|The Volcano Lover
gepubliceerd door: Jonathan Cape
verworven via: Abebooks
Susan Sontag died on December 28th, 2004. She will be remembered as one of the most intelligent of contemporary intellectuals and especially for her courage to state sometimes unpalatable truths.
Naples, 1772. The second city of Europe, gorgeous, turbulent, and presided over by its renowned volcano, Vesuvius, constantly threatening eruptions that simultaneously fascinate and terrify.
An English nobleman, the British ambassador to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, returns to his adoptive city with his wife. The Cavaliere, as he is known to all, is a collector of antiquities, of art, of people, with a connoisseur’s avid but dispassionate temperament. Then his wife dies, and the Cavaliere knows deep feeling for the first time. And when his nephew’s former mistress comes into his life, he is swept away by overwhelming passion. Ravishingly beautiful and supremely intelligent, though uneducated, the young becomes, under her mentor’s loving eye, a remarkable citizen of the world and, to his family’s consternation, his wife. A favourite of the Neapolitan queen, who is the sister of Marie Antoinette, she is the love of her husband’s life. But it is not until the young British admiral, the greatest hero of the time, arrives in Naples that the Cavaliere’s wife knows a correspondingly powerful emotion. Based on the lives of Sir William Hamilton, his celebrated wife, Emma, and Lord Nelson, and peopled with many of the great figures of the day, "The Volcano Lover" is about revolution, the fate of nature, the condition of women, operatic emotions and stories from Don Giovanni to Tosca, art and the collector’s obsessions, and, above all, love.
→ Susan Sontag