Curzio Malaparte, trans. from the Italian by David Moore. New York Review Books, $ trade paper (p) ISBN Curzio Malaparte () To win a war – everyone can do that, but not everyone is capable of losing one. I first read La pelle (The Skin, available in English translation) decades ago and was deeply affected by its merciless depiction of the misery.

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It is the fate of Europe to become Naples. Among modernist writers, Malaparte is one of the more obscure but also one of the very best of his generation. 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. Then they became silent, and looked at me with embarrassed expressions.

That it elicits humour does not diminish its horror, nor its serious intent, but amplifies it. One finds accounts of the author’s sense of humor in his real life; Malaparte was once banished to the island of Lipari, for example, for his criticism of Mussolini’s neckties.

I consider that the most honest system of rating a book, because your next meal depends upon it. I hate the word malapaete. It’s a warning that should be heeded. Malaparte savagely skewers the sacred sense of what it means to be the Tye liberators of Italy.

That said, the premise of The Skin appeals to me, too. Stylistically he approaches poetry, even in translation. Yet other elements are brought together in this agonizing masterpiece. It dwarfs Henry Miller, whom I think would readily acknowledge this fact.

This was another amazing work from Malaparte, but I enjoyed it less than Kaputt. Not for everyone “It is a shameful thing to win a war. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Facebook account.


Josef Skvorecky’s Nalaparte of Human Souls is one such book; Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughter House 5 is another; Joseph Hellers, Catch 22 is yet another satirical gem, but none of them are so confusing, so utterly unclassifiable, so perverse, and yet so honest and cutting. Napoli negli ultimi giorni dell’occupazione nazista vissuti in prima persona dall’autore.


Yeah, it has long been a bugbear of mine, that failure to acknowledge that just because a country sees itself as a hero, and its actions are right or noble, it does not mean that the people on the other side have to see you that way. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Here Malaparte seems to link his thoughts back to an earlier passage concerning the nature of fighting not for a cause but for simple and immediate survival.

books, yo.

He wrote articles about the front in Ukrania, but the fascist dictatorship of Mussollini censored it. Ships from and sold by Amazon. If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? I have to say there was an appalling political ignorance from all sides during WW2 towards the poor people of Naples, and the disbanded Italian army were looked at like the scum of the earth, Malaparte’s attitude towards his own mqlaparte is as complicated and contradictory as his views on the Americans.

But what does the soul count for now?

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He was kicked out of the party for his free thinking and for lamb Curzio Malaparte To win a war – everyone can do that, but not everyone is capable of losing one.

View all 9 comments. His tour guide demands lira payment before he will throw a rope to Arthur. Not for everyone though — it’s mlaaparte meant to be liked; it’s meant to be understood.

They are darkness visible. However, if you are fighting simply to stay alive, i. I am deeply sus Although I am new to Goodreads, and have posted very little, I have read thousands of books, and once had to sell my book collection in reverse order of preference in order to eat.

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He describes Neapolitans, both high and low, as a race unto its own — a race of “paga-tholics,” or “catho-gans. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. It’s a novel that packs an emotional wallop. It’s controversial, it’s distasteful, degrading and obscene, but then isn’t that war?.

I want to expand upon this review, but I am going to begin by saying no other book I can think of even approaches 4 stars let alone 5, in comparison to Curzio Malaparte’s “The Skin”.

Curzio Malaparte could only be described as a literary chameleon. All of Europe is a conflagration of brutality which settles uneasily into a plague of peace and occupation. Buy the selected items together This item: I must mention a final element which caused me much thought in light of current events: Yes, read it for that reason. Aug 07, Ubik 2. The man’s tension is incredible. The protagonist, named Curzio Malaparte, observes, “It is a shameful thing to win a war. Malaparte gets to star in his own book, as himself.

It’s also brilliantly written, about human disgust, and the savagery that war inflicts upon a city and it’s inhabitants. But Italy is just a corner of hell.

They involve themselves in some quite bizarre situations, that left me reeling in both horror and almost howls of laughter, because I simply could not believe what I was reading. But, The Skin exposes Hemingway as a fraud. The first interesting aspect of this book thr that it perhaps shows how fascism in Italy was of a different hue to fascism in Germany.

I wish I could be sick too!