- 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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Leopardi: A Study in Solitude Hardcover – Import, 1953
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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.
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.Read more ›