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Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Il Gattopardo

by Francesco Troiano

Biography of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

A legend is reborn

"Far-reaching historical vision combined with an extremely acute perception of contemporary Italy, of the Italy we know today; a delightful sense of humour; true lyrical power; always perfect, at times enchanting, expressive creative work": with these words Giorgio Bassani, who discovered the manuscript of "The Leopard", introduced what was to become one of the twentieth century's most successful literary works; this despite the fact that right from its publication the book caused quite a stir and considerable  dissent amongst critics. Along with diatribes on its content (was it a psychological or historical novel? Was it about the present or the past? Was it a reactionary vision of Italian affairs or merely a clear vision of the genesis of our nation?), criticisms regarding its actual form have also refused to die: hence the publication of this new revised edition of "Il Gattopardo", with a detailed preface by Gioachino Lanza Tomasi, which reconstructs the long and complex procedure  of the book. Rejected for publication by Mondadori under Elio Vittorini, who judged it "unoriginal", the text was published posthumously in 1958 by Feltrinelli, enthusiastically supported and edited by the above mentioned Bassani in accordance with directions from Elena Croce. Compared to that now historical edition, this volume which has just recently appeared in bookshops can be judged to all intents and purposes the definitive version, by leave of the "corrections" Bassani first made to the original (raising objections from Francesco Orlando in 1962 and Carlo Muscetta in 1968): in the appendix, it also contains the "Canzoniere di casa Salina", the chapter previously omitted, and two sonnets by don Fabrizio. Thus the story of the prince of Salina returns in all its glory, "a lyrical and critical self-portrait" of the author: but also, as he tells us, of the "aristocracy seen from within, without gratification". After scuffles over the Risorgimento as a revolution that never was or rather, was betrayed, there remains the rise and fall of a world and a social class described with irony and just a shadow of regret. Because after the Leopards and Lions, comes only the time of the jackals and hyenas.

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
The Leopard
Feltrinelli
300 pages
25 euros

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Italica is a Rai International production. The material displayed on this site is protected by copyright and is available for informative purposes only

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Topics

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Il Gattopardo

by Francesco Troiano

Biography of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

A legend is reborn

"Far-reaching historical vision combined with an extremely acute perception of contemporary Italy, of the Italy we know today; a delightful sense of humour; true lyrical power; always perfect, at times enchanting, expressive creative work": with these words Giorgio Bassani, who discovered the manuscript of "The Leopard", introduced what was to become one of the twentieth century's most successful literary works; this despite the fact that right from its publication the book caused quite a stir and considerable  dissent amongst critics. Along with diatribes on its content (was it a psychological or historical novel? Was it about the present or the past? Was it a reactionary vision of Italian affairs or merely a clear vision of the genesis of our nation?), criticisms regarding its actual form have also refused to die: hence the publication of this new revised edition of "Il Gattopardo", with a detailed preface by Gioachino Lanza Tomasi, which reconstructs the long and complex procedure  of the book. Rejected for publication by Mondadori under Elio Vittorini, who judged it "unoriginal", the text was published posthumously in 1958 by Feltrinelli, enthusiastically supported and edited by the above mentioned Bassani in accordance with directions from Elena Croce. Compared to that now historical edition, this volume which has just recently appeared in bookshops can be judged to all intents and purposes the definitive version, by leave of the "corrections" Bassani first made to the original (raising objections from Francesco Orlando in 1962 and Carlo Muscetta in 1968): in the appendix, it also contains the "Canzoniere di casa Salina", the chapter previously omitted, and two sonnets by don Fabrizio. Thus the story of the prince of Salina returns in all its glory, "a lyrical and critical self-portrait" of the author: but also, as he tells us, of the "aristocracy seen from within, without gratification". After scuffles over the Risorgimento as a revolution that never was or rather, was betrayed, there remains the rise and fall of a world and a social class described with irony and just a shadow of regret. Because after the Leopards and Lions, comes only the time of the jackals and hyenas.

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
The Leopard
Feltrinelli
300 pages
25 euros

logorai.gif (2283 byte)
trasp.gif (837 byte)

Italica is a Rai International production. The material displayed on this site is protected by copyright and is available for informative purposes only