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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Want to Read saving…. Here Malaparte seems to link his thoughts back to an earlier malapadte concerning the nature of fighting not for a cause but for simple and immediate survival. I can see why you would say that, but Malaparte presents his work as non-fiction.

Or very tender scenes, like the story of his friendship with the American army officer Jack or his recounting of the death of his beloved dog Febo. Then they became silent, and looked at me with embarrassed expressions. He was freed on the personal intervention skiin Mussolini’s son-in-law and heir apparent Galeazzo Ciano.

The Skin is full of memorable lines, and memorable scenes, and is worth reading for those things alone. A circus of horrors, The Skin might be seen as a celebration of the decrepitude its author witnesses, were one not to catch the overwhelming desire for justice that Malaparte as an author craves.

I was also repulsed at his broad homophobic statements at various parts of the book. Pages with related products. The smell of death is everywhere. Published December 31st by Marlboro Press first published Although raised poor, the author ascended to the heights of world culture and earned equal parts enmity and support from the European intelligentsia and aristocracy along the way.

I don’t know quite how to describe this one, so I’m going to go with some main points. Lists with This Book. And I also felt that I was a really good fellow. Not for everyone “It is a shameful thing to win a war. He was kicked out of the party for his free thinking and for lambasting both Hitler and Mussolini in various publications and exiled on an island for five years; subsequently he was arrested and imprisoned multiple times. 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’s cynical, tragic,and horrifying, a deeply uncomfortable and emotive read at times.

She is a twelve year old girl lying spreadeagled on a mattress in a hovel. Yes, read it for that reason. And it’s a novel drenched in symbolism and satire which more than bites, it devours.

Everything is made of human skin. Degradante, perverso, disturbante, cinico, rivoltante Recommended for mature readers with a grasp of 20th century history. Ships from and sold by Amazon.

Read reviews that mention american soldier world war malaparte naples allies italian kaputt italy europe soldiers moral wwii dark degradation desperate fascist liberation become defeated experiences.

It’s grotesque sikn at times surreal, but even when it’s surreal it gives the appearance of being real, because that’s war – so awful you can’t really believe it. 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”.

The Skin, by Curzio Malaparte 13 56 Dec 07, Thank you for your feedback. Hitler blamed communism on the Jews; Malaparte blames it on homosexuals.

books, yo.

I think The Skin one of the finest novels I’ve read in several months. I must mention a final element which caused me much thought in light of current events: Both authors skewer America. He is said to have been banished to the island of Lipari for insulting Mussolini and once published a tract questioning Hitler’s manhood. He had the naivety, the artlessness and the moral transparency that make American gentlemen so lovable and so humam He was not a cultivated man, he did not possess that humanistic culture which gives such a noble and poetic tone to the manners of European gentlemen, but he was a “man,” he had that human quality which European men lack: Veterans of the disbanded Italian army beg for work.

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The first interesting aspect of this book is that it perhaps shows how fascism in Italy was of a different hue to fascism in Germany. We had to defend life—our true country, life—even against them—the dead.


Is there nothing beyond naked animal existence? Malaparte’s story sskin still shocking to read today, so I cannot even imagine what an impact it must have had just after the end of the war ‘The Skin’ must have been considered malaaparte very scandalous book in when it was published.

I must mention a final element which caused me much thought in light of current events: Encouraged by modern civilization to see their skins as more important than their souls, all the participants have fought to save them, to prevent their being, as in a couple of unforgettable setpieces, flown proudly from a flagpole representing both liberation and slavery and from also being dragged limply behind toward the communal grave we’ll all share.

That said, it’s amazing. Nothing romantic about this novel, the reader isn’t malapartr with any illusions about the horror of war. Burns was an upper middle class American idealist, so his primary reactions to what he saw in North Africa and Italy were outrage, disgust and disillusionment. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. I like to take note of these reading serendipities which often happen to me.