How a Dying Man Wrote a Timeless Novel

Sep 18, 2019 193

BY: Joseph Luzzi

“If we want everything to remain as it is, everything must change.” With these words, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s “The Leopard” announced a paradox of modern Italian history, as elites frenetically cut deals to protect their privileged status on the eve of national unification in 1861.

In “Lampedusa,” Steven Price’s fictional account of how the novel came to be written, Lampedusa himself is no wheeler and dealer. Diagnosed with emphysema, he seems like one of those Sebaldian characters so weighed down by memory and history that he has never really been alive. 

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