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Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Dust jacket missing. Minor shelf and handling wear, overall a clean solid copy with minimal signs of use. Fading of spine.
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Leopardi: A Study in Solitude Hardcover – Import, 1953

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Hamish Hamilton; 1St Edition edition (1953)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0000CINJ7
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 9 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #499,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By M. Nesbit on May 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am so grateful to this publisher for having reissued the books of Iris Origo. I first read this book a dozen years ago and it has continued to haunt me since.
Origo has created a masterpiece from her tale of Leopardi's short and lonely life. This is a book where the atmosphere is more important than the facts. No poet could object to coming to life, thus, between the lines setting forth Origo's appreciation of his art and sympathy for his suffering.
Leopardi can hope for no better chance of literary resurrection than that given to him by Iris Origo. If this biography sends you in search of his poetry it has done its job.
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Format: Paperback
iris origo really has something here, and her poetic biography of the great giacomo leopardi is a classic in itself. the darkness and despair of leopardi's verse is probably one reason for leopardi's obscurity and little known philosophical works, but the overwhelming sense of nothingness and meaninglessness that his work conveys is no reason to put him aside. we do not necessarily have to agree with an author about everything to enjoy the aesthetic brilliance and the passion present in his essays and poetry. anyone who gets a dark thrill (as i do) from philosophy and poetry that focuses on the more shadowy and sad side of existence will devour leopardi's work. he would undoubtedly gotten along with and befriended the two other great literary prophets of doom, samuel beckett and arthur schopenhauer, and unconsciously shares their philosophy and really disturbing reflections about the emptiness of human life and it's accidental and contingent origin. leopardi was a quite genuine pessimist, unlike schopenhauer who betrayed through his lifestyle and even occasionally in his work itself a love and passion for life and art, and his gloom is not simply temperamental or tongue in cheek as it with arthur, but is very serious and profoundly felt. leopardi's work openly refers to the poetic imagination and man's feelings of divinity or supremacy in the universe as "beautiful illusions", which is all the more infuriating to those who have them because does not violently condemn them or even make an effort to disprove them objectively, but just dismisses them offhandedly as the obvious products of wishful thinking and fanciful self delusion. despite the depressing and sometimes unbearable bleakness of his work, i think giacomo leopardi is unjustly obscure and the best italian poet since dante. all of his work is a must read for students or lovers of philosophy and poetry.
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Format: Paperback
I've been reading about marketing in the digital age and brain research, so ir was time to step back to the early 19th century... and a step back in time this surely is! As I read this, I wondered how probable such a life would be today.

Giacomo Leopari was born in 1798 to noble family of Recanati, a small town in the Papal States. His every motion was monitored by an overly pious mother who felt it her duty to wring any ounce of gaiety from her children. He was so sheltered that he knew no other children than his siblings. His emotionally stunted father (the stories of his two courtships are revealing) was distant but did amass a large library in which Giacomo educated himself.

Author Iris Origo shows how his childhood, which had all the trappings of a house arrest, gave him neither social skills nor confidence in human interaction. He threw himself into studies. He translated and wrote and was able to publish enough as a teenager to be known by a few scholars whom he hoped might help him obtain a position outside of his home town.

He was able to travel to Rome with an uncle, but his cloistering and his extensive reading gave him a distorted view of the world and of learned society. He was disappointed and miserable, but he knew he could not live the confined life his parents expected of him. Origo shows how he eventually was able to leave and was able to attain respect for his work. Despite poor social skills, his frail health (he had no end of breathing, digestion, teeth and eye problems) and an sad appearance (he was a hunchback) he made a few friends, one in particular, who respected his talent and devoted himself to Leopardi.

This was a sad life.
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