Read Kaputt by Curzio Malaparte Cesare Foligno Dan Hofstadter Online


Curzio Malaparte was a disaffected supporter of Mussolini with a taste for danger and high living. Sent by an Italian paper during World War II to cover the fighting on the Eastern Front, Malaparte secretly wrote this terrifying report from the abyss, which became an international bestseller when it was published after the war. Telling of the siege of Leningrad, of glitterCurzio Malaparte was a disaffected supporter of Mussolini with a taste for danger and high living. Sent by an Italian paper during World War II to cover the fighting on the Eastern Front, Malaparte secretly wrote this terrifying report from the abyss, which became an international bestseller when it was published after the war. Telling of the siege of Leningrad, of glittering dinner parties with Nazi leaders, and of trains disgorging bodies in war-devastated Romania, Malaparte paints a picture of humanity at its most depraved.Kaputt is an insider's dispatch from the world of the enemy that is as hypnotically fascinating as it is disturbing....

Title : Kaputt
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ISBN : 9781590171479
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 437 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Kaputt Reviews

  • StevenGodin
    2019-03-28 15:57

    The manuscript for Malaparte's 'Kaputt' has a tale all of it's own. And I feel it's worth mentioning. It started life in a Ukrainian village in 1941, whilst he stayed with a Russian peasant. He had some unwanted neighbours, a detachment of S.S. men occupied the adjoining house. Whenever a trooper neared whilst Malaparte wrote, his friend, Suchena, gave a warning cough, and by the time Malaparte was called to the Eastern Front his manuscript was hidden in secret hole, in the wall of a pig-sty. Parts of it were also sewn into the lining of his uniform. He returned from Finland with pages hidden in the double soles of his shoes, whilst the rest was divided into three parts, being left in the hands of those he obviously trusted. The Spanish minister in Helsinki, the secretary of the Romanian Legation, and the press attaché who was returning to Bucharest. After a bit of an odyssey, the manuscript finally made it's way back to Italy, before Malaparte hid it close to his Capri home. So whilst reading Kaputt, I fully appreciated the effort put in just to get it out there. It's an important work, that made me gasp, cringe, laugh and almost cry. It was filled with so many brilliant sentences that were not always pleasant, and featured some ridiculously bizarre and funny moments involving those he acquainted with. I don't like the idea of laughing whilst reading a book based on WW2, but I couldn't help it, in places it's damn right hilarious as he pokes fun and winds up, manly the Germans. When Malaparte does get serious though it's emotionally draining stuff, taking in the horrors which he bore witness to. Like him or loathe him (as a supporter of mussolini) the guy could write impeccable well.Kaputt, on the whole is a monstrous and gruesome book, not gruesome in describing the death and carnage of war, but gruesome in that of the people Malaparte spends a lot of his time in the company of. On his travels he would take in, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Romania, croatia, at ease with dignitaries, soldiers and peasants alike, and even lapland, were he runs into Himmler who appears to be melting whilst in a sauna. Among the characters in this book war could be seen as of second importance, most of the time the war doesn't even get mentioned. This could be looked at in a way that serves only as a pretext, but pretexts inevitably belong to the sphere of destiny. In Kaputt, war is destiny. War is not so much a protagonist as a spectator, in the same sense that the landscape is spectating. Kaputt - which literally means 'broken, finished, gone to ruin, torn to pieces' a pile of rubble', is the gay and grotesque monster. For a book surrounded by much controversy, Malaparte opens proceedings in a most serene manner, involving Prince Eugene of Sweden. Sweden was neutral during war, and Malaparte, or his alter ego, is an Italian officer with the anomalous task of writing war dispatches for 'Corriere della Sera', for which the gestapo had him expelled from Ukraine. He spends a lot of Time in freezingly cold climates, and it seems most characters he comes across look about twenty years older than they are, weary, tired, fearful, and already half dead. Apart from the Nazis, who dine in lavish and grandeur surroundings. Malaparte recounts he was in the foyer of the Pohjanhovi hotel in Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, the northernmost province of Finland, and there on the threshold of the elevator cage was a man in a Nazi uniform who looked, Malaparte says, like Stravinsky. He would later realise it was Himmler, who invited him for a drink, he hadn't recognized him, he declined. This seemed a neat allegory of Malaparte's cool - the changes in his politics show how much of an opportunist he was. His shifts demonstrate his indifference to political parties, his fundamentally aesthetic disinterest. There were some moving moments also, one involving some Romania prostitutes at a brothel, some only young girls, who believed they will be set free after a few weeks, but were eventually marched off and shot. Some things remain clear, but a large part of the appeal of Kaputt for me lies with the uncertainty, the ambiguity, of and within many of the scenes. It is a literary work whose aesthetic intention is so strong, so apparent, that the sensitive reader automatically excludes it from the context of accounts brought to bear by historians, journalists, political analysts and memoirists. Malaparte writes with much interest, and World War II was such a monumental event—why dress either one up beyond reality? Part of the answer lies in what Malaparte was trying to achieve, both personally and in his book. In 'dressing up' history, Malaparte has shown what happened in a completely different light. For many, It would be easy to criticize him, his fictional memoirs or gothic fantasies go way over the top at times, turning into the surreal and deranged. This does at times become tedious. And the vast amount of dialogue used whilst banqueting as a guest gets too long-winded, but it's all part of his set up. Malaparte seems to be playing fast and loose with facts in order to delve into the truth. His denunciation of Italy and Germany in Kaputt are firm, how much of that comes from his conviction at the time of his writing the book is uncertain. Underlying his extended tropes of animals for facets or aspects of the war resides a metaphor that civilization in general, and Europe in particular, was committing suicide in the war. After four years spent throughout Europe, a ravaged, tired and empty Malaparte returns to Naples, where only the poor and crippled remain, the city has declared a new war, a war on flies, they are everywhere, devouring the city like a plague, in the stinking rotten heat. All he wants is to get back to his villa on the cliffs of Capri and sleep for a month.After already having read his other major work 'la pelle' (The Skin), I knew what to expect and it didn't disappoint, both are a class apart, and although I preferred 'The Skin', Kaputt was still an exceptional read, with moments I will simply never forget.

