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The Professor and the Siren (New York Review Books Classics) Kindle Edition

9 customer reviews

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Length: 104 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An enigmatic, tantalizing and haunting tale of rare beauty which glints like a finely cut diamond...it crackles with erotic tension.” —Joseph Farrell, The Times Literary Supplement

“Lampedusa has made me realize how many ways there are of being alive.... ‘The Professor and the Siren’ is an exquisite fantasy and a sustained one.”—E. M. Forster

“‘The Professor and the Siren’ seems to me a masterpiece.” —Edmund Wilson

“A work of outstanding laconic eccentricity....Lampedusa wrote two masterpieces and this is the other one.” —Nicholas Blincoe, The Telegraph
 
“[Lampedusa] comes so marvellously close to the people and scenes he describes because he conveys, in the manner of classical artists, the hard gleam of inaccessibility that makes human beings and nature itself seem final and alone.” —V. S. Pritchett
 
“After a long and thoughtful accumulation of time and passions, skirting the straits of history and politics, [Lampedusa] recreated an entire epoch, filling his pages with tapestries of crystalline and lasting beauty.” —Edna O’Brien, Financial Times

About the Author

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (1896–1957) was a Sicilian nobleman, the Duke of Palma, and the last Prince of Lampedusa. He was born in Palermo to an aristocratic family whose fortunes began to decline in the 1800s with the passage of laws breaking up large Sicilian estates. Lampedusa served as an Italian artillery officer during World War I and was captured by the Austrians and held briefly in a prison camp in Hungary. He remained in the Italian military until 1921 and spent the interwar years traveling through Europe and attempting to restore the family estate. During World War II , the Tomasi palace in Palermo was bombed and looted by Allied troops. In the last two years of his life, Lampedusa began writing and produced his great historical novel Il Gattopardo (The Leopard), as well as several short literary works, none of which were published during his lifetime. Two years after Lampedusa’s death, The Leopard won the Strega Prize and became a worldwide best seller.


Stephen Twilley is the managing editor of Public Culture and Public Books. His translations from the Italian include Francesco Pacifico’s The Story of My Purity and Marina Mander’s The First True Lie.


Marina Warner’s studies of religion, mythology, and fairy tales include Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary, From the Beast to the Blonde, and No Go the Bogeyman. In 2013 she co-edited Scheherazade’s Children: Global Encounters with the Arabian Nights. A Fellow of the British Academy, she is also a professor in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex.

Product Details

  • File Size: 711 KB
  • Print Length: 104 pages
  • Publisher: NYRB Classics (June 17, 2014)
  • Publication Date: June 17, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590177193
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590177198
  • ASIN: B00HTM8CRU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #419,802 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Avid reader on August 2, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have re-read Lampedusa's "The Leopard" three times in the last several years. It never disappoints. This slim volume of three stories, on the other hand, is a bit of a mixed bag. First there is the rather dreadful and misleading title of the collection and its main story. (It reminds me of Heinrich Mann's Professor Unrat and the exotic dancer in the "Blue Angel"--aka Marlene Dietrich.) Why not stay with the much more melodious Italian title, "Lighea," the name of the mermaid at the center of the title story?--Then there follows a rather pretentious and meandering introduction.--The title story, "Lighea," contains numerous autobiographical elements. Both protagonists, a young aristocratic journalist and an elderly Hellenistic scholar, capture features of Lampedusa's own personality and history. But the elegiac and non-combative pessimism of "The Leopard" here turns into a much more acerbic and at times rather patronizing diatribe against modern culture. The story does, however, also contain some brilliantly allusive, lyrical passages surrounding the young scholars life-changing encounter with a mermaid many years ago. Their love is celebrated as an immersion into the life- and love-fulfilling embrace of an utterly pagan nature, "a transposition from the bestial to the superhuman plane" (31). -- The second story is a rather negligible tale about the conflict between middle class poverty in Sicily and its self-imposed, self-defeating values. -- The third story, on the other hand, sparkles with a wickedly funny, unrelenting denunciation of the aging, increasingly landless Sicilian aristocracy and its modern day re-incarnation in the figure of an uncultured but land-grabbing nouveau riche. -- In short, a true friend of Lampedusa should not want to miss these works of the master's final months. But if you are a newcomer to his art, go for the summit ("The Leopard") before you explore these foothills.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mitch Orfuss on June 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Elegant, slow (in the best sense), and revealing of submerged emotion. You sense that Lampedusa would have been more than happy with the resulting small piece of perfection.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the best ever written short story of all times. All the best charcteristics present: structure, lenght, characters, plot, " message", capacity to fullfill readers imagination.
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What a delight to find this book!!! I have read 'The Leopard' twice and seen the movie, so when this showed up it was a pleasure to find and read. grampus
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Clarke Crutchfield on August 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a valuable addition to Lampedusa's small but masterly body of work. It's about a young journalist who becomes friends with a stern prig of a professor who nevertheless has a mystical, quite sensual affinity for the classical world -- and a special relationship with a siren of the sea. A tale both sad and sunny, this long story will surprise fans of "The Leopard" for its wit (not something you see a lot of in that brilliant novel). It also deepens our perspective on the author's worldly melancholy. Highly entertaining.
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