Saturday, June 21, 2014

This weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal

If you have a chance to pick up a copy of the current Weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal I recommend you do so. The review section has reviews on books about World War I in addition to several essays about the conflict. There's also a review of The Professor and the Siren by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (author of The Leopard), a NYRB Classics collection of three stories recently translated by Stephen Twilley. The stories include the title story of the book, his final work, as well as “Joy and the Law” and "The Blind Kittens."

Two of the stories pick up on parts of The Leopard. Since the review is behind an online paywall I'll only provide a short quote from the final paragraph that looks at "The Blind Kittens," intended to be Lampedusa's second novel. Only the first chapter was completed, which is what is included here. "The Blind Kittens" starts with a nod to The Leopard, with the upstart Batassano closing a deal on the selling off of lands by aristocrats to prop up their dwindling estates. His meteoric rise seems tainted by his acquisition of tainted land.
Here once more is Lampedusa's dry irony; here is his tender gaze at the anachronistic Sicily, its cruelty and provincialism; here is one last shot at the impotence of its shunted-aside ruling class.


Virtual Memories said...

Thanks! The Leopard is one of my all-time faves! I interviewed the WSJ culture columnist who turned me on to it a few years ago, Willard Spiegelman, over here, if you wanna check it out:

Dwight said...

Thanks for the link! I was looking forward to this since I thought "The Leopard" was fantastic. There are so many novels on the decline of the upper classes of the time…and movies, too. That there are so many of a very high quality surprises me.

I knew many people are looking forward to this book, which is why I wanted to pass on the very positive review.

Unknown said...

The WSJ weekend edition with the book section is always the highlight of my week. Because of visiting family this past weekend, I never got around to reading the recent issue. Thanks for highlighting what I will now find and devour.

BTW . . . I have just stumbled on your fantastic blog, and I will be dropping by now and then in the future.

Dwight said...

Glad you were finally able to get around to it…this last weekend's edition was really good.

And thanks. I'm taking an unscheduled break but hope to be back in posting mode soon.