The Leopard and the Mermaid

Cat and fish

I recently finished Lampedusa’s The Leopard, a book I’ve been meaning to read for years. My edition comes with some bonus features at the end, one of which is a short story titled “The Siren.”

I was struck by how much “The Siren” seemed (in plot and theme, not in style) like a mashup of two stories by H. G. Wells, The Sea-Lady (about which I’ve previously blogged) and “The Door in the Wall.” I suspect the similarity is not a coincidence – because Lampedusa explicitly has his narrator note with surprise the main character’s bookshelf of H. G. Wells works.

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