  • Michael Finocchiaro
    2019-04-14 14:57

    A tour de force in description that is both grotesque and horrifying, Kaputt brings us a candid view of the war behind the Axis lines from Finland to Naples and from Russia to Poland to Romania to Croatia. No bullets are spared, no scene is too extreme not to portray. Like if Proust was writing The Walking Dead and Catch-22 while drinking with Dostoyevsky and Himmler. That may sound like an absurd comparison, but everything in this book is terrifyingly absurd. Buckets of eyes, lakes of frozen horses, clouds of flies, dogs used as bombs and the careless doomed vaunting of Kultur from the Germans and the looks of doom in the vanquished people they subjugated and murdered. It is a work that reveals the animal nature humans as each chapter is named after an animal that becomes a leitmotif for the ensuing narrative: horses (representing the past?), mice (representing the Jews and other victims of the Holocaust), dogs (representing the resistance), the reindeer (representing the corruption and meltdown of the European order and aristocracy) and the flies (representing death who took its victims indiscriminately from both sides, from civilians as well as soldiers.)Having read this on the heels of Catch-22, I found the writing of Malaparte more exquisite than Heller's albeit with far less humor. Where Heller tries to show Yossarian as being horrified at the war and running from it, Malaparte's character sometimes seeks out the slaughter and has a schizophrenic relationship to the violence which belies the character of the author in real life. A difficult and trying read but an essential view of the horrors we must never repeat, and yet inevitably like the clouds of flies on the golf course near the end, we are doomed by our nature to do so.My apologies for a downer note at the end of the year, but with Trump coming and Marine on the rise, I think that keeping the past in mind, perhaps we will not in fact be doomed to repeat. I guess I would rather side with Yossarian's paranoiac insanity that the coldly observant but unfeeling eyes of Malaparte.

  • Tony
    2019-04-12 12:43

    A word. Read this title to a child. KA-putt. It's okay to show them the title. KAAA-putt. Their attention almost there, I say: Ka-PUUUUUUUTTTT. I say it again and again, inflection shifting, which is not illegal outside Germany. Ka-PUUTT. Ka-PUUUUTTT. KAAAAAAAA-PUUUUUUUUTTTTTT. It's not long before they are saying it with me and we are having a moment. It's a German word I tell them, not caring that they have no clue what a Germany is. It means broken, I tell them, but it can mean more: over, done with, obsolete. History.It was a fun few moments for the pups. But it made me think about the power of a single word, and how there was that single, carnival word to name this book.So I was on alert. Then, far along, I heard this: Trrraaauuurrriiig!"Trrraaauuurrriiig!" General Dietl was shouting in a very loud voice, imitating the horrible hiss of the Stuka, until Air General Mensch screamed, "Boom!" imitating the terrible crash of an exploding bomb. . . . "Trrraaauuurrriiig!" shouted Dietl. "Boom!" howled Mensch. . . .. . ."Halt!" suddenly shouted General Mensch raising a hand. Turning toward de Foxa he asked him rudely, "How do you say traurig in Spanish?""We say triste, I think," replied de Foxa."Let's try with triste," Mensch said."Trrriiisssteee!" shouted General Dietle."Boom!" howled Mensch. Then he raised his hand and said, "No, trieste is no good. Spanish is not a warlike language.""Spanish is a Christian language," said de Foxa. "It is Christ's language.""Ah, Cristo!" shouted General Dietl."Boom!" General Mensch howled. Then he raised a hand, and said,"No, Cristo is no good.""Cristo is not a German word," de Foxa said with a smile.No, I might have added if I was there, but KA-PUUUUUTTTTTT is._________________ ___________________ _________________The author, named Kurt Eric Suckert, was an Italian and loyal to Mussolini, until he wasn't. The exact epiphany may have been conscientious or existential, but is just as likely to have been political and wind-shifting. That cynicism aside, Curzio Malaparte (his pen name) was a stinker enough that he was imprisoned for years at a time, having written some unflattering things about Il Duce. He was banned from being a war correspondent because of those utterances, but then became a soldier and was ordered to be a war correspondent. Yes, I don't know either. This enabled him to dine with Nazi leaders, even take a steambath with Himmler. Unusual access, what they call it. And so, we ask, as we always do when an author intrudes himself into the narrative: what is it? Novel? History? Memoir? Journalism?My sense is that Malaparte understood the evil. And he understood it early. Yet he was no martyr. Those that invaded countries, laughed at killing Jews, lined up outside 'brothels' -- these men did not fear Malaparte.The war turned. And so did Malaparte. What we read here, then, sounded to me like what I wish I would have said. But I won't judge. Because what he would have said was pretty spectacular. But it comes down to words: pliable, elastic words."Before taking a crucial decision, or when he is very weary or depressed, sometimes in the midst of an important meeting," said Frau Brigitte Frank, "he shuts himself up in the cell, sits before the piano and seeks rest or inspiration from Schumann, Brahms, Chopin or Beethoven. Do you know what I call this cell? I call it the Eagle's Nest."I bowed in silence."He is an extraordinary man, isn't he?" she added, gazing at me with a look of proud affection. "He is an artist, a great artist, with a pure and delicious soul. Only such an artist as he can rule over Poland.""Yes," I said, "a great artist, and it is with this piano that he rules the Polish people.""Oh, you understand so well!" said Frau Brigitte Frank in a voice full of emotion.No, I won't judge._________________ _________________________ _______________And a rhetorical question, once: Can you imagine what Madame Bovary would have been like if she were the daughter of Mussolini?_________________ _________________________ _______________Only someone who has been in prison can write this:The sight of the sea moved me and I began to weep. A river, a plain, a mountain, not even a tree or a cloud--nothing has in it the feeling of freedom like the sea. A prisoner in jail stares hour after hour, day after day, month after month, year after year at the walls of his cell. They are always the same white smooth walls, and when he gazes at those walls, at the sea, he cannot imagine it blue; he can only imagine the sea's being white, smooth, bare, without waves, without storms--a squalid sea illuminated by the flat light penetrating through the bars of his window. That is his sea, that is his freedom--a white, smooth bare sea, a squalid and cold freedom._________________ _________________________ _______________And so, perhaps, we should not be so harsh. If a man changes, let him change for the better. And if he amends a conversation, let him do it like this:"See this wall?" said (Governor-General) Frank to me. "Does it look to you like the terrible concrete wall bristling with machine guns that the British and American papers write about?" And he added, smiling, "The wretched Jews all have weak chests. At any rate this wall protects them against the wind." . . ."The atrocious immorality of this wall," I replied, "doesn't lie in the fact that it prevents the Jews from leaving the ghetto but in the fact that it does not prevent them from entering it."______________________ ___________________ ________________This is a book where both Max Schmeling and the Black Madonna of Częstochowa are heroes.

