-Guiseppe di Lampedusa, The Leopard
Friday, October 23, 2009
It was a garden for the blind: a constant offense to the eyes, a pleasure strong if somewhat crude to the nose. The Paul Neyron roses, whose cuttings he had himself bought in Paris, had degenerated; first stimulated and then enfeebled by the strong if languid pull of Sicilian earth, burned by apocalyptic Julys, they had changed into things like flesh-colored cabbages, obscene and distilling a dense, almost indecent, scent which no French horticulturalist would have dared hope for. The Prince put one under his nose and seemed to be sniffing the thigh of a dancer from the Opera.