Books: Man with a Hump

LEOPARDI: A STUDY IN SOLITUDE (305 pp.)—Iris Origo—British Book Centre ($4.50).

If the gods gave an Oscar to the mortal who had been most miserable during his earthly course, Italy's Poet Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837) would be seen to have left Cassandra and Schopenhauer at the post and won in a somber canto. History is full of tragic artists, but Leopardi differs from such as Mozart and Keats in that where they were struck by tragedy while in pursuit of happiness, Leopardi was so consistently unhappy that he positively winced when he was struck...

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