(PDF/EBOOK) [La pelle] Ï Curzio Malaparte
Cartesian Questions: Method and Metaphysics eIth aplomb Not forveryone though it s not meant to be liked it s meant to be understoodHighlights A dinner party with a special kind of seafood as the centrepiece of the vening it really is a metaphor for the whole book A volcanic ruption An inside look at the Famous Casa Malaparte Curzio Malaparte s unusual residence the Capri location of Godard s famous movie ContemptLe M prisHere are a few nuggets to convince youview spoiler General Cork was a real gentleman a real American gentleman I mean 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 uality which European men lack he knew how to blush He had a most refined sense of decorum and a precise and virile awareness of his own limitations 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 arth and naturally he despised Europe But he did not despise the conuered peoples merely because they were conuered peoplesOnce I had recited to him that verse from the Agamemnon of Aeschylus which runs If conuerors respect the temples and the Gods of the conuered they shall be saved and he had looked at me for a moment in silence Then he had asked me which Gods the Americans would have to respect in Europe if they were to be savedOur hunger our misery and our humiliation I had replied When Naples was one of the most illustrious capitals in Europe one of the greatest cities in the world it contained a bit of verything It contained a bit of London a bit of Paris a bit of Madrid a bit of Vienna it was a microcosm of Europe Now that it is in its decline nothing is left in it but Naples What do you xpect to find in London Paris Vienna You will find Naples It is the fate of Europe to become Naples If you stay in Europe for a bit you will become Neapolitans yourselvesGood Gosh xclaimed General Cork turning paleEurope is a bastard continent said Colonel BrandThe thing I don t understand said Colonel Eliot is what we have come to Europe to do Did you really need our help to drive out the Germans Why didn t you drive them out by yourselvesWhy should we put ourselves to so much trouble I said when you ask nothing better than to come to Europe to fight on our behalfWhat What cried all the guests in unisonAnd if you go on at this rate I said you ll The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order, 1930-1980 end up by becoming the mercenaries of EuropeMercenaries are paid said Mrs Flat severely How will you pay usWe shall offer you our women in payment I answeredThey all laughed Then they became silent and looked at me withmbarrassed Confession expressionsYou re a cynic said Mrs Flat an impudent cynic Those dead men would have been nothing but putrid flesh had there not been among them someone who had sacrificed himself for the others in order to save the world in order that all innocent and guilty victors and vanuished who had survived those years of blood and sorrow should not have cause to feel ashamed of being men Assuredly among those thousands and thousands of dead there lay the body of some Christ What would have become of the world and of us all if among all those dead there had not been one Christ Even you know it isn t true that Christ saved the world once and for all Christ died to teach us thatvery one of us can become Christ that very man can save the world by his own sacrifice Christ too would have died in vain if it were not possible for very man to become Christ and to save the world hide spoiler The Skin must have been considered a very scandalous book in 1947 when it was published Its tragicomic account of the invasion of Naples in 1943 must have shocked the people who were only just recovering from the horrors of war I would imagine that they were This brutal beautifully written novel about the arrival of American troops in Naples in 1943 and their two year occupation is sad but also deeply darkly comical Malaparte novelizing his real life war xperiences seemed to be sliding back and forth between an ironical tone and an almost innocent sincerity It s grotesue and at times surreal but ven when it s surreal it gives the appearance of being real because that s war so awful you can t really believe itMy favorite chapter featured a fancy dinner where the Allied commanders and guests are served Spam with corn which horrifies Malaparte and a giant fish from the Naples auarium fishing in the Gulf of Naples is forbidden because of mines which to Curators of the Buddha everyone s astonishment and horror looks like a young girl Apparently a manatee from the auarium was served at a fancy dinner according to Naples 44 A World War II Diary of Occupied ItalyCompletely coincidentally I happened to be reading the pianist Arthur Rubinstein s first memoir My Young Years as I was reading The Skin There s a passage in it where Arthur goes to Naples as a tourist while in Italy for a concert prior to World War I Malaparte s descriptions ofrupting Mount Vesuvius and the sex trade in Neapolitan children were at the forefront of my mind as Rubinstein described riding a donkey to the
