Curzio Malaparte was born Kurt Erich Suckert in 1898 and died in 1957. For more than half of his fifty-nine years he traversed what he himself defined as «the Thirty Years’ Blitzkrieg» of the twentieth century. From 1914 to 1945, the writer had occasion to observe and record the extraordinary violence produced by total war, a war that blurred the demarcation lines between armed society and unarmed society, between servicemen and civilians, until these lines disappeared altogether. From 1940 to 1943, Malaparte followed the expansion of the conflict in the threefold capacity of combatant, journalist and writer. In light of the numerous archive sources, this book reconstructs Malaparte’s activity as war correspondent between 1940 and 1943 and the results in print of this experience: the not always smooth relationship between the writer and Aldo Borelli, editor of «Corriere della Sera», caught in the complex web of control of the press enacted by Fascism (of which Malaparte was a victim on more than one occasion); the long, laborious and unfortunate genesis of the two volumes most closely tied to those years (The Sun is Blind and The Volga Rises in Europe); the at times tense and troubled relations between the writer and the publishers Mondadori and Bompiani. The faithful reconstruction proposed in the book unveils the portrait of a writer-journalist who, like few of his contemporaries, recounted the tragedy of total war and, with great intelligence, intuited its elements of novelty.
Enzo R. Laforgia teaches philosophy and history at the «Liceo Classico E. Cairoli» and works with Universities and research centres in Italy and France. He has authored numerous publications dedicated to the history and culture of Italy from the XIX to the XX century, and to the relations between Italian culture and imperialism. For Vallecchi, he has edited Viaggio in Etiopia e altri scritti africani by Malaparte (2006), defined by the Sunday issue of «Sole 24 Ore» as «a fundamental book to reread the articles by Malaparte that appeared in the Corriere della Sera».