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Hale, F.A. (1969). Discussion. Contemp. Psychoanal., 5(2):126-128.

(1969). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 5(2):126-128


Frank A. Hale, M.D.

I WANT TO THANK Professor Kuhns for his elucidation of classical philosophy in analyzing The Leopard.

Professor Kuhns regards The Leopard as a "tragedy of suffering." Lampedusa clarifies the "gloom … of his [the Prince's] own class" although "the major interests of the Kingdom … and of his own class, his personal advantages came through … still lively." Although "Italy was born … something, someone, had died." Thus the death of aristocracy, symbolized by the death of the Prince and his family is foretold. But nationalism is born. The book tells of suffering and the death of aristocracy in the nineteenth century; it also tells of the birth of nationalism and the ascendancy of the bourgeoisie, "replaced by the soapy tones of a moneylender."

On the first page of the novel, Professor Kuhns's theme of death is stated. "Love, virginity, death" in the evening service, the Rosary, are associated with the medieval world, the primacy of the church, the static society of the aristocracy in which death is another sacrament.

It is indicative that Dr. Zaphiropolous quoted Marx in discussing this paper. The Marxist view of history encompasses the overthrow of the aristocracy in the eighteenth century, the ascendancy of the bourgeoisie in the nineteenth century, and the revolutionary seizure of power by the proletariat in Italy and the entire world, including America, in the twentieth century. Utilizing the historical-dialectical framework for this book, Lampedusa still reveals his bias or his irony in stating that "revolutionaries can never create a world equal to that of the prince.

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