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A Review Of A Great Book The Leopard by Prince Giuseppe Di Lampedusa.

Hello loyal readers for todays article written by Worldprofit CEO Dr Jeffrey Lant I choose this one
It is about a book "The Leopard" by Prince Giuseppe Di Lampedusa. I hope that you find the article
as interesting has I have. As a member of Worldprofit I have the honor of being able to publish Dr Lants
articles on my blogs. If you would like the oppurtunity to publish Dr Lants now 500 plus articles and counting
to your blog(s) I invite you to consider becoming a Worldprofit member. To get started sign up has a free associate In the meantime enjoy todays article and feel free to tell me what you thought of the article
in the comment box below

On the matter of great books you have not read or even heard about, and one such book in particular, "The Leopard" by Prince Giuseppe Di Lampedusa.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

The Leopard by Giuseppe di Lampedusa

Author's program note. I am, have been, and always will be a book man; a man, that is, whose life has been enriched in every way by books. These books have been my joy, my obsession, always the source of bliss. And no wonder. For in my own special corner with book in hand and my imagination, I have learned something of the utmost significance. Books can take you anywhere. With them you can be anyone... achieve anything... experience everything. ... This is what a book can do and what books for the last 65 years have done for me.

Books... the necessary and irreplaceable tools for education... boon companions and dearest friends for life, the solace of our older age, and where we look to assuage our grief when a loved one passes. Books offer us everything... for books are about everything... about everyone... about everywhere.

Andrew Marvell

The only drawback to books... is that there are so many, so brilliant, so moving, so epochal, so packed with fact and incident that we time-challenged humans don't have even a tiny fraction of the hours we need to know them, read them, think on them, and use them to improve the person we are and wish always to ameliorate. Books are always present, reminding us with their full assistance, how much better we can be... if only we open the cover and allow the words and pages that follow to take us to the superior place that is theirs to give to each of us.

Had we but world enough and time (Andrew Marvell, 1681)...

Prince Giuseppe Di Lampedusa.

... but you see, that is the eternal challenge, for we do not... and this, then, becomes the particular puzzle of all our lives. How to know of, find, and find the time to read what must be read... the greatest books by our greatest masters; for as one grows older and older still, one discovers that time is too short to read anything else. That is why when people do me the honor to ask what books have influenced me, I am ever ready with the contents of my library to advise them. And so I take this opportunity to tell you about "The Leopard", a masterpiece that was in 1957 so despised by Italian publishers that some said it would never be printed, was not worth printing... thereby breaking the heart of its author, Prince Di Lampedusa whose manners were so refined that he did not excoriate and rebuke the purblind publishers who thereby missed a work of high genius. It is this great book by an undoubted master that I tell you about this day.

But before I tell this tale, I wish to commend to you the incidental music to accompany this piece. It is the "valzerone e quadriglia" by that composer of cinematic magic, Nino Rota (1911-1979). Go now to any search engine and play it at once, for if "The Leopard" could possibly be improved upon, it would be by Rota and his mesmeric dance rhythms. A novel about the Italy you know nothing about.


You cannot understand this book unless you know that its author was a bona fide principe, prince of ancient lineage and generations of hubris, condescension and perfect manners. He would not have liked you... why should he?... but you'd never know how exquisite his insults until long after he'd made his graceful exit from your unwanted company, the mark of a true aristocrat, a nonpareil who kills but never maims -- unless he intends to.

But, and this too is crucial to understanding this book, this principe was not a prince of Italy, but a prince from Palermo, in Sicily, an island which had been since ships could sail the highly desirable target of one monarch after another, Dei gratia all.


As a result, there was a plenitude of titles on Sicily; grandiose, exalted, the residue of one temporary regime after another. Every noble knew how every title in the kingdom had been procured, by blood, valor... bedroom services or outright purchase. Thus the same title could mean wildly different things, of one order going up, while another was descending. Every nobleman and most especially his milady knew every nuance and secret. And so reputations wilted and died, scandals commenced and scandals reported behind delicate fans which at once enabled them to show their artistry and delicate wrists to best advantage while obscuring expressions which might well reveal too much.

This was a world the prince of Lampedusa knew well, every flutter of a fan, every patent of nobility finagled, every tittle of gossip, enjoyed, examined, twisted to best advantage. This is the arcane world, now as distant as the moon, that his excellency brought to life in "The Leopard".

"Nothing much happens. They just talk."

In doing my research for this article, I came across the line above, sentiments posted online by a reader puzzled by this book. This is understandable, for unlike our action packed books and films, "The Leopard" moves at a very different pace... the pace of real life in the 1860s when the old verities of Sicilian life were giving way before the insistent realities of Italian unification.

You see, the unified Italy you know and which you may assume has existed for centuries is in fact a new reality. Since the fall of the Roman Empire, Italy had been broken up into smaller states. And these states spent their time intriguing against each other, gaining an acre here, losing a city there. It gave generations of princes and their privy counselors something to do during the delicious days of la dolce far niente. It was this ancient system that the princes reigning in Turin, the House of Savoy, were determined to end... reigning instead over one nation, their patrimony.

It is towards the end of this opera-bouffe revolution that Lampedusa begins his tale, a tale based on the life of his paternal great-grandfather, a grandee of Sicily who saw everything changing, changing, changing to the detriment of the beautiful life he loved but could no longer afford.

Prince Fabrizio Salina

And so "The Leopard", Prince Fabrizio Salina, finds himself doing something he abhors but knows is absolutely necessary... allowing his beloved nephew, Prince Tancredi Falcorieri, to marry beneath himself... to the most attractive young lady of the district, Angelica Sedara, who is socially ambitious, endlessly calculating... and rich.

Thus while they live, think, intrigue, eat, dance and make love, the House of Savoy changes everything for everyone... Thus is the reader rebuked who thinks that nothing is happening, for in fact an entire world and everyone, everything in it changes forever right before your eyes...

... a riveting story told in language so beautiful, so poignant, so epigrammatic and apt one is forced to reread line after line so as not to miss a single limpid word. It is for this that "The Leopard" is a work of genius and the prince of Lampedusa occupies at last his just place in the literary pantheon.

April, 1993.

I read "The Leopard" in the spring of 1993; I know because I entered the date on the title page. I've been reading it again lately, and will come back again, perhaps only to read a page, or even a single paragraph, before my life is over. Classics are like that... drawing us back, insinuating themselves into our lives in ways lesser creations cannot hope to duplicate.

Nino Rota

Now, therefore, go to any search engine, find Nino Rota's valzerone written for Visconti's 1963 grand film recreation of the leopard's doomed world, open the book, turn the music on and commence reading from the first line,

"Nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen. The daily recital of the Rosary was over..." but your p******* has just begun.

About the Author

Dr. Jeffrey Lant CEO & Co-Founder Worldprofit

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today. Republished with author's permission by Scott and Louise Rohn Check out Commission Avalanche ->

Scott Rohn (Blog Owner)

Scott Rohn
Scott Rohn (Blog Owner)
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