Curzio Malaparte, born Kurt Erich Suckert (1898–1957), was a fabulist, a trickster, and a master of obfuscation, talents that served him well on the page and, as he slid away from his fascist past, in later life too. It is thus not inappropriate that the first English-language edition of the “diary”—I’ll get to those scare quotes in due course—of his time in early post-war Paris draws on two differing predecessors.1 The first (Diario di uno straniero a Parigi) came out in Italy in 1966, the second in France the following year. Stephen Twilley, who has now translated the Diary into English, notes that the typewritten manuscript delivered to the...


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