top of Vesuvius with a conniving tour guide who ncourages him to dismount whereupon he of Vesuvius with a conniving tour guide who ncourages him to dismount whereupon he knee deep into the soft volcanic ash and can t get out His tour guide demands lira payment before he will throw a rope to Arthur Then later as Arthur is taking another tour through the city in a horse driven carriage his tour guide a different one points to a house and urges Look Thinking this was the house of someone famous Arthur gets out for a closer look whereupon a mother thrusts her very underage child at Arthur and forces his hand onto the child s small breastsI like to take note of these reading serendipities which often happen to me Curzio Malaparte 1898 1957 To win a war Cezanne a Study of His Development everyone can do that but notveryone is capable of losing one Curzio Malaparte Curzio Malaparte born Kurt Suckert to a German father and Italian mother was a journalist and novelist who was a member of the Italian fascist party and took part in Mussolini s march on Rome in 1922 I don t know why he was initially a fascist but he was too much of a free thinker to be one for long He was kicked out of the party for his free thinking and for lambasting both Hitler and Mussolini in various publications and You Owe Me One exiled on an island for five years subseuently he was arrested and imprisoned multiple times In between incarcerations he was anditor of a literary journal and of La Stampa for a time During the Second World War he was a war correspondent for the Corriere della Sera His most important novels Kaputt 1944 and La pelle 1949 were both set in the war the former on the Eastern Front And The Latter Front and the latter the invasion and occupation of Italy by the Allies I first read La pelle The Skin available in English translation decades ago and was deeply affected by its merciless depiction of the misery and degradation of both the Italians and the occupying forces After finishing John Horne Burns outstanding satirical promenade through occupied North Africa and Naples The Gallery in which the same misery and degradation are among the primary focuses I thought it was a good time to revisit La pelle to see these portrayals of
The Same Circumstances One From same circumstances one from Italian and one from an American side by side Though Burns added touches of bitter humor to his portrait for Malaparte it is a dominant color right from the outset where the first person narrator a captain in the newly formed Italian Liberation Corps garbed in the recycled uniforms of British soldiers killed in North Africa and Sicily is introduced to his company of former POWs Be perché; i bambini seminudi Democratic Art: The New Deal's Influence on American Culture e pieni di terrore che megere dal viso incrostato di belletto vendono ai soldati marocchini dimentiche del fatto che a Napoli i bambini sono la sola cosa sacra La peste – è uesta l’indicibile verità – è nella mano pietosa fraterna dei liberatori nella loro incapacità di scorgere le forze misteriose Obsession: An Erotic Tale e oscure che a Napoli governano gli uomini i fatti della vita nella loro convinzione che un popolo vinto non possa che ssere un popolo di colpevoli Null’altro rimane allora se non la lotta per salvare la pelle non l’anima come un tempo o l’onore la libertà la giustizia ma la «schi. .
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 at I consider that the most honest system of rating a book because your next meal depends upon it I want to Convents and the Body Politic in Late Renaissance Venice expand upon this review but I am going to begin by saying no other book I can think ofven approaches 4 stars let alone 5 in comparison to Curzio Malaparte s The Skin I hate the word genius I am deeply suspicious of facebook of Goodreads and of networks of any sort But The Skin Edicts of Asoka exposes Hemingway as a fraud It dwarfs Henry Miller whom I think would readily acknowledge this fact Only Cendrars a pal and C line could hold a candle to this teller of this Boccaccio like description ofnd of WWII Naples I am Upgrade Soul even reluctant to recommend it because I would like to hide this book from the world and keep it for myself Curzio Malaparte stands alone and has immortalized Naples I bow to him as a human being to his humanity and genius and incredible humour and love Bravo I don t know uite how to describe this one so I m going to go with some main points a It casts a new light on the lives of liberated peoplesb It s probably the only really horrifiying war book I vever readc Somehow abc It makes other authors who talk about war including Vonegut seem like little children reminicing about how much fun war is That said it s amazing I had some trouble adjusting to the characters and the tone of the book but as soon as I hit the fire bombing of Hamburg and realized all the strange things he was up to it was gold Prefaced by a dedication to the honorable American soldiers who were my comrades in arms and who died in vain in the cause of European freedom Curzio Malaparte imparts a warning before The Skin opens It s a warning that should be heededNaples has been liberated or is it conuered Amidst a city in the grips of the