  • Szplug
    2019-04-15 09:43

    I've written two prior reviews of this strange, revolting, macabre, beautiful book: some initial musings about fifty pages into it; a singularly outraged review at the midway point when I was all but ready to pack Malaparte and his sleazy manipulations in; and now this—final—one, in which that previous fire of ire has been reduced to a bed of barely smoldering embers, quenched by Malaparte's less morally reprehensible second half of the book and, frankly, his wizardry with the written word, which goes a long way towards appeasing this reader.Although Malaparte earned a living as a polemical political writer and a journalist, he was also a poet, and he merged these differing styles into the narrative tone of Kaputt; the result is writing that is simply gorgeous, rife with sugarplum similes and meteoric metaphors blossoming throughout a series of eerie, haunting vignettes about everyday life under the suzerainty of total war in such places as Warsaw, Cracow, Romania, the Ukraine, Stockholm, Leningrad, Helsinki, Lapland, and, finally, Italy itself. Even accepting that Malaparte was freely mixing his own subjective experiences as a roving Italian pseudo-Fascist plenipotentiary with a good measure of lurid invention drawn from the febrile-but-fertile bounty of his imagination, much that is contained within just seems wrong. Appalled by Malaparte's self-serving suggestion that the endless suffering of the Jews in the filthy, starved, disease- and death-ridden nightmare of the Warsaw Ghetto was ameliorated by the fact that he smiled at them and sotto voce muttered Excuse me, please whilst wandering aimlessly to drink his fill of their wretched misery—which, mind you, he describes with heartbreakingly stark imagery—I began to suspect that this was but another of the highly implausible events—which painted him in an at least tolerable, at best sympathetic light—of which he wrote about so stunningly and yet, to me, so falsely; and so I skipped forward to the book's excellent afterword by Dan Hofstadter, which confirmed pretty much all of the suspicions that had been building within me.Now, it's not the fictionalization of such chaotic and tumultuous and murderous events as were enacted and carried out across the various theaters of the Second World War that bothers me—I tend to be willing to give the author a great deal of leeway in working out how he wishes to depict his story. Malaparte, however, as I quickly discovered, is a different case: a self-identified Fascist and lifelong opportunist seemingly in it only for the power and the glory, perfectly willing to insincerely spout abusive and violent rhetoric if it helped him achieve as much and, apparently, having had to go back and rewrite the entire first half of Kaputt once he realized that the Germans were going to lose—and thus that those whom he had buffed and polished through encomium now had to be battered and bruised through indictment. That this was the case can actually be discerned by reading Kaputt, as much that is most objectionable about Malaparte's story arises in the first half, when he presumably had to scramble to insert justifications or create rehabilitations for brutal and pitiless acts that he originally had planned to defend or justify—as well as finding a way to make his own disinterested non-involvement seem more heroic or upright than it actually was.Yet I could even deal with that—it was the way in which, even whilst admitting to possessing neither the courage nor the conviction to intervene in the horrors he was (allegedly) experiencing first-hand, he still wrote himself into the script such that, with a few righteous moves here and an outburst of anger there, he wrapped himself with the moral armor of the disapproving, civilized man forced to negotiate his way amidst warring tribes of bloodthirsty barbarians whilst dispensing what little justice he could that really frosted my cookies. It may be entirely true that he hated the Fascists and their violent incompetences and excesses, their giving free reign to all the black demons from the soul's deepest recesses; that he loathed the Nazi apparatchiks and hierarchs and their crude manners and gross appetites; even that, at heart, he was appalled by the systematic decimation of European Jewry; yet, for me, to keep all of this vituperation bottled up inside, to be unleashed only when it was safe to do so—and knowing that there existed a Western audience hungry for such lurid affirmations of their deepest-held suspicions—strikes all of the wrong notes for the tune he is trying to play.Still, the man can write, and this is a lyrical and truly beautiful work of literature, with images that will stay with the reader forever—the regiment of stricken horse's heads in various strained postures spread about the merciless, imprisoning ice of a Lake Ladoga; a purplish steppe thunderstorm serving as the backdrop to a purposefully-crazed pogrom and a hallucinatory parachute drop by Soviet special forces; a train stuffed to bursting with human cattle who, having suffocated to death en route, tumble outwards like timber; a march of the crippled and the malformed through the rubbled streets of Naples. Malaparte has his weaknesses—a tendency towards repetition and revisiting select themes; a belief that within catty gossip he was inscribing subtle truths; an overbearing tendency to (improbably) place himself at the center of events; but, in the end, his fucking luscious pen, his inflamed imagination, his ability to stare at the bounty of death and ruin produced by the Second World War—through Nazi and Fascist and Falangist eyes—and capture its essence in a variety of vignettes that are spread across the Eastern European continent, including such little-visited theaters as Lapland and Moldavia, more than amend for these imperfections. At times, Malaparte also (seemingly) honestly mines his own personality and choices to discover just how he wound up where he did. What's more, he gives the impression of nailing many of the incidental details, the feel of the brutality of a Karelian winter, the colors of the boundless plains of the Ukraine, the sea-mist cityscapes of autumnal Stockholm, and, especially, the malicious banter between the new party-member and older lineage-based aristocracies, feasting and exchanging quips and bon mots and insulating themselves from both what was occurring out in the real world and their guilt for overseeing and orchestrating such ruthless and inhuman severity; Malaparte really wields the stiletto with a flourish in such urbane settings.In the afterword, a plaint of Hofstadter's is that too many of Malaparte's chapters relate naught but anecdotal minutiae—I can entirely see where he is coming from, but cannot share his dissatisfaction with these; this book held me captive, even when disgusted, and fascinated me from start to finish. After writing my irascible review at the midpoint, I was quite prepared to abandon Kaputt, though such actions always prove easier for me to proclaim than to actually carry through with; but this time I meant it. When I got home, I convinced myself I would flip through a mere two or three pages—give him the briefest of chances for redemption—and then move on to better things on those overloaded shelves. Yet after opening to the bookmark, I was plunged into Malaparte's mesmerizing tale of an elevator-riding ghost that haunted the shimmery nocturnal sunlight of Helsinki in the summer—and before I knew it, I was settled comfortably upon the couch and all thoughts of abandonment, well, abandoned. It is true that the second half carries itself less objectionably, can be stomached more readily, than the first, perhaps because the author wisely discarded any further embellishments of his humane relief efforts in the midst of extirpation; this part focuses upon Finland, Germany, and Italy, upon nations wearied and exhausted by the endless demands of total war, upon the dignitaries and military commanders of the Axis nations who effect to support each other with a forced bonhomie and witty banter, heavily fueled by a wide variety of strong alcohol, that cannot conceal the fact that they all, to a man, comprehend that their nations have bitten off far more than they can chew; that everything will, in fact, end very badly indeed. Still, it is hard for the reader to feel any sympathy for them, and least of all for Malaparte himself, even though the final chapters present an elegiac tone to his character, freshly sprung from a nasty prison in Rome, and his shattered native land. At one point, Malaparte upbraids his erstwhile boss—and reliable protector—Count Galeazzo Ciano, Mussolini's son-in-law and a man who has tasted his closing doom, with the admonition You should have done something, risked something! Though he would likely be oblivious of the fact, these are words that cannot help but rebound back into their speaker's face.

  • Jonfaith
    2019-04-12 12:53

    Somewhere in the meaty middle of Jacques Rivette's superb film Va Savoir two characters discuss the proper pronunciation of Curzio Malaparte's name. Apparently one character wasn't sufficiently stressing the Italianate swagger of such.My wife bought me this book per my request. Kaputt is WWII war journalism from various fronts filtered through Malaparte's artistic eye. I found it startling. Herr Vollmann never formerly acknowledged a debt to this work, but it may have slipped his mind. The scenes from The Winter War provide images on par with Goya. The interview with the Ustaše may lean towards propaganda. Certainly the historical record condemns the NDH without these flourishes. I give this my highest recommendation.

