Curzio Malaparte


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Malaparte, Curzio

 

(pseudonym of Curzio Suckert). Born June 9, 1898, in Prato, Tuscany; died July 19, 1957, in Rome. Italian writer and journalist.

In the 1920’s, Malaparte became a fascist, proclaiming fascism the “restorer of European civilization” (the publicistic books Living Europe, 1923, and Barbarian Italy, 1925). After the late 1920’s, notes of criticism and satire directed at fascist ideology appear in his writing. His publicistic book Coup d’etat, the Technique of Revolution (1931, in French), a satire on Hitlerite putschism, was burned in Germany in 1933; in that same year, Malaparte was arrested for antifascist activities abroad, but he later resumed his journalistic work under police surveillance.

World War II had a crucial effect on Malaparte’s views. In his best work, the novel Kaputt (1944), he exposed in a bitingly satirical manner the Nazi “superman” and portrayed the barbarity of the fascists and the courage of Soviet soldiers. In the postwar period, Malaparte gradually aligned himself with the progressive camp of Italian culture. His publicistic diary (In Russia and in China, published 1958) reflects the change in his ideological views. Not long before his death, Malaparte joined the Italian Communist Party.

WORKS

La Pelle. Florence, 1949.
Maledetti Toscani. [Florence, 1957.]

REFERENCES

Breza, T. Bronzovye vrata: Rimskii dnevnik. Moscow, 1964. (Translated from Polish.)
Grana, G. Curzio Malaparte. Milan [1961]. (With bibliography.)
Rago, M. “II libro postumo di Malaparte.” Unita, Aug. 31, 1958, no. 241.

Z. M. POTAPOVA

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Curzio Malaparte wrote that Chinese women, regardless of their less evident sex characteristics, have superior body structures to Italian women, basing this judgment on athleticism and physical strength, rather than on its supposed aesthetic value or sexual attraction (1959, 220).
Part I ("An Old Chaos") is, after all, an inventory of the cruel failure of progressivist prophecy--European colonialism as portrayed by Joseph Conrad, Norman Lewis's and Curzio Malaparte's accounts of wartime Naples, Soviet Communism as depicted by Arthur Koestler and George Orwell, Joseph Roth's account of the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy and the subsequent rise of nationalism, Sebastian Haffner's memoir of the rise of Nazism, Adam Fergusson's description of hyper-inflation in Weimar Germany, and so on.
Nel 1926, lo stesso anno in cui Amalia a Torino fonda Le Seduzioni, Bontempelli esordisce con la rivista internazionale "900," Cahiers d'Italie et d'Europe con la collaborazione di Curzio Malaparte. La rivista, pubblicata in francese fino al 1927, era dedicata a tutti gli intellettuali europei; lo scopo di "900" voleva essere piuttosto ampio e si dimostro il trampolino di lancio per il suo "realismo magico," una poetica innovatrice alla ricerca di nuovi miti:
FW: Jorge Luis Borges, for how he molds exactness into language; Ryszard Kapuscinski, for his ability to give specific incidents a universal glow; and Curzio Malaparte, for his superb style.
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