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Encyclopedia > Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (December 23, 1896 - July 23, 1957), was a Sicilian writer. He is most famous for his only novel, Il Gattopardo (first published posthumously in 1958, translated as The Leopard) which is set in Sicily during the Risorgimento. A taciturn and solitary man, he passed a great deal of his time reading and meditating, and used to say of himself, "I was a boy who liked solitude, who preferred the company of things to that of people." December 23 is the 357th day of the year (358th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1896 (MDCCCXCVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display calendar). ... July 23 is the 204th day (205th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 161 days remaining. ... Year 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1957 Gregorian calendar). ... Sicily (Sicilia in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ... A novel (from French nouvelle Italian novella, new) is an extended, generally fictional narrative, typically in prose. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Sicily (Sicilia in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ... Italian unification, also known as Risorgimento (resurrection), was a historical process by which the Kingdom of Sardinia (ruled by the Savoy dynasty with Turin as its capital) gradually conquered the Italian peninsula, including the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the Duchy of Modena, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the Duchy...

Contents

Biography

Youth

Tomasi was born at Palermo to Giulio Maria Tomasi, Prince of Lampedusa, and Beatrice Mastrogiovanni Tasca di Cutò. He became an only child after the death (from diphtheria) of his sister. He was very close to his mother, a strong personality who influenced him a great deal, especially because his father was rather cold and detached. As a child he studied in their grand house in Palermo with a tutor (including the subjects of literature and English), with his mother (who taught him French) and with a grandmother who read him the novels of Emilio Salgari. In the little theater of the house in Santa Margherita Belice, where he spent long vacations, he first saw a performance of Hamlet, performed by a company of travelling players. For other uses, see Palermo (disambiguation). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Emilio Salgari. ... Hamlet and Horatio in the cemetery by Eugène Delacroix For other uses, see Hamlet (disambiguation). ...


In the army at Caporetto

Beginning in 1911, he attended the liceo classico in Roma and later in Palermo; he moved definitively to Rome in 1915 and enrolled in the faculty of Jurisprudence; however, that year he was drafted into the army, fought in the lost battle of Caporetto, and was taken prisoner by the Austrians. Held in a Hungarian POW camp, he managed to escape and return on foot to Italy. After being mustered out of the army as a lieutenant, he returned home to Sicily, alternately resting there and travelling with his mother, and continuing his studies of foreign literature. Liceo classico is a secondary school type in Italy. ... Area: 192. ...


A wife from Latvia

In Riga, Latvia, in 1932, he married Alexandra Wolff Stomersee, nicknamed "Licy", a student of psychoanalysis from a noble family of German origin. They first lived with di Lampedusa's mother in Palermo, but soon the incompatibility between the two women drove Licy back to Latvia. In 1934 his father died and he inherited his princely title. He was briefly called back to arms in 1940, but, as head of a hereditary agricultural plantation, was soon sent back home to take care of its affairs. He and his mother ultimately took refuge in Capo d'Orlando, where he was reunited with Licy; they survived the war, but their palace in Palermo did not. Coordinates: Founded 1201 Government  - Mayor Jānis Birks Area  - City 307. ... Psychoanalysis is a family of psychological theories and methods based on the work of Sigmund Freud. ... Capo dOrlando is a commune in the province of Messina, Sicily, Italy. ...


After his mother died in 1946, Tomasi returned to live with his wife in Palermo. In 1953 he began to spend time with a group of young intellectuals, one of whom was Gioacchino Lanza, with whom he developed such a strong rapport that, the following year, he legally adopted him.


The Leopard

Tomasi di Lampedusa was often the guest of his cousin, the poet Lucio Piccolo, with whom he travelled in 1954 to San Pellegrino Terme, to attend a literary awards ceremony, where he met, among others Eugenio Montale and Maria Bellonci; it is said that it was upon returning from this trip that he wrote Il Gattopardo (The Leopard), which he finished in 1956. During his lifetime, the novel was rejected by the publishers to whom it was presented, about which Tomasi was reportedly quite bitter. Lucio Piccolo di Calanovella (October 27, 1901 - May 26, 1969), was an Italian poet. ... The location of San Pellegrino is shown in red; whereas, the nearby town of Milan, shown in yellow. ... Eugenio Montale Eugenio Montale (October 12, 1896, Genoa – September 12, 1981, Milan) was an Italian poet, prose writer, editor and traslator, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1975. ...