  • LeAnne
    2019-04-12 08:06

    In a million years, I would not have picked up this obscure book published in the 40s had it not been listed by David Benioff as a source of information for "City of Thieves." In describing the narration of various novels, people will often use the term "unreliable narrator." Malaparte is THE poster child for that!He may likely have been pro-German before realizing that Hitler's defeat was around the corner (when he rewrote portions of the book to denigrate the Germans), but regardless, he was an Italian war correspondent who traveled throughout Europe. Malaparte wrote this book describing various scenes he happened upon first hand and others he may only have heard about from others. There are horrors and atrocities here that most of us have never heard of. In a surreal chapter, he describes a frozen lake, with a beach full of the carcasses of horses that froze standing upright before they could make it ashore. Im not sure that buoyancy and the laws of physics would support this, but Ive no doubt that the army did try to herd them across the lake to either use as mounts or for meals. As spring time comes, the sun gradually melts the top layer of ice revealing the sparkling upright heads of these equine statues still locked in the lake. Very bizarre. If you are interested in the history of World War II, this is definitely worth the read. The outlandish opulence of German dinner parties and extravagance compared to the slaughter of entire villages of innocents is mind boggling. Malaparte certainly was a sly tiger who changed his political stripes, but his writing was gorgeous.

  • ΣωτήρηςΑδαμαρέτσος
    2019-03-26 09:51

    Δεν ξέρω που να το κατατάξω αυτό το βιβλίο. Ο Ιταλός συγγραφέας Κουρτζιο Μαλαπαρτε γράφει αυτό το βιβλίο το 1944 μέσα στο πόλεμο και περιγράφει ιστορίες από την περιήγηση του στα μέτωπα του πολέμου και κυρίως στα μετόπισθεν. Ως Ιταλός δημοσιογράφος και πρώην πρέσβης και πρώην μέλος του φασιστικου κόμματος ακολουθεί τα γερμανικά στρατεύματα και καταγραφεί τα απομεινάρια της Ευρώπης. Συναντά σε βαρετά δείπνα τον Χανς Φρανκ τον διοικητή της κατεχόμενης Βαρσοβίας, τον Χίμλερ στο Βορρά, περπατάει μέσα στο γκέτο της Βαρσοβίας ανάμεσα στους Εβραίους συντροφιά με έναν Άγγελο του Θανάτου, ακολουθεί το πογκρόμ των Εβραίων στην Μολδαβία, Ουκρανία, παγώνει και επιβιώνει στην μακρινή Φιλανδία, φίλη και σύμμαχο του Άξονα στον Β ΠΠ και καταλήγει στην Ρώμη όπου η ρωμαϊκή αριστοκρατία συνειδητά κάνει πως δεν βλέπει την επερχόμενη ήττα. Δεν ξέρω ποιον μπορεί να ενδιαφέρει ένα τέτοιο έργο... Πάντως οι ιστορίες που περιγράφει είναι τόσο σκληρές ορισμένες φορές που αγγίζουν το κυνικό, το Σοκ είναι τρομερό! Αφού σε αποκομίζει με ατελείωτες συζητήσεις και περιγραφές δεινών και τετριμμενων στιγμών, ξαφνικά και απροειδοποιητα σε κοπανάει ΜΠΑΜ! με την αλήθεια του πολέμου... Πραγματικά καπουτ!

  • knig
    2019-03-27 09:52

    Rogozkin’s Cuckoo razzledazzled me by taking magical realism up a notch: making it situational rather than transactional concept. A Finn, Lapp and Russian end up cloistered together in Finland during WWII, communicating with each other in their own languages. An amicable, collaborative existence dawns, eloquent conversations ensue, despite the fact that there is no verbal understanding between the three, who are perfectly normal as standalone executors and surreal in combo. Its mesmerising, and this, in fact, is what happens in Kaputt ubiquitously. Malaparte, as a war correspondent, attends high command German parties and bluntly denigrates his German hosts, whilst they go on pontificating obliviously, presumably too punch drunk on the legends they are in their own minds, and I sighed with pleasure at this surrealistic overture. But then I found out Malaparte didn’t mean it. A consummate turn face, and ex Fascist he wrote the book initially under the supposition Germany would win the war: once the writing was on the wall, he went back and ‘fixed’ a few things here and there. Most of the ‘fixing’ of course he would have reserved for his own participation in these Le Grand Buffouet style, pan-Roman dinner do-s, where he emerges as an exalted Lone Ranger in defending the victimised populations of Europe against German Kultur. Bashful, Malaparte is not. And the German guests? Here the artist’s quilt falters: as it always does in these circumstances. I remember admiring Queen Hatshepsuts temple in Egypt where her furious nephew Thutmoses III sought to have her annihilated from public memory by altering her statues to look like him. The grotesque outcome only served to reinstate her, IMO. Similarly here, Malaparte revisits his montage of figures and starts painting by numbers. The end result: polyphemic Beryl Cook-esque caricatures of self delusional grandeur coupled with an odd, emphemeral dreaminess and sensitivity. Like bloated pigs who eat truffles rather than trough. I’m tempted to say very stereotypical, except given the novel was published 1946, perhaps it was the van guard which yielded the sterotypes later on: the cultured but cruel Aryana. I’m less appalled than accepting. It doesn’t matter which Culture you belong to: its always better than the rest. In Pillars of Salt the Jordanian nomads claimed supremacy over the invading English: and so it goes. As Malaparte would say here, Bittania may rule the waves, but even she can’t waive the rules. Which are, that we are all legends in our own minds.So, Malaparte scurries hither and thither across the European map, extolling the virtues of every nation apart from the Germans, singlehandedly saving scores of Jews and other prisoners from a gruesome end some of the time, and recording the macabre details of death and destruction the rest of the time. The pace is frenetic, the man seemingly ubiquitous, the atrocities a cotillion of Boschean strokes with no end in sight, til we get to a passage concerning the execution of a group of Russian prisoners when the proverbial light bulb finally clicks over my head and I realise Malaparte is a cheat and a phantasmagorist. Now, the man is extremely erudite and well educated: he pepers his ccounts with all sorts of posh references. Jews are not just jews: they are Chagall’s jews. Dinner parties spring right out of Lucas Cranach paintings, and Ante Pavelic’s ears arouse in him the same impression of deformity as is produced by listening to musical compositions by Eric Satie and Darius Milhaud. Well hum dee dum. I have had a very good listen to both of these subsequently: there could be nothing, btw, deformed in any of their compositions. Milhaud I found average, Satie is mesmerising: very tonally centred and melodic. Anyway that’s by the by. My point is to set the background here apropos Malaparte’s enormous general knowledge.Now the execution scene. He saw, Malaparte says, a group of Russian peasant POWs who were executed in a most brutal manner: horrific really. But just prior, they were laughing and ‘slapped each other on their backs with the simple minded gaiety of the Russian peasant’. Whoooa. Now, on the back of a steady diet of Russian classics (Gogol, Lermontov, Turgenev and Goncharev), I happen to know that Russian intelligentsia is very fond of the simple peasant moniker; its like a Russian trademark, the calling card issued to their peasant classes. But how the deuce does Malaparte, who has come as close to Russian peasantry as I have to an orange butt baboon (read: never), identify this group as simple buffoons in the space of 5 minutes? He can’t, can he? He can only be paraphrasing and making it up as he goes along. Quick flip to the afterword, and sure enough: Kaputt is only partially real, it seems. A very small part, perhaps. The rest: well, we all have imaginations, right? Now, Jerzy Kosinksi The Painted Birdwas lambasted for using his in the Painted Bird to similar effect in the 1960s, the effect being of embellishing and exaggerating grotesquerie for brownie points, not unlike David Madsen’s approach Memoirs of a Gnostic Dwarf. Here, it is Germanic bezobrazan in the klieglight, a compilation of the macabre and deconstructed, a peisage of decomposition and ontological breakdown – well apart from Malaparte. He never breaks down.For a more authentic experience, I’d go withThe Long Voyage

