images? Barb
Topic: April:The Leopard by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (82 of 82), Read 9 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Robert Armstrong (rla@nac.net) Date: Monday, May 28, 2001 09:44 AM Dean, Wonderful comments. I reread the passage about the hidden suite at Donnafugata and concur that Don Fabrizio was part of a benevolent trend in the relationship between the nobility and their subjects. Barb, The deft evocation of Bendicio suggests to me that the young Lampedusa actually saw the scruffy remains of the dog in his aunt's bedroom. Pardon the speculative assumption. While watching THE GODFATHER SAGA on Bravo I see Lampedusa's influence all over this story. Michael Corlieone calls out "Fabrizio! Fabrizio!" after his wife is killed. THE LEOPARD sets the context for the Sicilian family dynasties, intrigue and devotion to the church. Robt
 

 
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