Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa Oli Italialainen Ruhtinas, Jonka Kuoleman J Lkeen Julkaistu Romaani On Her Tt Nyt Valtavasti Huomioita Kaikkialla Maailmassa Tiikerikissa L Ydettiin H Nen J Lkeenj Neist Papereistaan Melkein Sattumalta Se Sai Vuonna Italian Huomattavimman Kirjallisen Palkinnon, Premio Stregan, Joka Vuosittain Jaetaan Parhaimmaksi Katsotulle ProosateokselleTiikerikissan Tapahtumat On Sijoitettu Ruhtinaalliseen Linnaan Sisiliaan, Ja Ne Ulottuvat Ajallisesti Garibaldin Johtamasta Vapaustaistelusta Aina Luvun Alkuun T H N Romaanin Pohjautuu My S Luchino Viscontin Vuonna Ohjaama Rakastettu Elokuva Tiikerikissa It was a garden for the blind a constant offence to the eyes, a pleasure strong if somewhat crude to the nose The Paul Neyron roses, whose cuttings he had himself bought in Paris, had degenerated first stimulated and then enfeebled by the strong if languid pull of Sicilian earth, burnt by apocalyptic Julys, they had changed into objects like flesh coloured cabbages, obscene and distilling a dense almost indecent scent which no French horticulturist would have dared hope for The Prince put one under his nose and seemed to be sniffing the thigh of a dancer from the Opera Bendico, to whom it was also proffered, drew back in disgust and hurried off in search of healthier sensations amid dead lizards and manure. p.5 The term countryside implies soil transformed by labour but the scrub clinging to the slopes was still in the same state of scented tangle in which it had been found by the Phoenicians, Dorians and Ionians when they disembarked in Sicily, that America of antiquity Don Fabrizio and Tumeo climbed up and down, slipped and were scratched by thorns, just as an Archedamos or Philostrates must have got tired and scratched twenty five centuries before. p.75 Sicily does not change, but it changes those who settle on its soil in di Lampedusa s vision of evolution and adaptation For people, plants, even songs there is a steady regression to the Sicilian mean The Prince of Salina, Don Fabrizio view spoiler the Leopard view spoiler if I remember correctly that is a mistranslation, it ought to be the Civet Cat rather than the Leopard but the name has stuck hide spoiler Among his friends Don Fabrizio was considered an eccentric his interest in mathematics was taken almost as sinful perversion, and had he not been actually Prince of Salina and known as an excellent horseman, indefatigable shot and tireless womaniser, his parallaxes and telescopes might have exposed him to the risk of outlawry Even so the did not say much to him, for his cold blue eyes, glimpsed under the heavy lids, put would be talkers off, and he often found himself isolated, not, as he thought, from respect, but from fear This book was translated as The Leopard, but the literal translation is The Ocelot The publishers must have felt that the image of a Leopard lent itself to their target audience than the rather smaller, and frankly cuddlier ocelot I happen to be a bit fond of ocelots since watching the antics of the feline Bruce on the Honey West episodes The Ocelot, he knows he s not a leopard.The Prince of Salina Don Fabrizio knows he is the last of his kind His son will inherit the title, but not the sensibilities and traditions that go with it Garibaldi has landed in Sicily in the spring of 1860 and has overthrown the monarchy in Naples The Prince s darling nephew, Tancredi has broken ranks to join the rebels and wants his Uncle to do the same He is a favorite of the Prince and even though Don Fabrizio is unwilling to leave his class he does help arrange a marriage between Tancredi and Angelica whose father has benefited greatly from this rising class of successful men from the lower classes In other words he hedges his bets Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa in uniformThe author Guiseppe Di Lampedusa was drafted into the Italian army during World War One He was captured during the battle of Caporetto and held in a Hungarian POW camp He escaped and made his way back to Italy, and eventually leaves the army with the rank of lieutenant and moves back to Palermo to the family estate He is asked to return during world war two as well, but his responsibilities for his estates soon recall him home His palace is bombed during the war His Great Grandfather who built the grand palace became the basis for the Prince of Salina in his novel Guiseppe dies at the age of 60 before his novel can be published, but not before he is turned down by several publishers Don Fabrizio is melancholy, even the description of his garden seems to convey the state of his life with vivid smell still retained despite the shabby grandeurThe garden, hemmed and almost squashed between barriers, was exhaling scents that were cloying, fleshy and slightly putrid, like the aromatic liquids distilled from the relics of certain saints the carnations superimposed their pungence on the formal fragrance of roses and the oily emanations of magnolias drooping in corners and somewhere beneath it all was a faint smell of mint mingling with a nursery whiff of acacia and a jammy one of myrtle from a grove beyond the wall came an erotic waft of early orange blossom It was a garden for the blind a constant offence to the eyes, a pleasure strong if somewhat crude to the nose The Paul Neyron roses, whose cuttings he had himself bought in Paris, and degenerated first stimulated and then enfeebled by the strong if languid pull of Sicilian earth, burnt by apocalyptic Julys, they had changed into objects like flesh coloured cabbages, obscene and distilling a dense almost indecent scent which no French horticulturist would have dared hope for The Prince put one under his nose and seemed to be sniffing the thigh of a dancer from the Opera Bendico his dog , to whom it was also proffered, drew back in disgust and hurried off in search of healthier sensations amid dead lizards and manureThe arrival of Angelica, the woman betrothed to his nephew Tancredi puts not only a smile on his face, but also elicits an almost nostalgic flood of desire in the forty five year old Prince He hugs her, but he wants to ravish her He smells her hair, but he wants to inhale every nook of her He tamps down all those unseemly thoughts and takes great pride in seeing his handsome nephew with such a beautiful young girlShe was tall and well made, on an ample scale her skin looked as if it had the flavour of fresh