  • Vit Babenco
    2019-03-30 15:04

    Kaputt is a book of opposites: high society and cabals of murderers, rude naturalism and celestial ideals, filthy squalor and divine art, brutal cruelty and abstract humanism – all these become interconnected and interchangeable.The narration is sanguinarily metaphoric and tenebrously imaginative:“Twisted tree roots broke through the crystal sheet like frozen serpents, – it seemed as if the trees drew sustenance from the ice, that the young leaves of a more tender green took their sap from that dead, glassy matter.”So it is with war. War is nurtured with death and pain.“Suddenly the rain ceased; the moon appeared through a rent in the clouds; it looked like a landscape painted by Chagall: A Jewish Chagall sky, crowded with Jewish angels, with Jewish clouds, with Jewish horses and dogs dangling in their flight over the town. Jewish fiddlers sat on the roofs of the houses or floated in a pale sky above the streets, where old Jews lay dead in the gutter between the lighted ritual candelabra. Jewish lovers were stretched out in mid-air on the edge of a cloud as green as a meadow. And under that Jewish Chagall sky, in that Chagall landscape illuminated by a round transparent moon, from the Nicolina, Socola, and Pacurari districts, rose a confused din, a rattle of machine guns and the dull thud of hand grenades.”And everything that happens has a morbid aura of irreality… War is delirium.

  • James
    2019-04-08 14:08

    "'Hitler is a superior man. Don't you think he is a superior man?' As I hesitated, he looked fixedly at me, and added with a kindly smile: 'I should like to have your opinion of Hitler.' 'He is almost a man,' I replied. 'What?' 'Almost a man. I mean, not quite a real man.' 'Ach, so,' said Frank. 'You mean that he is an Übermensch, nicht wahr? --Superman, don't you? Yes, Hitler is not quite a real man; he is an Übermensch.' From his end of the table, one of the guests broke in: 'Herr Malaparte has written in one of his books that Hitler is a woman.' It was Himmler's man, the chief of the Gestapo of the government of Poland. His voice was cool, sweet, sad--a faraway voice. I raised my eyes, but I lacked the courage to look at him. That cool, sweet, sad voice of his, that faraway voice, had set my heart trembling slightly. 'Just so,' I added after a moment of silence. 'Hitler is a woman.' 'A woman?' exclaimed Frank gazing at me, his eyes filled with confusion and worry. Everyone remained silent, looking at me. 'If he is not quite a real man,' I said, 'why should he not be a woman? What harm would there be? Women are deserving of all our respect, love and admiration. You say that Hitler is the father of the German people, nicht wahr? Why couldn't he be its mother?'"Curzio Malaparte, *Kaputt*, NYRB ed., p. 66.

  • S.
    2019-03-20 08:57

    I love not knowing what to expect from a book, not knowing the core setting or plot, or if there is one, not knowing anyone who’s read it, and having had no one either recommend it or wag a warning finger against it. It’s marvelous to enter a book unbiased. I knew Kaputt was about WWII, and took a cue from the repugnant cover image, the red-fleshy gleam of fake teeth and gums. At least their tidiness makes one assume they’re fake. I say the image is “repugnant” but I love the cover. Beaming among the clutter on my desk at work, those teeth revolted a number of colleagues. What struck me first about Kaputt was the surreal element, which was a surprise. The episodic format - part reportage, part fiction, part surreal imagining - was deeply engaging. Most sections use an animal motif, to great effect. I won’t forget the ghostly horses, the war dogs, and the reindeer, whose toes click like castanets when they run, “an interminable procession of Andalusian dancers marching within the glinting sheath of the frozen nocturnal sun.”Malaparte was an Italian journalist dispatched in an official capacity to the various Axis fronts, where he hobnobbed with war criminals and sour military men, European aristocracy, Jews, sex slaves, destitute Neapolitans, and soldiers who exercise a small gesture of defiance by shouting “Ein Liter!” rather than “Heil Hitler.” Malaparte, who loved the ‘manliness’ of war, began Kaputt thinking Germany would win, the editor tells us, and went back to doctor the text when it appeared that might not happen. The book has macabre scenes, and the air is sinister and ominous, but while the narrator comes off as being slightly sleazy, he’s not unlikeable. I loved his imagination. And I enjoyed the writing itself greatly, elegant and evocative.“There was something of Dürer in the purely Gothic care for detail that at once caught the eye, as if the artist’s burin had lingered for a moment on the gaping jaws of a dead horse, on a wounded man crawling through the undergrowth, or over there, on a soldier leaning against a tree trunk, his hand held open above his forehead to shade his eyes against the glare of the sun. The raucous voices, the neighing, the occasional, sharp rifle shots, the harsh creaking of caterpillars seemed to have been engraved by Dürer on the clear cold air of that autumn morning.“General von Schobert was smiling. The shadow of death was already hovering over him -- an extremely light shadow like a spider-web; and no doubt he felt that shadow weighing on his brow.”

  • Speranza
    2019-04-03 08:49

    Something like nothing I have ever read before. What a profoundly beautiful, macabre, disturbing, hilarious, incredible work. This is the real magical realism, or rather – magical brutalism.

  • Tosh
    2019-03-20 14:48

    Malaparte is an interesting guy. His residence was used in Jean-Luc Godard's "Contempt" and he was a Fascist as a young man but ended up as a Marxist. During the war years he covered the war via an Italian press and had the opportunity to hang out with top Nazis. And this is the interesting part of "Kaputt" where he dines and is entertained by top-level Nazi command. You can smell the evil off the dinner plate.

