April 1, 2013 § Leave a comment
The Leopard, for me, was one of those books that awakens you to a new way of perceiving life. Decadent, sensual, nostalgic, whimsical – I couldn’t believe it was written in the twentieth-century; and yet, aspects of its philosophy are indeed very modern. This quotation isn’t particularly poetic but the dichotomy is adequate to describe the work: the idealised present is blown to ashes by its cruel reality so that only the dream of what was remains.
I think about this voluptuous, incomparable book because its warmth and character is what I need. I dream of its Sicilian names, exuberant garden smells and sense of sacred ritual, where sermons rather than clock chimes mark the rhythm of life.
It is July, it is hot in my long-sleeved dress, the dog follows me into the orchard and I can hear people laughing and whispering on the terrace. Soon it will be evening, the stars will replace the frescoes of the living room over my head and I will lean from the balcony to smell the night.
This book is an atmosphere. A political manifesto that should not be forgotten – but Lampedusa succeeds in showing that this manifesto is really a way of life. Beautiful in its tragic finality. I wouldn’t mind embracing it just for today.
Anyone with me?
More on the book and its author here.