The Last Leopard: A Life of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

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The year after his death in 1957, Gossip di Lampedusa's novel The leopard was published to great acclaim. It is now recognized as one of the finest works of twentieth century fiction.For a quarter of a century, Italian and foreign scholars were denied access to the reclusive writer's paper until,following a meeting with Lampedusa's adopted son, David Gilmour succeeded in gaining permission to work in the writer's last home in Sicily.There, and in the nearby ruin of the Palazzo Lampedusa,he found many ...
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The Last Leopard: A life of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

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Overview

The year after his death in 1957, Gossip di Lampedusa's novel The leopard was published to great acclaim. It is now recognized as one of the finest works of twentieth century fiction.For a quarter of a century, Italian and foreign scholars were denied access to the reclusive writer's paper until,following a meeting with Lampedusa's adopted son, David Gilmour succeeded in gaining permission to work in the writer's last home in Sicily.There, and in the nearby ruin of the Palazzo Lampedusa,he found many letters,diaries,notebooks, and photographs which had not seen the light of day since Lampedusa's death.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
At age 47 Giuseppe Tomasi, prince of Lampedusa (1896-1957), still slept in the bedrom where he had been born. The abnormally taciturn recluse, who mined the history of his Sicilian aristocratic family in its ruinous decline for his classic novel The Leopard , had a ``vexatious, disappointing and often pathetic life.'' His arrogant, sharp-tongued father, fueled by a ridiculous sense of pride, spent much of his life quarreling with relatives over money. Lampedusa's domineering mother nearly wrecked her son's marriage to psychoanalyst Beatrice Mastrogiovanni, a largely epistolary relationship for years at a stretch. In this elegant, sprightly biography, Gilmour ( Lebanon: The Fractured Country ) draws an incisive portrait of a curious modernist outsider deeply skeptical of all human motives. Lampedusa's fictional counterpart, Don Fabrizio, The Leopard 's protagonist, likewise seems a contemporary figure swinging from hedonistic pursuits to the contemplation of eternity without a personal God. Photos. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Lampedusa's great novel The Leopard ( LJ 6/1/60) was accepted and published to international acclaim only after its author's death. Lampedusa had led a largely uneventful existence as a minor member of the Italian aristocracy, and his life reads at times like one long preparation for his novel, which in many senses it was. Besides establishing the sometimes meager biographical record, Gilmour analyzes The Leopard in historical and aesthetic context and examines the surprising controversy its publication generated in Italian literary circles. This book, the only one in English on Lampedusa, is recommended for collections of modern continental literature.--Grove Koger, Boise P.L., Id.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679401834
  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/23/1991
  • Edition description: 1st American ed
  • Pages: 223

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