plague an abominable infestation of moral degeneration which arrived alongside the loveliest the kindest the most respectable army in the world born like Venus of the sea foam containing not a soldier who had a boil a decayed tooth ven a pimple on his face Curzio Malaparte acts as liaison interpreter and guide to Colonel Jack Hamilton a sophisticated classically ducated American as they Elizabeth I: Translations, 1544-1589 explore the devastated city of bombed out NaplesIn the banlieu de Paris aka Europe the people are hungry and nowhere so than in Naples A black market has sprung up withverything for sale and in which blond pubic wigs are sold to cater for the tastes of Negro soldiers 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 Nothing is as it seems and Dolphin Confidential: Confessions of a Field Biologist everything is twisted an appalling and at the same time a delicatexuisite unreal sceneThat Europe is at a crossroads Malaparte feels acutelyI was Europe I was the history of Europe the civilization of Europe the poetry the art all the glories and all the mysteries of Europe And simultaneously I felt that I had been oppressed destroyed shot invaded and liberated I felt a coward and a hero a bastard and charming a friend and an nemy victorious and vanuished And I also felt that I was a really good fellowBut it is a crossroads with perversions at very turn Blackshirts I cried Our American allies have at last landed in Italy to help us fight our German allies The sacred torch of Fascism is not spent It is to our American allies that I have ntrusted the sacred torch of FascismBoth actor and backdrop the war informs the many conversations and musings that nsue In a sad Imaginary Runner even anguished and utterly ironic tone we are led from one ridiculous and grotesuely comic vignette to another When asked about the difference between American s and Europeans he states with a ridiculous air of superciliousness The difference is this that the Americans buy theirnemies and we sell ours only to receive as though drunk the From Cottage to Bungalow: Houses and the Working Class in Metropolitan Chicago, 1869-1929 eually ridiculous reply I have a suspicion said Major Morris that the peoples of Europe have already begun to sell us so as to getven with us for having bought them It took me a moment of further reading to realise that buried in these seemingly nonsensical statements there is a perverse logic Everything is for sale Fresh Water even hungerThat the hyper fertile hinterland of Naples would in the post warra provide almost a third of all agricultural produce in Italy and that the Italians would provide the world with so many wonderful dishes only makes it appropriate that some of the amusing and richly imagined parts would revolve around food Eerie parallels with real French Daguerreotypes events sees a girl shaped fish named The Siren taken from the local auarium to be served to American officers only to invoke the disgust of a rather prudish guest whilst the Italian waiters serve up Spam with hilarious contempt People that have an ancient and noble tradition of servitude and hunger respect only those masters who have refined tastes and lordly manners There is nothing humiliating to annslaved people than a master with uncouth manners and coarse tastesWith apparent From Notes to Narrative: Writing Ethnographies That Everyone Can Read ease Malaparte offers contradiction after contradiction Virtually impossible to decipher there are noasy answers or views to be taken He lambasts cowardice and heroes alike He often appears scathing The young of Europe are on their way to being pederasts They always choose the asiest form of revolt degradation moral indifference narcissism Italy is simultaneously both saved and shamed Italian policy is based on the moral indifference narcissism Italy is simultaneously both saved and shamed Italian policy is based on the principle that there is always someone lse who loses wars on Italy s behalf Of the wise and the prudent the false resisters the blas defenders of freedom the heroes of tomorrow lay hidden pale and trembling in the cellars Even the dead receive his withering Doris Salcedo eye They had invaded Italy France all of Europe We had to defend life our true country lifeven against them the dead No one is spared And yet there is such humanity Twelve Days of Pleasure evident when he pleads with some frightened and inexperienced Americans to not move a wounded man for he is dying or when he goes searching for his dog Bebo only to find him in the university hospitalnduring suffering in silence one of the most touching and grotesue moments in a novel where such vents are not in short supplyThere are other novels that touch on war with caustic humour Josef Skvorecky s Engineer 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 Meandering between cynicism and innocence laughter and sadness Malaparte appears to be in mourning I felt like I was at a wake laughing along at the jokes marveling at the humour and the wisdom but still aware that there is a grieving widow in the room That scenes of life and death can prove so touching and yet so comic marks