Kaputt (New York Review Books Classics)
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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 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.
called 'One Never Dies Here,'" replied Virginia. Giuseppina von Stum began laughing, stared at me, then said softly, "Horrible!" and covered her mouth with her hand. "A Roman butterfly is not a butterfly like any other," said Virginia. She had brought that butterfly from Rome to Berlin by air in a cardboard box and she had released it in her bedroom. The butterfly fluttered about the room a while, then it settled on the mirror, where it stayed motionless for a few days; now and then it only
across the room, danced to the waltz that the others were singing to, to the accompaniment of handclaps and the jingle of glasses struck with the handles of puukkos and Alpenjägers' knives. A group of young officers standing by a window were drinking silently and watching. One of them turned his face and looked at me without seeing me; I recognized Prince Frederick Windischgrätz, smiled at him from across the room and called him by his nickname, Friki; he turned the other way, searching for the
on gun carriages, on rifle barrels, on the Panzers' conning towers, on the boots of the dead. They are not afraid of the dead. They are small, alert, merry birds, some gray, others green; still others red and some yellow. Some are only red or blue on their chests, some only on their necks, some on their tails. Some are white with a blue throat; and I have seen some that are very tiny and proud, all white, spotlessly white. At dawn they begin to sing sweetly in the cornfield, and the Germans raise
the war, she will be forced to lean on the only class that will be on its feet, that is to say on labor. The Polish middle class accuse me of being the source of those leaflets. That is a piece of slander. Those leaflets are not of my making, but I allow them to be circulated. Our main concern is to make the Polish industrial output meet the requirements of war. Why should we refrain from utilizing communist propaganda to achieve our objectives when that propaganda, in order to save the working
years,- and after a while, he asked me what the Prince of Piedmont was doing. I would have liked to answer, "He is losing his hair." But I only said, smiling, "He is at Anagni near Rome at the head of the troops defending Sicily." He smiled, too, but not at my innocent malice,- then he asked whether it was long since I had seen the Prince. "I saw him in Rome, shortly before I left Italy," I replied. And I should have liked to tell him that my last meeting with Prince Umberto had left me with a