In striving to be darkly humorous, this novel, about the invasion of Italy during World War II, finds the darkness repeatedly and the humor almost. I first read La pelle (The Skin, available in English translation) decades ago and was deeply affected by its merciless depiction of the misery. Curzio Malaparte and I have a strained and complicated relationship. The Skin is set in war-ruined Naples, in late , at a time when Allied.

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Whatever the cause for his brilliant personality, Malaparte presents an unending source of joy in reading for those who will seek out his coruscating and often penetrating insights.

Curzio Malaparte

Like all good Americans, he was convinced that America was the leading nation of the world, and that the Americans were the most civilized and the most honourable people on earth; and naturally he despised Europe. Indeed, many people approach The Skin as journalism [which seems ludicrous to me]. View all 4 comments. This must be the real face of living through a war.

Here he stated that “the problem of the conquest and defense of the State is not a political one The former is a semi-fictionalised account of the Eastern Front during the Second World War and the latter is an account focusing on morality in the immediate post-war period of Naples it was placed on the Vatican’s Malapatre Librorum Prohibitorum.

Curzio Malaparte – Wikipedia

Naples has been liberated, or is it conquered? As a surveyor of the ruins of the world he walks through, there is no deeper meaning malaparhe the sin of the poor, merely competing ideologies determining their fates—Fascism, Communism, National Socialism, Capitalism—which leave little room for common ground. In a wider sense, Malaparte suggests, the struggle of the people of Naples in the ruins of the war is a reflection of humanity’s struggle for a sense of self against the meaningless darkness of history.

One’s skin is the only thing that counts. He taught a hard lesson that a revolution can wear itself out in strategy. In an essay on his other well-known book, KaputtDan Hofstader calls Malaparte “an intellectual harlequin and consummate arriviste. Indeed, the relationship between language and violence during wartime is perhaps the most relevant subject matter for malaparre in our time.

If the Gods connived and double crossed one another over the fate of Troy, Mussolini, Hitler and lastly the Americans took a no lees lively interest in Naples. As a journalistic account, Malaparte’s two-dimensional portrait of male homosexuals in post-war Naples seems to have more to do with a strange and unsettling prejudice than any attempt at empathetically understanding the ,alaparte and feelings of others, and the moral sense with which the narrative is infused elsewhere is remarkably lacking in these long and tedious passages.


It’s cynical, tragic,and horrifying, a deeply uncomfortable and emotive read at times. He has enlarged the art of inventive fiction in more surreal and perverse ways than I ever could have imagined.

Amidst a city in the grips of “the plague”, an abominable infestation dkin moral degeneration, which arrived alongside “the loveliest, the kindest, the most respectable army in the world In the collection of writings Mamma marciapublished posthumously inMalaparte writes about the youth of the post-World War II era with homophobic tones, describing it as effeminate and tending to homosexuality and communism; [14] the same content is expressed in the chapters “The pink meat” and “Children of Adam” of The Skin.

Women and children are for sale and there is but one virgin left in Naples—a young girl whose family offers her for display to American servicemen. I feel that this book has a unique voice in WW-II literature.

To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: It’s grotesque and at times surreal, but even when it’s wkin it gives the appearance of being real, because that’s war – so awful you can’t really believe it. The author, too, seems to take great joy in undercutting the political arguments of others, looking deeper for meaning within human nature, particularly in a scene in which he drives a group of Marxists to profound heights of irritation by suggesting that Shostakovich was a bourgeois composer.

It is ridiculous arrogance to believe that thinking oneself right and just etc actually makes it so.

Malaparte’s account is marked by lyrical observations, as when he encounters a detachment of Wehrmacht soldiers fleeing a Ukrainian battlefield. And along with all this, Malaparte ksin incorporates allusions to wide swaths of English, American and Greco-Roman literature. Cannavale gave me a strange look. One exchange in the book proceeds as such:. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.

Naples Italy Rome Italy. Kaputthis novelistic account of the war, surreptitiously written, presents the conflict from the point of view of those doomed to lose thw. Troubled by this the General at least offers money for a decent burial. At the same time, there are unforgettable images here: Afterwards when everyone is eating stew at a field camp Malaparte looks distressed but remains silent.


He is a lap dog, sucking up to the Americans, to him they are Gods, while he thinks of himself as nothing more than a ‘filthy rotten Italian’. If you are engaged in a war, in an effort to avoid being killed, then, he states, qualities such as honour and justice and nobility and so on are possible, even likely.

Cultura gay in Italian. His polemical war novel-essay, Viva Caporetto! Catch and The Skin tell the story of the same part of WWII from opposite sides American and Italo-Fascist and I would have to admit that despite its horrors, Catch while being as condemning on war, ignorance, and rape as The Skin, was certainly funnier if less horrifying. Yet other elements are brought together in this agonizing malaparrte.

I felt a coward and a hero, a ‘bastard’ and ‘charming’, a friend and an enemy, victorious and vanquished.

books, yo.

His most important novels, Kaputt and La pellewere both set in the war, the former on the Eastern Front and the latter during the invasion and occupation of Italy by the Allies. In one particularly moving passage that echoes the title of the wider work, Malaparte writes. It is so appropriate in that we have only our own skin to live in.

In considering the corollaries to Malaparte’s descriptions to the present time, the reader should recall the brutal photographs that came out of the Spanish Civil War that were almost identical to Goya’s sketches of the Peninsular War over a century before: Yet, there are some shocking stories that feel like scenes from a Jheronimus Bosch painting, as they are so dark and archaic that you have trouble taking in the real picture of what he is relating. There is a frolicsome banter used in the dialogue, and lots of joking around, yet death is everywhere, in the air, the sea, and on the ground right in front of them.

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