The Leopard - Feb 2019 Book Group discussion thread

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Feb 2019
11:29am, 14 Feb 2019
34,351 posts
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It’s a summery sort of day.
Feb 2019
6:50pm, 14 Feb 2019
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Feb 2019
9:52am, 20 Feb 2019
3,067 posts
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Finished this yesterday. Found it quite hard going but I don't really know why. I'll admit its not a piece of history I am familiar with, so that might have contributed to the difficulties I had. However, I did quite enjoy it, particularly the courtship between Tancredi and Angelica where they kept losing their chaperone as they explored the palace.
Feb 2019
9:30pm, 25 Feb 2019
14,087 posts
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I am almost done but have found this a tough read and haven’t really been able to follow it properly and don’t have the inclination to start again and try harder.
Mar 2019
5:41pm, 24 Mar 2019
14,319 posts
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I've finished it, I concur with postie's thoughts although I do acknowledge it was hard going at times. I was looking for something akin to Bassani's "The Garden of the Finzi Continis" and indeed Bassani was a translator of an early version of this novel and was one of the first to "recognise its importance". However it doesn't have the lightness of touch of Bassani, and "the Garden of the Finzi Continis" has a haunting quality that the Leopard doesn't quite.

It reminded me of all of Kafka's novels, which all are "unfinished" and start in great detail and carry on at good pace til halfway then have a sort of summation and then they're over. King Lear also falls into that category, where half the cast seem killed off, off stage and all at once. It is difficult to go through 1860, a month or two at a time, and 1861 a bit faster, then suddenly 1883, and you've got references to deaths, grandchildren and yes it may well be that the author intended exactly this, but you get the feeling, he hadn't finished it, he was dying and bundled up the vignettes that were finished. The Salina Canzoniere provides some of that scaffolding, but then hurtles off into Don Fabrizio's sonnets, acknowledging they are third rate but give a flavour of the character of the man, and they don't really add anything. That fragment also reads like a plot summation at the front of a box set episode, filling in those to catch up.

I also agree I found the glances into the future jarring, and without merit as they are not expanded on. I was looking forward to finding out of the disappointments of Tancredi and Angelica's marriage, or how Father Pirrone's role evolved over the years, it's almost like and epic 600 pager that 400 pages of the later half got blown into the sea one afternoon. I must admit it's where I find modernist fiction a struggle - like here are all these carefully constructed setpieces, narrative be damned. I could have managed an extra couple hundred of pages sure, melancholy, lyrical writing probably rewards re-reading, but I'd like to know about bit more about the background history first.

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About This Thread

Maintained by McGoohan
Count Duckuloni di Borgia is an apparently urbane, aristocratic playboy by day, but by night he is infamous cat-burglar The Leotard! Desired by women, envied by men! His life might have continued in this way until he is contacted by Nikos Furiopolous, of the Greek resistance. Furiopolous recruits him in the fight against the fascist overlord Dr Calamari!

With kid sidekick, The Kitten, at his side, can The Leotard crack the case, save the world and be back at the baccarat tables before dawn?

Now read on...

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