Literary Islands: Giuseppe di Lampedusa

This article offers a deeply insightful analysis of the Sicilian character taken from “The Leopard,” Sicily’s most famous novel. This article is by Rochelle Del Borello, a fellow Sicily blogger who writes thought-provoking articles and posts gorgeous photos.
If you visit her blog, say Hello from me!

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Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s The Leopard (Il gattopardo) is my favorite Sicilian novel of all time. The sumptuous world of the Prince of Salina is a precious link to Sicily’s baroque aristocracy. It also inspired one of the best international cinematic productions with the classic 1963 film adaptation directed by Luchino Visconti starring Burt Lancaster as the prince.

The Leopard’s author was a bit of an anomaly in himself, a painfully shy, reclusive, Sicilian nobel, whose novel was finally published after his death at the same time as Jack Kerouac’s modern free spontaneous prose masterpiece On the Road exploded onto the scene in the states. You could not find a work so contrary to its times as this elaborate historical novel, yet it is still the most poignant and truthful portrait of the Sicilian mentality, I’ve ever read.

The Leopard is an essential guide to understanding the nature of the Sicilian…

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