Title: Two Stories and A Memory
Publisher: Pantheon Books
Publication Date: 1962
Edition: 1st Edition.
New York. 1962. Pantheon Books. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Slightly Worn Dustjacket. Translated from the Italian by Archibald Colquhoun. Foreword by E. M. Forster. 189 pages. hardcover. Cover: Enrico Arno. keywords: Literature Translated Italy. inventory # 15191. FROM THE PUBLISHER - The prose of Giuseppe di Lampedusa was the creation of a rare maturity. Its crowning fulfillment, The Leopard, has already become a classic in our time. Unlike that great novel, this posthumous collection was not conceived by the author for publication. But its contents will fascinate all who admire the novel and wish to know more about the legendary personality of the Prince of Lampedusa. The volume begins with a beautifully evocative memoir, ‘Places of My Infancy,’ in which the old prince looks back on the lost paradises that were the homes of his youth. Proposed by his wife as a kind of therapy to assuage the deeply felt loss of his beloved palazzo — destroyed by American bombings of Palermo in World War II - the text was written ten years later and never revised. However, these beautiful descriptions of the palace and of the ancestral Cuto house in the Sicilian countryside became the inspiration for the imaginary Donna-fugata of The Leopard. ‘The Professor and the Mermaid’ is a story of enchantment and supreme love—the love of Professor La Ciura, esteemed scholar of the classics, for the siren Lighea. He had known the sublime joy of her love as a handsome young man, and could not love anyone else thereafter. Nor could he bear to surrender the memory of that love when age sought to remove him from Lighea forever. The concluding story, ‘The Blind Kittens,’ is the opening chapter of an unfinished novel. Lampedusa may have thought of it as a sequel to The Leopard, for it was to trace the descendants of the new rich of the 1860's who, after a hundred years, were to see their wealth swept away by the land reforms of the late 1950's. The theme is one of social aspiration and the ultimate decline of a decadent aristocracy who - like blind kittens - are doomed at birth to drown. The three varied texts are preceded by an informative essay by the translator, Archibald Colquhoun, and by an introduction in the form of a meditation by E. M. Forster. GIUSEPPE DI LAMPEDUSA died of cancer in Rome in July, 1957. Five days before his death, he received word from a reader for a well-known Italian publisher that The Leopard could not be recommended for publication. It wasn't until many months later that an unsigned copy of his manuscript reached an enthusiastic editor whose prompt inquiries brought to light the story behind the prince who never published anything in his lifetime but left a masterpiece after his death. Very Good In Slightly Worn Dustjacket. Bookseller Inventory # 15191
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