OK, it wasn’t the smartest move, I acknowledge. We’d spent the morning at the stunning Capella Palatina (more on that anon). As we strolled back to the apartment, we happened on the 16th century Chiesa del Gesù. Though we were more than a little peckish, we decided to stop in for a “quick look” prior to lunch. Continue reading
December 28-29, 2016
The wait at JFK for our flight to Palermo (via Rome) was a trial, to say the least. The concession stand food was uniformly bleak. Everywhere you looked, TV screens set to CNN, though on mute, displayed irritating crawls. One TV, sound on, flooded the waiting area with insipid shopping prattle. The desk clerk of whom I asked whether there was a place free of the noise looked at me as if to say, “Are you crazy? Just imagine what it’s like for me, working here all day.” Continue reading
Here, especially in the group called Canti barocchi, which I care most about, it was my intention to evoke and fix a particular Sicilian world—that of Palermo more precisely—which is now about to disappear without the good fortune of having been caught and preserved in any medium of art.
—from a letter of Lucio Piccolo (written by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa) to Eugenio Montale
Humid heat hangs in the air, as it has for days. As soon as the sun lands on the front porch, we retreat to indoor space. I pick up a library book, The Last Leopard, that must be returned this week. The book is a biography of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, a Sicilian prince and author of a single novel, The Leopard, that I’m in the midst of rereading. I’m finding it difficult, despite stacks of unread books that beckon, to set down the novel and move on. Continue reading