the genius in this work That it licits humour does not diminish its horror nor its serious intent but amplifies it That it should prove prophetic confounds the senses for it is a surreal piece that should be read and read widely for it drives home thoughts that we rarely consider such as It is a shameful thing to win a war I recommend this book but with one reservation Read it with an open mind It is not gentle It is a shameful thing to win a warI kept thinking of Ira throughout this read the whole idea of liberating a country a people of the conuerors and the conueredMalaparte s relentlessly sardonic highly original narrative pits the European sensibility versus the American one takes it to a point where Henry James polite prose dared not ventureTragic yet comic surreal yet real cynical yet idealistic Malaparte performs the tightrope act Una
peste dilaga a Napoli giorno in cui nell’ottobre del 1943 gli Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter's Eye eserciti alleati vi sonontrati come liberatori una peste che corrompe non il corpo ma l’anima spingendo le donne a vendersi Grand Illusion: The Third Reich, the Paris Exposition, and the Cultural Seduction of France e gli uomini a calpestare il rispetto di sé Trasformata in un inferno di abiezione la città offre visioni di un osceno straziante orrore la ragazza che in un tugurio aprendo «lentamente la rosea nera tenaglia delle gambe» lascia che i soldati per un dollaro verifichino la sua verginità; le «parrucche» bionde o ruggine o tizianesche di cui donne con i capelli ossigenati la pelle bianca di cipria si coprono il pu. Hose pale inexpressive faces and uniforms on which one could still make out the blood stains and sewn up bullet holes convince him that he is commanding dead men 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 Malaparte was twenty years older he had served with distinction in WW I and xperienced not to mention Italian and thus not uite so laden down with illusions Illusions like the victors are not merely the winners but are chosen of God and are Right whilst those others are not merely defeated but are cast down into the fires and must clamber back out by the grace of our helping hands with the proviso that they accept our True Beliefs and open their markets to our Great Plains: America's Lingering Wild entrepreneurs of course Both authors skewer America Burns tone is satirical or directly accusatory while Malaparte s is bitterly ironic though Malaparte seems to manifest sympathy for the Americans than Burns does And while Burns portrayal of the misery degradation and widespread corruption was graphicnough Malaparte is just merciless In fact I hope he was Hard Bread (Phoenix Poets exaggerating forffect The delicate of spirit should steer well clear of this book But for the strong of stomach La pelle is a powerfully written panorama of mankind in Electromyography for Experimentalists extraordinary circumstances both the good and the horrible savorously spiced with all the idiosyncrasies of that ancient city by the beautiful Golfo di Napoli whose people as Malapertemphasizes have become through centuries of domination by others masters of survival and gaming the system Forgetful of Their Sex: Female Sanctity and Society, ca. 500-1100 every system Yet otherlements are brought together in this agonizing masterpiece The narrator who is called Captain Curzio Malaparte is constantly torn between admirationrespect and distastehate for the victors and for the Italians sympathylove and shamehate He can oscillate from one xtreme to the other within a five minute conversation The man s tension is incredible The author Malaparte also looks closely at the many and varied relationships between victors and the defeated in a manner significantly nuanced and multifold than Hegel s famous analysis of Herrschaft und Knechtschaft And along with all this Malaparte ffortlessly incorporates allusions to wide swaths of English American and Greco Roman literature I must mention a final lement which caused me much thought in light of current vents the Italians were both defeated and liberated but ven the anti fascists were made to taste the defeat on occasion Another pair of oscillating poles that of gratitudejoy and resentmentshame towards the liberatorsconuerors contributes to the shimmering shifting contradictory nature of this remarkable and unclassifiable text In point of fact Burns xcoriated Americans and American culture in The Gallery and returned to Italy permanently after the war to write and drink himself to a very La heredera del mar early death Norman Lewis Naples 44 is occupied with the same set of circumstances but it appears he saw uite a bit less of the misery and degradation than Burns and Malaparte did or at least chose not to write of most of it in such a graphic manner Exaggeration is certainly part of his ironic stance but some of the most horrible passages are provided with detail that does not grace the passages which are clearlyxaggerations Rating This was another amazing work from Malaparte but I njoyed it less than Kaputt At times I really felt he was trying to clear his rotten conscience by playing