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Curzio Malaparte

Curzio Malaparte (pseudonym of Kurt Erich Suckert, 1898–1957) was born in Prato, Italy, and served in World War I. An early supporter of the Italian fascist movement and a prolific journalist, Malaparte soon established himself as an outspoken public figure. In 1931 he incurred Mussolini’s displeasure by publishing a how-to manual entitled Coup d’État: The Technique of Revolution, which led to his arrest and a brief term in prison. During World War II Malaparte worked as a correspondent, for much of the time on the eastern front, and this experience provided the basis for his two most famous books, Kaputt (1944) and The Skin (1949). His political sympathies veered to the left after the war. He continued to write, while also involving himself in the theater and the cinema.

Diary of a Foreigner in Paris

December 19. Last night I had the same dream I’ve had every so often for years. My mother enters my room at night and says to me in a hoarse voice, “Stop working, you’re tired. Go to sleep.” I look at her. She’s pale, and smiles. Then she gets up and withdraws, leaving her white hand behind on my desk. I get up and take the heavy, dead hand, open the window, and throw it out.

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The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2020

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