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Friday, 10 February 2012

BOOKS: Malaparte

I have read Malaparte’s ‘La Pelle’ [The Skin] in the language it was written – very good for my Italian!  A Fascist, a writer and a journalist, later a Communist, Malaparte built [with the architect Adalberto Libera] Casa Malaparte on the island of Capri – a modernist icon perched on sheer rock with spectacular views.

One of the best books about war is ‘Naples ’44’ by Norman Lewis, an English writer who lived on Capri and was very much influenced by ‘La Pelle’.

Malaparte also wrote Kaput’ which was put on the Vatican’s list of prohibited books – about WWII and pre-war Rome.  He tells how the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Anthony Eden, on visit to the city for talks with Mussolini, caused a sensation in Roman Society after being seen in the Vatican museum sitting on a sarcophagus reading ‘Horace’.    

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POETRY: Osip Mandelstam