Tag Archives: Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

In Sicilia: Arrival

Fountain near via Butera

Fountain near via Butera

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

Ruins and Memory

Still from Visconti's The Leopard

Still from Visconti’s The Leopard

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