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Art, Cinema, History & Politics, Literature

Curzio Malaparte & the Visual Arts

Part 1 (at the Italian Cultural Institute, 686 Park Ave.)

October 19, 2023
9:30 am - 7:00 pm

Please note:
This event takes place at
Istituto Italiano di Cultura (686 Park Ave.)

Co-organized with
Istituto Italiano di Cultura
CIMA – Center for Italian Modern Art

In collaboration with
Bard College

International Conference
Curzio Malaparte & the Visual Arts

Italian author Curzio Malaparte (1898-1957) has been celebrated and ostracized worldwide for his controversial politics and for the impressive success of novels such as Kaputt (1944) and The Skin (1949). In his writings, Malaparte witnesses the fall of Europe during WWII by illuminating the racialized, gendered and biopolitical aspects of modern political power, even beyond fascism. At the same time, his name is indelibly associated with Casa Malaparte (1938-40, revised until 1950), the outstanding modernist mansion perched atop a solitary rock in Capri, which the author himself designed in collaboration with rationalist architect Adalberto Libera. A fabled subject and setting for countless photographers and filmmakers, Casa Malaparte has become a paradigm of luxurious minimalism and an international icon of Italian style, famously portrayed in Jean-Luc Godard’s film Contempt.

Malaparte’s unique interpretation of arts, architecture, and landscape in his visionary writing and beyond—from Casa Malaparte, to the piercing photographs he shot as a war correspondent in Ethiopia, the Balkans and Ukraine, to his anti-picturesque film The Forbidden Christ (1951)—are at the center of “Curzio Malaparte and the Visual Arts.”

Istituto Italiano di Cultura (686 Park Ave.)

10:00 AM – Welcome Remarks by IIC Director Fabio Finotti
Introduction to the Conference by Franco Baldasso (Bard College)

10:30 AM – PANEL 1: Right before your Eyes: Malaparte’s Visual Poetics
Emmanuel Mattiato

Maria Pia De Paulis (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris III)
Ut pictura Historia. La rivolta dei santi maledetti o della visività tra storia, testimonianza e poesia

Diego Pellizzari (Université Grenoble Alps)
Il re è nudo. Il ritratto di Himmler in Kaputt di Curzio Malaparte

Cécile Mitéran (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris III)
Marmo e sangue: le statue ambigue di Malaparte.

Chiara Zampieri (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)
Oggetti crudeli: Malaparte e la cultura materiale

1:00 PM – Lunch break

3:00 PM – PANEL 2: Encounters: Malaparte among Arts and Artists
Maria Pia De Paulis

Emmanuel Mattiato (Université Savoie Mont Blanc)
Malaparte e Prospettive: la rivista come specchio estetico di una stagione fiorente

Colin Marston (UCLA)
The obscenity of the unreliable narrator: visualization and an aesthetic of shock in Malaparte’s War Prose

Francesca Golia (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle/DFK Paris)
La Crocifissione di Lorenzetti. Per una lettura teologico-politica di un’ekphrasis malapartiana

5:00 PM – ROUND TABLE: Translating Malaparte into English
Franco Baldasso (Bard College)

Stephen Twilley, translator
Jenny McPhee, translator, NYU
Edwin Frank, editor, NYRB Classics


FRANCO BALDASSO, Bard College, New York

Advisory Committee
STEFANO ALBERTINI, Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò – NYU
FRANCO BALDASSO, Bard College, New York
MARIA PIA DE PAULIS, Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris III
FABIO FINOTTI, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, New York
NICOLA LUCCHI, Center for Italian Modern Art, New York


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