  • Simona Moschini
    2019-03-19 11:06

    All'inizio seduce col suo stile tardo-dannunziano, le sue repetitio / variatio, i suoi aggettivi, le sue (scoperte) reminescenze proustiane, la sua struttura quasi da Decameron. Poi ti abitui. Poi non ti incanta più. Poi ti sembra di annoiarti. Poi non puoi fare a meno di disprezzare l'estetismo, l'affondare nello snobismo, il culto del bel mondo diplomatico e del mot d'esprit mentre il mondo vero, quello degli "altri" andava a fuoco. Imperdonabili difetti, ti sembrano, dal primo all'ultimo. Anche perché hai letto nella sua stessa prefazione: "E sia ben chiaro che io preferisco questa Europa kaputt all'Europa d'ieri, e a quella di venti, di trent'anni orsono. Preferisco che tutto sia da rifare, al dover tutto accettare come un'eredità immutabile."Ha anche il coraggio di prenderci in giro, Kurt. Perché lui la rimpiange eccome, la vecchia Europa. Ma come?! Era il suo mondo, e ci sputa sopra? Coerenza... E' la qualità la cui assenza maggiormente è stata rimproverata a quest'uomo le cui svolte e controsvolte sono quantomeno sorprendenti, e da molti ritenute poco credibili per non dire opportuniste. Tutto può essere... "Kaputt" è l'elegia sull'Europa che va a fuoco, da parte di un privilegiato in tutti i sensi - privilegiato per intelligenza, fascino, cultura e posizione sociale; privilegiato per la sua presenza sulla scena nei luoghi e nei momenti più sinistri della Seconda Guerra Mondiale - che mente sapendo di mentire, quando dice di non rimpiangere niente. Non rimpiange perché sa di non avere il potere di cambiare le cose, e si disprezza profondamente per questo. Più di quanto disprezzi il conte Ciano, o il grottesco Himmler, o il nazista che non riuscendo a pescare il salmone gli fa sparare, o lo stesso Mussolini. Prova ne sia che, in quella stessa prefazione, alla frase incriminata segue questa: "Speriamo ora che i tempi nuovi siano nuovi realmente, e non siano avari di rispetto e di libertà agli scrittori" (proseguendo poi con i suoi dubbi sulla reale possibilità in Italia di simili ideali). Prova ne sia, infine, l'ultimo, potente, indimenticabile capitolo, che sembra già far parte de "La pelle", dove del diplomatico brillante resta solo l'uomo lacero, sporco, affamato, puzzolente, che a Napoli, reduce dalla sua ultima vacanza a Regina Coeli, cerca di imbarcarsi per Capri e assiste all'ultima scena dell'Inferno di Kaputt. Napoli sotto le bombe, appunto. Sipario, finalmente.

  • نوشیار خلیلی
    2019-04-04 09:11

    از بهترین‌ کتاب‌هایی که راجع به جنگ جهانی دوم خوندم. فرق اساسیش با بقیه‌ی کتاب‌های مربوط این بود که آقای مالاپارته جزو جبهه ایتالیاست و پس کتاب، جزو معدود کتاب‌هایی می‌شه که از نقطه نظر متفقین نیست و ما اون سمت جبهه رو هم می‌بینیم. هر چند که نویسنده پنهان و گاهی آشکارا بر ضد فاشیست‌هاست.کتاب تصاویر عجیب، ترسناک و در عین حال زیبایی از اتفاقات جنگ ساخته که باور کنید هیچ وقت از ذهنتون پاک نمی‌شه.

  • Patrone
    2019-04-03 16:09

    What amazes me about Malaparte is the beauty of his prose despite the fact that he's chronicling some of history's most horrifying events. Watching "Amarcord" concurrently further cements my belief that Eye-talians sure have a gift for this ironic balance.

  • Sepideh Salarvand
    2019-04-03 15:52

    خیلی بین ۴ ستاره یا ۵ ستاره فکر کردم و آخرش پنج دادم. نه چون کل کتاب شگفت‌انگیز بود، چون اون قسمت‌هایی‌ش که میخکوبم کرده بود واقعا انقدر خوب بود که قسمت‌های ضعیف‌تر رو بی‌اهمیت کنه. توصیفات کتاب فوق‌العاده است و تصویرسازی‌ش انقدر زنده است که بعضی تصویرهاش عین عکس‌های صحنه‌پردازی شده تو سرم ساخته شده‌ان. کل روایت هم با روایت‌های معمولی که در مورد جنگ خونده بودم فرق می‌کرد و یگانه بود.کتاب در خفا نوشته شده و چند جا مخفی شده تا موسولینی سقوط کرده و بعد تکه تکه رسیده به ایتالیا که چاپ بشه، داستان پشت چاپ شدنش هم جزئی از داستان خود کتابه به نظرم و بی‌نظیره. ترجمه هم عالیه. تنها ایراد اینه که ۴۸ هزار تومنه (نسخه‌ی نشر ماهی که سال ۹۴ چاپ شده). پس حواستون به تخفیف‌های کتاب‌ها باشه.

  • Lindsey
    2019-04-11 07:44

    Oh Jesus. I just don't know. This book was like a Nazi/ghetto/communist acid trip. You can't tell which parts are true and because you can't tell, every sentence just fills you with horror and confusion. Mostly confusion. I came away from it thinking, "Wow, I kind of want to kick Malaparte right in his fucking head."

  • James Murphy
    2019-03-27 08:54

    I really didn't care much for Kaputt. This is a disappointment since I read it in the wake of--and because of--the positive reading of his 2d novel, The Skin, which I judged to be one of the best novels I read in 2015. (To be honest, I was aware of the critical misgivings that've been expressed about Kaputt.)As for what I disliked, I thought it lifeless. Especially compared to the snapcracklepop satire of The Skin. To be fair--and honest again--a sense of death hangs over the novel, so one expects a certain amount of this lifelessness. It may be the main point. Flies, after all, the heading for the final part of the novel, symbolize death, and Rats, another heading, symbolize Jews and the Holocaust. In Kaputt there also may be some sense of gods and mortals. In the novel social and diplomatic setpieces contrast sharply with the grim landscape of the war itself. I wondered if we're expected to interpret it in terms of the relationship of gods and mortals. The lofty homes the gods (and their company) inhabit predominate in the narrative. The excursions into the Eastern Front war--Malaparte the novelist and character reported on the war--are more interesting, but there is far less time spent there. Again, it occurred to me that one of his points may be that the characters he converses with around the dinner table and in tight social groups, brimming drink in hand, are to be seen as dead as the tumbled, hopeless remains he encounters near the front.A clue is the title's meaning. As Malaparte explains it at one of those interminable dinner parties--this on p260--when the character of Siegfried, a stand-in for Germany, is compared to a cat in the story of an SS unit whose recruits must prove their worthiness by gouging out the eyes of a cat. Malaparte, speaking to a woman of the beau monde, rhymes Siegfried with Christ and with cats and explains the origin of the word kaputt as deriving from the Semitic kapparoth, meaning victim. And the meaning of history to Malaparte is that we're all Siegfrieds and will one day all become kaputt. The 3 paragraphs of his explanation at the midpoint of the novel describe its tone.Another dislike about the novel is its lack of compassion and human feeling. The author was reporting on the early stages of the war in Poland and the Soviet Union. He takes part in endless conversations about the war and its meaning. Almost everyone he meets, if they're not wearing a party pin, has Nazi leanings. It's okay to portray the war as seen through the Nazi prism. It's been done many times. However, Malaparte shares the values or lack of values of every other character. And to me it stood in contrast to the Malaparte of the less death-obsessed The Skin in which he follows the Americans fighting the length of Italy and, chameleon that he is, not taking himself so seriously, paints a more welcoming satire. To be sure The Skin is American war and death--and the idea of kaputt--too, but Malaparte doesn't love it like he loves it on the Eastern Front.

