Thursday, October 1st, 2020 at 5:00pm ET
Malaparte’s “Diary of a Foreigner in Paris”
New York Review Books Classics has recently published a new translation by Stephen Twilley of Curzio Malaparte’s Diary of a Foreigner in Paris, the journal in which the Italian writer and correspondent recounts his stay in the French capital after World War II. The translator will be joined in conversation by writer Edmund White – who authored the introduction of this edition – and Professor Franco Baldasso from Bard. The conversation will be moderated by NYU Professor Jenny McPhee, translator of Malaparte’s The Kremlin Ball, also for NYRB Classics.
Monday, November 19, 2018
Film Screening Bitter Rice (Riso amaro)
I will be introducing Giuseppe De Santis’ really terrific neorealist noir Bitter Rice (Riso Amaro) starring the amazing Silvana Mangano in a free screening at NYU’s Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò.
In Northern Italy’s Po Valley, an earthy rice-field worker (Silvana Mangano) falls in with a small-time criminal (Vittorio Gassman), who with his girlfriend (Doris Dowling) is planning a daring heist of the crop. Released in 1949, Bitter Rice is both a socially conscious look at field workers’ hardships and a melodrama of sex and violence—neorealism with a dose of pulp, enhanced by meticulously choreographed tracking shots by director Giuseppe De Santis and cinematographer Otello Martelli, whose other credits included Rossellini’s Paisà and Stromboli and Fellini’s La strada and La dolce vita. 109 min. In Italian with English subtitles. Criterion Collection. Introduced by Jenny McPhee, Center for Applied Liberal Arts, School of Professional Studies, NYU.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Writing after Fascism: Curzio Malaparte between Paris and Moscow
Pioneering autofiction with his WWII novels Kaputt (1944) and The Skin (1949), Italian writer Curzio Malaparte is one of most controversial authors of the 20th Century. Malaparte was a protagonist of interwar Europe, from his tumultuous relations with Mussolini and the fascist regime to the cosmopolitan dalliances with French and Russian intelligentsia. He narrated these experiences in the two memoirs The Kremlin Ball and Diary of a Stranger in Paris, for the first time translated into English respectively by Jenny McPhee and Stephen Twilley and now published by NYRB Classics. The two translators will discuss their experience with Malaparte’s texts and their relationship with this fascinating yet problematic author.
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018
The Kremlin Ball: Book Presentation
Perhaps only the impeccably perverse imagination of Curzio Malaparte could have conceived of The Kremlin Ball, which might be described as Proust in the corridors of Soviet power. The book is set at the end of the 1920s, when the Great Terror may have been nothing more than a twinkle in Stalin’s eye, but when the revolution was accompanied by a growing sense of doom. In Malaparte’s vision it is from his nightly opera box, rather than the Kremlin, that Stalin surveys Soviet high society, its scandals and amours and intrigues among beauties and bureaucrats, including the legendary ballerina Marina Semyonova and Olga Kameneva, a sister of the exiled Trotsky, who though a powerful politician is so consumed by dread that everywhere she goes she gives off the smell of rotting meat. This extraordinary court chronicle of Communist life (for which Malaparte also contemplated the title God Is a Killer) was published posthumously and appears now in English for the first time.