In 1957 Tomasi di Lampedusa was diagnosed with lung cancer and died on July 23 in Rome. He is buried in the Capucin cemetery at Palermo. His novel was only published two years after his death, when Elena Croce sent it to Giorgio Bassani who published it at the Feltrinelli publishing house. The following year, in 1959 the novel won the Premio Strega, and since that time it has had an unquestioned status as one of the great works of 20th century Italian literature. July 23 is the 204th day (205th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 161 days remaining. ... Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5... Giorgio Bassani (March 4, 1916 - April 13, 2000) was a novelist, poet, essayist, editor, and international intellectual. ... Feltrinelli may refer to: Feltrinelli (publisher) - Italian publishing house Giangiacomo Feltrinelli - founder of the publishing house Antonio Feltrinelli Prizes (Premi Antonio Feltrinelli) - awarded by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei since 1950 in various fields of arts, sciences and exceptional endeavours of outstanding moral and humanitarian value. Often referred to as... Amici della Domenica The Strega Prize (Premio Strega) has been awarded annually since 1947 for the best work of prose fiction by an Italian author and first published between 1 May of the previous year and 30 April. ...


Works

Il Gattopardo follows the family of its title character, Sicilian nobleman Don Fabrizio Corbera, Prince of Salina, through the events of the Risorgimento. Perhaps the most memorable line in the book is spoken by Don Fabrizio's nephew, Tancredi, urging unsuccessfully that Don Fabrizio abandon his allegiance to the crumbling Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and ally himself with the Savoy dynasty: "Unless we ourselves take a hand now, they'll foist a republic on us. If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change." The Two Sicilies The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (Italian: il Regno delle Due Sicilie) was the new name that the Bourbon King Ferdinand IV of Naples bestowed upon his domain (including Southern Italy and the island of Sicily) after the end of the Napoleonic Era and the full restoration... Flag of Savoy This article is about the historical region of Savoy. ...


The title is rendered in English as "The Leopard", but the Italian word gattopardo refers to the American ocelot or to the African serval. Il gattopardo may be a reference to a wildcat that was hunted to extinction in Italy in the mid-1800s—just as Don Fabrizio was dryly contemplating the decline and indolence of the Sicilian aristocracy. Binomial name Leopardus pardalis (Linnaeus, 1758) Ocelot range The Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), (from the Nahuatl ocelotl) also known as the Painted Leopard or McNenneys Wildcat, is a wild cat distributed over South and Central America and Mexico, but has been reported as far north as Texas and in Trinidad... Binomial name Leptailurus serval (Schreber, 1776) The Serval (Leptailurus serval) is a medium-sized African wild cat: length 85 cm, plus 40 cm tail. ...


The novel was often criticised by literary critics for "combining realism with decadent aesthetics".[citation needed] However, it became so popular among common readers, that in 1963 Il Gattopardo was made into a film, directed by Luchino Visconti and starring Burt Lancaster; Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale also appear in prominent roles. Literary realism most often refers to the trend, in early 19th century French literature, towards depictions of contemporary life and society as it is, in the spirit of general Realism, instead of a romanticized or similarly stylized presentation. ... See also Decadent movement Decadence refers to a personal trait and, much more commonly, to a state of society. ... Luchino Visconti. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Alain Delon (born 8 November 1935) is a French-born actor, one of the best known outside his native country. ... Claudia Cardinale (born April 15, 1938) is an Italian actress born in Tunis, Tunisia to Sicilian parents. ...


Tomasi also wrote some lesser known works: I racconti (Stories, first published 1961), Le lezioni su Stendhal (Lessons on Stendahl, privately published in 1959, published in book form in 1977), and Invito alle lettere francesi del Cinquecento (Introduction to sixteenth-century French literature, first published 1970). He also wrote "Joy and the Law", a common piece of literature studied in high schools today. He also wrote a small number of essays.


References


 
 

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