  • Dwight
    2019-04-07 08:10 proves to be a fictional memoir, or a fantasy intertwined with historical events, by Curzio Malaparte. Employed by an Italian newspaper during World War II, he was able to travel around Europe and to the Eastern Front, at ease with dignitaries, soldiers and peasants alike. A large part of the appeal of Kaputt (to me, anyway) lies with the uncertainty…the ambiguity…of and within many of the scenes. As Milan Kundera pointed out about the book, “It is strange, yes, but understandable: for this reportage is something other than reportage; it is a literary work whose aesthetic intention is so strong, so apparent, that the sensitive reader automatically excludes it from the context of accounts brought to bear by historians, journalists, political analysts, memoirists.” (italics in original) I have included quite a few lengthy quotes from Kaputt so anyone unfamiliar with the book can get a feel of Malaparte’s style and approach. Malaparte is such an interesting character and World War II such an incredible event—why dress either one up beyond reality? Part of the answer lies in what Malaparte was trying to achieve, both personally and in his book. In “dressing up” history, Malaparte has shown what happened in a completely different light. It struck me at one point that, in some respects, Malaparte’s fictional memoir isn’t that different from the speeches in Thucydides’ work—they impart what happened even if not exactly word for word what was said, aiming for “what was nearest to the sum of the truth”. Then again, maybe not. The major difference lies with Thucydides laying out his methodology as attempting to recapture truthfully what happened. Malaparte never makes any such claim. The better analogy would be with Isaac Babel's Red Cavalry stories, both full of irony, ambiguity, and invention. Like Babel, what isn't being included feels just as important as what is detailed.It is easy to critique Kaputt. His gothic fantasies go way over the top at times. His repetitions, hypnotic at times, can become tedious. He takes advantage of the fact that implausibility doesn’t really exist in such a surreal setting. Malaparte seems to be playing fast and loose with facts in order to delve into the truth. Does he succeed? It’s hard to tell since what he wrote for the newspaper at the time of the events and what ends up in Kaputt can be very different. Malaparte’s (the character) denunciation of Italy and Germany in Kaputt are firm, but how much of that comes from his conviction at the time of his writing the book of certain Axis defeat? I liked the comment in the Afterword by Dan Hofstadter that the book “challenges us to question its veracity much as a con man defies us to doubt his good faith.” Underlying his extended tropes of animals for facets or aspects of the war resides a metaphor that civilization in general, and Europe in particular, was committing suicide in the war.

  • Adriana Botero
    2019-04-11 13:07

    Una característica fundamental de las obras maestras es que saben envejecer: con el paso de los años se añejan como el vino y no pierden vigencia. Como es una característica poco frecuente, es usual que de la avalancha de libros que se publican cada año sólo unos pocos sobreviven. Cuando ha pasado la efervescencia de la publicación reciente y el libro sigue siendo recomendable, vale la pena darle una mirada.Creo que en esa categoría está Kaputt, de Curzio Malaparte: en la de obra maestra. El libro fue escrito entre 1941 y 1943 en plena Guerra Mundial, y sorprende que una obra de casi 75 años tenga una estructura narrativa tan moderna y un uso del lenguaje que en cada capítulo construye escenas, al estilo cinematográfico.Kaputt no tiene propiamente una trama o lo que en los colegios llaman "personajes principales" y "personajes secundarios". El narrador es el propio Curzio Malaparte, un diplomático y periodista italiano, quien en su rol de corresponsal de guerra viaja por Finlandia, Suecia, Polonia, Ucrania, Rumania, Hungría, Alemania e Italia, entre otros países. Cada capítulo se centra en una geografía en particular que tiene como trasfondo la guerra pero como primer plano los diálogos, banquetes y chismes de los diplomáticos europeos: la trivialidad refuerza con mayor intensidad el drama del conflicto. Kaputt no es un libro que merezca una síntesis. El libro no consiste en un argumento que se desarrolle de manera lineal a lo largo de 530 páginas. Consiste más bien en una sucesión de imágenes, terriblemente brutales y poéticas, que ayudan a dimensionar la guerra: la imagen de un lago congelado en Finlandia en el que sobresalen las cabezas de caballos muertos; la imagen de unas judías obligadas a prostituirse en Soroca, en donde atienden a 40 alemanes por día, durante 20 días, antes de ser fusiladas; la imagen de los soldados polacos a los que el frío les congeló los párpados y entonces no pueden cerrar los ojos; la imagen del alemán que no puede pescar a un salmón y para evitar la humillación entonces lo mata a bala.El libro tiene apartes en inglés, francés, finés, italiano, alemán, polaco... pero no por ello es incomprensible. Al contrario, esa polifonía ayuda a entender la multiculturalidad europea en medio de una guerra que, como dice Malaparte en algún capítulo, no se sabe quién va a ganar pero en todo caso ya perdieron Polonia e Italia. Un libro lleno de ironía que ofrece detalles de la guerra desde adentro pero que, sobre todo, es una lección magistral de buena literatura. Ver más en:

  • Raheleh pourazar
    2019-03-19 15:10

    تصویرهای کتاب روشن، دردناک و فراموش‌نشدنی است.

  • Karla
    2019-04-06 15:48

    Kaputt, Curzio Malaparte (4)My Italian friend, Luca, recommended this novel to me. He said it did for WWII what ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ did for WWI and I must agree. This not an easy book to read, with its indirect language and difficult subject, but it is important and powerfully moving. Malaparte was initially a supporter of Mussolini who became an observer and journalist on the Eastern front. One of the things that really sets this book apart is the unparalleled access he had to the upper crust of the Axis nations’ society from the German governor of Poland to the Prince and Princesses of Bavaria and Italy. He meets these people and tells stories of what he has seen in the war. These stories are horrendous. In the beginning of the book he tells them in an ironic and somewhat detached manner. As the book (and also the war) continues, he becomes more embittered and his sarcasm with this blind society becomes more barbed. While it is a novel, it is more like historical fiction where some of the stories are real and others are allegories or modified versions. Obviously the novel hit close enough to home with the powers that be that Malaparte was jailed for his politics and had to smuggle the manuscript out in 3 parts in order to get the book published. If you want to have a very different view of the war from an insider on the Eastern front, this is an excellent book to read. It highlights the horror and the ignorance of war.

  • Justin Evans
    2019-03-25 08:02

    Fabulous tales from the dark side of human nature... and in the same kind of overblown prose as that description, for the most part. The first chapter's hard to get through if you're not into adjectives, which I'm not. But after that the set pieces start to cohere pretty well, and the author's evident self-loathing becomes more and more justifiable. Not sure I'll ever forget the frozen horses, the King of Poland, or the young prostitutes.

