February - World Book #14 - The Leopard, by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

Continuing our trip around the world, we're travelling a little farther south in Europe to Italy and Sicily for a journey into history with Guiseppe di Lampedusa's novel, The Leopard.

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Set in the 1860s, The Leopard tells the spellbinding story of a decadent, dying Sicilian aristocracy threatened by the approaching forces of democracy and revolution. The dramatic sweep and richness of observation, the seamless intertwining of public and private worlds, and the grasp of human frailty imbue The Leopard with its particular melancholy beauty and power, and place it among the greatest historical novels of our time.

Although Giuseppe di Lampedusa had long had the book in mind, he began writing it only in his late fifties; he died at age sixty, soon after the manuscript was rejected as unpublishable. In his introduction, Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi, Lampedusa's nephew, gives us a detailed history of the initial publication and the various editions that followed. And he includes passages Lampedusa wrote for the book that were omitted by the original Italian editors.

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  • JSeguritan

    The ants rush as metaphor for the Sicilian Risorgimento: "Attracted by a few chewed grape-skins spat out by Don Ciccio, along they rushed in close order, morale high at the chance of annexing that bit of garbage soaked with an organist's saliva [read: Sicily]. Up they came full of confidence, disordered but resolute; groups of three or four would stop now and again for a chat, exalting, perhaps, the ancient glories and future prosperity of ant hill Number Two under cork tree Number Four on the top of Mount Morco; then once again they would take up their march with the others toward a buoyant future; the gleaming backs of those imperialists seemed to quiver with enthusiasm" (p. 125)

    February 11, 2014

  • Rosemary

    I found out that the Italian version of the Leopard movie was dubbed for Lancaster and Cardinale, and the English version was dubbed for all but Lancaster.

    February 11, 2014

  • JSeguritan

    I'm still floored by this suggestion, which Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa confided to a friend: "Be careful: the dog Bendicò, is a very important character and is almost the key to the novel." So much richness in description & imagery, that the author doesn't waste any words or sentences.

    February 10, 2014

    • Jane

      I read that too and still trying to figure that one out.

      February 10, 2014

  • Deepa

    Just a reminder that tonight's restaurant is BYOB. I have purchased some Sicilian wine with the extra member dues, but if anyone prefers beer or another beverage, please feel free to bring it!

    1 · February 10, 2014

  • Colleen

    10Feb14 works great for me. See you all then.

    February 4, 2014

  • Rosemary

    Been out in in once today! Not much fun!! See ya all next week!

    February 3, 2014

  • Gina

    Thanks for rescheduling, Deepa! Stay warm and safe, everyone!

    February 3, 2014

  • Nicky w.

    Hi Deepa, got the message. Next Monday is good for me - see you then . keep warm

    February 3, 2014

  • Jane

    There is a strong possibility that I won't make group tonight due to the weather and Wednesday doesn't look more promising.

    February 3, 2014

    • Deepa

      Jane, I hope you can make it next week, and that this weather clears up by then! I'm ready for spring already!

      February 3, 2014

    • Jane

      No problem for me to move it to next Monday! See you then and yes, spring can come along any time now.

      February 3, 2014

  • Gabby

    Hi! Is it the 3rd or the 7th ... I got two conflicting e-mails.

    January 31, 2014

    • Jane

      Meetings are usually the first Monday of the month with the second option of first Wednesday--February 3 or February 5.

      January 31, 2014

    • Deepa

      Thanks Jane! For some reason, I didn't get a notification on this question.

      February 3, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Same here. I won't make it due to the weather. It is almost noon, and the snow is falling down strong still. Hey Deepa, I still haven't forgotten my offer to treat you to a Korean restaurant. How about when the weather gets warm?

    February 3, 2014

    • Deepa

      Hopefully the weather will be better next Monday so we can meet. And I'd love to take you up on a Korean meal in the spring.

      February 3, 2014

  • JSeguritan

    Hey Deepa/Michelle - any update on whether you think today's planned meetup can still proceed in these weather conditions? I think I'd still be able to go, but am also mindful of those traveling from further away who also wouldn't want to miss a chance to meet this month. For planning purposes, an executive decision would be welcomed.

    February 3, 2014

    • Deepa

      I hope you got my email and updates here, but the meetup is off for tonight, postponed til next Monday. Please stay off the roads if you can!

      February 3, 2014

  • Deepa

    I have made the decision to postpone the meetup one week to next Monday due to the snow. Everyone stay safe and warm, and we'll see you next week. Please update your RSVP accordingly!

    February 3, 2014

    • JSeguritan

      Thanks Deepa! Hope you didn't have to travel these snow-crusted roads today, but if so, stay safe!

      February 3, 2014

  • JSeguritan

    Definitely excited to discuss this epic novel at Leonardo's (one of my fave places & hidden gems in the Mercer area) but couldn't help to think that Palermo's in Hamilton would've been a better thematic fit, given the Sicilian environs of the story.

    February 1, 2014

  • Jean G.

    Sorry, I have a conflict for Monday.

    February 1, 2014

  • Carmen P.

    I could make the 5th of Feb. Where would we meet?

    January 25, 2014

    • Deepa

      I am working on confirming the restaurant reservation. It will be posted in the next day or so.

      January 27, 2014

    • Deepa

      Also, if you are planning on coming on the 5th, please change your RSVP to the 5th to make sure we have a proper head count for each day. Thanks!

      January 30, 2014

  • Deepa

    Hello everyone! The location of the meetup has been confirmed. We are meeting at Leonardo's II in Lawrenceville. It is on the south side of Route 1, south of 95, next to the Crystal Diner. The restaurant is BYOB, and I will be bringing some budget wine and beer, but people are welcome to bring something to share as well! Thanks!

    January 30, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Would I be cheating if I watch the movie instead?

    January 22, 2014

Your organizer's refund policy for February - World Book #14 - The Leopard, by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

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