The Skin by Curzio Malaparte

As a friend of mine put it recently, I can’t exactly say I “enjoyed” The Skin by Curzio Malaparte, even though I recognize the genius. Although I would say the following words in conjunction with it: disturbed, fascinated, moved, revolted, admired. I laughed at times. It was never dull.

I hope to write a little more about this strange book and strange author in this space. For the moment, I would say that this is an interesting view of Naples to read in conjunction with Ferrante (and I believe both authors observe, across a gap of 60 years, that Naples is the future of Europe). And just a plain interesting view of Naples, Italy, the Second World War, and America.

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Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

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All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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