  • AnaVlădescu
    2019-04-06 08:50

    Amazing book! Really well written, it's one of those from which you can learn so many new and important things about different subjects, and it's a book that presents truth as it is - cruel. I really recommend this to anybody, it's really good.

  • Ali Heidari
    2019-04-15 07:51

    «مارگارت اتوود، نویسنده‌ی کانادایی، درباره‌ی تأثیرپذیری از این رمان می‌گوید: "قربانی (کاپوت) برای من اثری بود به‌شدت غمگینانه، شگفت‌آور و هراسناک و درعین‌حال تغزلی. کتاب چکیده‌ای است از تمام آن سیاه‌بختی‌هایی که جامعه‌ی ایدئولوژی‌زده برایمان به ارمغان می‌آورد، آواری از نژادپرستی و تغییر ظاهر پلیدی‌ها به شکل خلوصی معنوی که حتی خصوصی‌ترین جنبه‌های زندگی را آمیخته به شرم و پلیدی می‌کنند. برای درک آنچه جنگ و به‌ویژه جنگ جهانی دوم بر سر بشر آورد، خواندن این رمان ضروری است." قربانی از آن سوی جبهه‌های جنگ جهانی دوم آغاز می‌شود، از کشورهای تحت اشغال جبهه‌ی متحدین آلمان و ایتالیا. نویسنده آن سال‌ها در مقام روزنامه‌نگار در تمام این جبهه‌های نبرد می‌رفت و می‌آمد و خاطراتش را مخفیانه می‌نوشت، و بعدها این دفترچه را منتشر کرد، دفترچه‌ای که می‌توانست او را به جوخه‌ی اعدام بسپارد.» پ.ن : رمانی که ما با نام «قربانی» می‌شناسیمش، نام اصلی‌اش «کاپوت» است. خودِ مالاپارته می‌نویسد، هیچ واژه‌ای بهتر از این واژه خشن آلمانی یعنی کاپوت، که در لغت به‌معنی خردشده و له‌وپه و تکه‌تکه و نابودشده است، نمی‌توانست حال فعلی ما، یعنی اروپای بعد از جنگ را توصیف کند

  • Andrew
    2019-04-12 14:51

    It's hard to tell which parts of Kaputt are actually Malaparte's experience, which parts are fictional, and which parts are somewhere in between. But you don't care, because it's fucking transcendent.At the height of World War II, while his compatriots were variously enthusiastically goose-stepping, fighting guerrilla wars in the mountains, and hiding from Allied bombing campaigns and roaming bands of Nazis, Malaparte was traveling around Europe enjoying the high life even as the continent was being ripped to shreds. And having weird, Madeira-drowned conversations about the soul of the salmon and Hitler as the mother of the German people.Maybe you know the score if you follow Italian cinema -- La Dolce Vita, Fellini's Satyricon and Roma, La Grande Bellezza, Salo, Antonioni's ultra-alienated trilogy along with The Red Desert -- the veneer of luxury and wealth barely conceals the corruption and horror beneath the surface, and then all hell breaks loose.

  • Mark
    2019-03-29 11:53

    Curzio Malaparte's Kaputt is genre-bending house of horrors. Derived from his WWII dispatches for Corriere della Sera, Malaparte provides not only sickening eyewitness accounts from the eastern front, but from the dinner tables of the Nazi governors. Originally a follower of Mussolini, Malaparte fell afoul of the dictator and ended up in prison. Weaseling his way out, Malaparte became friendly with Mussolini's son-in-law Galeazzo Ciano, who helped set him up as a war correspondent. Malaparte visited and reported from Yugoslavia, Romania, Poland, the Soviet Union, Finland, and Sweden. Kaputt is strange hybrid: although based on his war reports for the paper, there is much imaginative writing, particularly in the various conversations. It's impossible to tell what is fact and what is fiction, although his descriptions of specific events (such as the massacre at Jassy/Iasi) are clearly factual. Malaparte's distant and disdainful observations are simultaneously hilarious and hair-raising: his report, for example, of a dinner with high officials of the German occupation of Poland is particularly remarkable. The Governor-General blandly describes the filthy conditions of the Warsaw ghetto, saying a German could never live under such conditions. Of course, Malaparte remarks: the Germans are a civilized people. Malaparte moves from city to city, cataloguing the horrors and inhumanity with frequently ironic detachment. It's often hard to stomach, but Malaparte's observations are detailed, brilliant, and penetrating. Tough book to read, but much value for those that can take it.

  • Deniz Kabaağaç
    2019-03-30 15:07

    Okumaya başlarken istekliydim ama doğrusu ön söz beni biraz yordu ve bundan dolayı sıkıntılı bir başlangıç yaptım. Ancak daha ilk sayfalarda kritik bir sorunun cevabını, kısmen de olsa, bulabileceğim bir metinle karşı karşıya olduğumu hissettim. Kafaları çok uzun zamandır kurcalayan, cevabı hep bulundu sanılıp bir süre sonra yok bu değilmiş denilen bir soru. Sadece Türk’lerin değil, Ruslar’ın, Araplar’ın, muhakkak Kürtler’in ve hatta bir çok Doğu Avrupa’lının zihnini zorlayan bir soru. Avrupa ne demektir? Kaputt bence, kendi anlattığı hikayenin dışında ve üstünde, Avrupa’yı anlatan daha doğrusu Avrupa imgesini kavramayı sağlayan, en azından bir kenarından hissettirebilen bir kitap. Aydınlanmanın, “Renaissance” ın olduğu kadar bunlar karşısında yükselen o güçlü tepkinin de Avrupa’nın ta kendisi olduğunu bence çok ama çok güzel anlatıyor. Bu bağlamda sürekli olarak Nietzsche’den alıntı yapan sevgili dostlarıma Kaputt’u özellikle tavsiye ederim. Öte yandan çok tartıştığımız ve hatta artık bir anlamı kalmadığının çok iddialı bir şekilde söylendiğini duyduğumuz Avrupa Birliği’nin neyi ifade ettiğini sorgulayanlarada Kaputt’u tavsiye ederim. Son olarak anti semitizme gösterilen tepkileri kavramakta zorluk çekenlere, bu konuda ki hassasiyeti siyasi olarak batıcılık olarak tanımlayanlara da Kaputt’u iki kere okumlarını tavsiye derim.

  • Ren
    2019-04-17 11:06

    His descriptions are pretty fantastic. I was surprised at how beautifully written some of it was. Obviously the best parts, and what I think are the most factual of the entire narrative, are when he's at intimate events with upper echelon Nazi leaders. So evil!! but very indicative of the thought processes and beliefs that were rampant at the time. He sometimes seems to sort of paint himself as a better person than he really was...I think...some of the things he says I'm not sure he could've actually gotten away with, whether they accepted that he was a Fascist or not. But all in all very engrossing and powerful if not a little unbelievable here and there. I think there's always a bit of truth in there somewhere. Particularly loved a passage laying out the reasoning behind "kaputt". Very interesting. He did some incredible things and made some deep observations, but it would have been much more satisfying if he had copped to some of his own culpability at the time rather than revising history when the war's outcome became clear.