Two trees and a Legend of Love
Sometime ago, let me check the exif of my pictures… yes it was the 20th of June 2009, exactly 10 years apart from my yesterday’s visit again, I was at the castle of Stameriena, Latvia, making a photo report about the son of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lapedusa (the writer), Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi visiting this castle where his father and wife once lived. Just 10 years, I can’t say why it took me like an urge to go there again without realizing it was such an anniversary.
I had this great opportunity to meet the Prince, thanks to Gabriele Bonafede I met in my early days of my life in Latvia. He was working there as well, but above all he was moved by a dream project to realize a movie about the life of Lampedusa. Luckily he was the current prince’s acquaintance. This is how I found myself following them into a journey in the great story of a legendary writer.
Walking in the park I came across those two binding trees, I vaguely remembered something was told about them related to Love. I took a picture. Editing the picture my idea was to asked Gabriele to tell me more. He promptly replied to me saying that there is indeed a Legend of Love that he is revealing in a very special way into the book he wrote last year about the story of Lampedusa. Here follows the text he kindly wrote for me :
In the garden of Stameriena Castle there are two trees hiding a legend. This is special castle, a magnificent piece of art full of history and literature. And the story of the two trees is a true Legend of Love.
That was the castle of Alexandra Tomasi di Lampedusa, the wife of one of the best Italian writer of XX century. That writer was a Sicilian prince, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. He wrote the Leopard, sold in millions of copies around the world. Subject of a famous movie of the 60s with Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale and Alain Delon.
Two exceptional people, Alexandra e Giuseppe, two lives often separated. But always united in a long love story among the tragedies of the XX century.
This Legend of Love can be discovered in a novel. The book is “Appunti di una giovane anima. Alexandra Tomasi di Lampedusa”, in Italian. That might sound as “A Young Soul’s Notebook. Alexandra Tomasi of Lampedusa”.
The book I published is a novel, a historical novel actually. It is the first time I publish a novel instead of a technical essay. However, it contains somehow my personal experience on traveling around Europe as an economist, for so many years. And, especially, my experience in knowing Latvia and, I want to say, the soul of Latvia.
The broader subject of the book is the History of Europe for the first 50 years of 20th century (1904-1954), narrated through the adventurous love story of Italian (Sicilian) writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (author of “The Leopard”) and his wife, Alexandra Tomasi di Lampedusa (born Alexandra Wolff von Stomersee). She was of German Baltic origin, one of the first psychoanalysts (student of Sigmund Freud), and pioneer of psychoanalysis in Italy and Sicily.
The “storyteller” is a “young soul”, whose real identity is revealed only at the end of the book… That is why the title of the book, could translate into English as “A Young Soul’s Notebook. Alexandra Tomasi of Lampedusa”. It is a clear reference and homage to Mikhail Bulgakov.
In fact, this love story is, in my view, a great way to talk about the value of peace in Europe. An important issue today, I think. I wrote the book mainly in 2009: I can say, now, predicting the current situation of nowadays’ Europe.
And, within the general historical framework, those two trees and a Legend of Love…