cream which it resembled, her childlike mouth that of strawberries Under a mass of raven hair, curling in gentle waves, her green eyes gleamed motionless as those of statues, and like them a little cruel She was moving slowly, making her wide white skirt rotate around her, and emanating from her whole person the invincible calm of a woman sure of her own beautyAlain Delon as Tancredi and Claudia Cardinale as AngelicaThe Prince has several daughters and with the arrival of other young aristocrats all moving in concentric circles around the splendid array of Angelica and Tancredi the palace seems to take on the desires of the groupEven the architecture, the rococo decor itself, evoked thoughts of fleshly curves and taut erect breasts and every opening door seemed like a curtain rustling in a bed alcove The stars are Don Fabrizio s passion, when not daydreaming about memoirs of his own passionate conquests he turns his eyes skywardThe stars looked turbid and their rays scarcely penetrated the pall of sultry air The soul of the Prince yearned out towards them, towards the intangible, the unreachable, which gives joy without being able to ask for anything in return like many other times, he tried to imagine himself in those icy reaches, a pure intellect armed with a note book for calculations difficult calculations, but ones which would always work outHe is a dreamer, but due to his responsibilities is firmly rooted to the earth incapable of escaping his duties except for a few beautiful, peaceful, stolen moments when he finds himself alone to star gaze or take a bath or read a book I felt that tug of recognition of a soul so close to my own He is always on the verge of asking what if, but unwilling to break the bonds of his position to indulge himself in such potentially dangerous thinking Poster of the movie starring Burt Lancaster as the Prince Even though he is a relatively young man of forty five, I say this because he is the same age as I am he is often stunned at signs reminding him of his age Most of the novel takes place over the space of a year, at the end of the novel Di Lampedusa does give us a chapter showing the Prince in his seventies, but for most of the novel I had to keep reminding myself that the Prince was much younger than he seemed He attends this ball in which he is enduring the proceedings wrapped up in his own thoughts, but he can t help but notice and be repelled by even reminders of the passage of timeThe women at the ball did not please him either Two or three among the older ones had been his mistresses, and seeing them now, grown heavy with years and childbearing, it was an effort to imagine them as they were twenty years before, and he was annoyed at the thought of having thrown away his best years in chasing and catching such slatterns The novel is at times pessimistic Of course, love Flames for a year, ashes for thirty. A languid wonderful novel full of beautiful descriptions of exquisite smells and bewitching desires A book that had me flying through pages and then going back to reread passages dripping with evocative language The book at times especially towards the final chapters becomes clunky and feels unfinished While looking up some information for this review I found references that many academics agree and believe that he never polished the final chapters Despite those flaws I was enthralled by this novel A bit of cultural history captured in the pages of a book of a time that will never exist again nor anything even resembling it If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at Last summer I actually got some good reading done I had been plagued with seeing The Leopard by Lampedusa in various bookstores in Italy, but did not really know what it was about aside from the reunification of Italy in the late 19th C I read Midnight in Sicily by Peter Robb and in the 4th chapter of that book, he talked about the book and I was hooked I scoured about 4 bookstores in Sicily before finally finding a translation into French and I dove it head first What an incredible read I was blown away by the text itself the descriptions, the limpidity of the language, the subtlety of the conversations, the disillusion of the central character Don Fabrizio, Prince of Salinas, and of course the gorgeous Angelica The book takes place during Garibaldi s invasion of Sicily he landed in Marsala in April of 1860 with 1086 men the Thousand and defeated the royalist army which had upwards of 20k troops on the island but rather at various locations where the Prince was staying and later dying near Palermo at at Donnafugata The descriptions of the meals are enough to make you quit a diet and drive straight to the closest Italian restaurant It is sumptuous in every way The famous ball scene in Chapter 6 reminded me of the Bal Masqu in Le Temps Retrouv Truly an incredible read It shows a depth of understanding of history, politics, and human nature that is melancholic but still with a glimmer of hope The characters of Don Fabrizio, his chaplain Pere Pirrone were based directly on Lampedusa s own great grandfather and his priest The other characters were similarly anchored in a real person that lived through that period We see the year of 1860 pass month by month and then skip a couple of year forward The telescoping in time also works backwards when Don Fabrizio muses about events that had already transpired and, what I found particularly great as well, we have teasers about the future of various buildings that would be bombed during WWII and the future of various characters The central characters all have layers of depth to them which I found fascinating I loved Tancredi s swashbuckling attitude, Angelica s seductive scheming and, of course, the disillusioned Prince All the minor characters are also drawn with a fine brush this short 400 word essay clearly does not do justice to this monument both of Italian literature Il Gattopardo is considered the greatest work of Italian literature in the 20th C and of the Italian language which translated marvellously into French By the way, the animal gattopardo is actually not a leopard but a serval thanks Wikipedia The book is relatively short 295 pages so I would highly recommend adding it to your reading list It is one of the most evocative books on social differences during a period of political upheaval ever written up there with War and Peace. Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa ,.