the good guy At the same time there are unforgettable images here the skin the Siren Vesuvius ruptingbut I found that the nd dragged I did not really get what he was saying with the foetuses at the nd that he had not already said in Kaputt or the previous chapters of The Skin The uestions I ask myself reading this book are does Malaparte really have a conscience or is he faking it I was also repulsed at his broad homophobic statements at various parts of the book The Urania orgy just being the most outrageous of themCatch 22 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 22 while being as condemning on war ignorance and rape as The Skin was certainly funnier if less horrifying The Proustian prose of Malaparte is beautiful to read and I could picture many of the scenes he described rather vividly Both books plus Kaputt make powerful argues that might does not always make right and that war is a living hell that I hope my son will never have to face Although ntirely impossible due to the fact of it being banned in the city had there been a book signing vent held in Naples For La Pelle The for La Pelle The the pen of Kurt Erich SuckertTerribile Peste Dilaga A Napoli
Malapatre would in all stay firmly in Probably this gets the award for the most cynical novel I ve Aramaic Bowl Spells: Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Bowls Volume One ever read Malaparte is a difficult chap to warm to He s racist homophobic and was a fascist in thearly days of Mussolini s rise to power Hitler blamed communism on the Jews Malaparte blames it on homosexuals What saves him as an author is his tremendous wit his hugely impressive Xenophon And His World (Historia Einzelschriften) erudition and his ability to write so damn well 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 In Germany you feel fascism was largely thextorting opportunism of the disenfranchised lower middle class and intellect was something it always sought to purge in Italy fascism began its life as an aesthetic and thus had backing from the intelligentsia Malaparte is like the personification of the deep Geography of the Gaze: Urban and Rural Vision in Early Modern Europe embittering disillusionment that arrived when fascism showed itself to be little than opportunistic thuggery He s a man who has been humiliated by his own beliefs Which is why he is able to write so well about the humiliation of the Italian people when they know the ambivalence of being simultaneously defeated and liberated by the Allies There are shades of Ira here a populace bewildered by the conundrum of liberated or defeated and humiliated The book begins in Naples in 1944 The city has just been liberated but resembles some kind of dystopian nightmare in its moral depravity and surreal breakdown of order You re never uite sure with Malaparte to whatxtent he s Groove: An Aesthetic of Measured Time exaggerating He certainly isn t a reliable reporter He narrates one scene where American soldiers are paying money to see a Neapolitan virgin She is a twelve year old girl lying spreadeagled on a mattress in a hovel Narrates another where an American commander always serves his guests the ubiuitous spam accompanied by anxotic fish from the Naples auarium because due to German mines fishing is banned in the bay of Naples At the banuet Malaparte attends the served fish in uestion looks One Wild Weekend exactly like a girl child Another scene where a man s hand is blown off by a mine but no one can find the hand Afterwards whenveryone is Forgetful of Their Sex eating stew at a field camp Malaparte looks distressed but remains silent When asked what is wrong he informsveryone the man s hand was in his stew and he ate it because he didn t want to put a downer on the convivial mood at the dinner table And this is what Malaparte does so well highlights the horrors of war through a filter of macabre psychedelia His journey through the aftermath of the war is like a relentless acid trip Should also be said that there are as many laugh out loud moments in this book as any I ve read this year Shades of Nabokov in his black humour I Naturally Naughty Wicked Willing especiallynjoyed the banter between the sardonic and cynical Malaparte and the wet behind the F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby ears idealism and gullibility of his American colleagues There s also an absolutely brilliant description of Vesuviusrupting Not an Walled (The Line, easy read but decidedly brilliant and original none the less. Fosa pelle» E forse la pietà uella che in uno dei più bei capitoli di uesto insostenibile splendido romanzo – uno dei pochi che negli anni successivi alla guerra abbiano lasciato un solco indelebile nel mondo intero – spinge Consuelo Caracciolo a denudarsi per rivestire del suo abito di raso delle calze degli scarpini di seta la giovane del Pallonetto morta in un bombardamento trasformandola in Principessa delle Fate o in una statua della Madonna Come ha scritto Milan Kundera nella Pelle Malaparte «con le sue parole fa male a se stesso agli altri; chi parla è un uomo che soffre Non uno scrittore impegnato Un poeta?.Curzio Malapatre Would In All