Curzio Malaparte's Maledetti ToscaniBig Names
Curzio Malaparte's Maledetti Toscani
These Tuscans! ‘Maledetti Toscani’, as Italians would say. Why, what have they done? It’s actually the title of a book that illustrates in a sharp and candid way the most genuine aspects of the Tuscan spirit. It is definitely not a recent best-seller: it was published in 1956! It was written by Curzio Malaparte, whose real name was Kurt Erich Suckert. Coming from a German father and a Lombard mother, he was born in Prato in 1898 where he studied at the famous Istituto Cicognini. He was an eclectic character who was a jack of all trades: officer, diplomat, journalist, writer, theatrical author and film director. If you really want to understand what Tuscans are like, from which historical and cultural facts their distinctive characteristics come from, this book is right for you.
Curzio Malaparte, with his clear and powerful style, exposes the true nature of Tuscans, their vices and their virtues. Some of the phrases in the book have become famous. At the beginning of the book, for example, he says ‘we’d be better off if in Italy there were more Tuscans and less Italians'. Worded that way it seems quite pretentious, but after all the author was firmly convinced of the superiority of Tuscans over Italians.
'Tuscans have the sky in their eyes and hell in their mouths'. This is certainly one of his most famous and emblematic quotes. What does it mean? It means that the inhabitants of Tuscany have 'beauty always before their eyes'. All you have to do is open a window to find yourself overwhelmed by the beauty of a landscape, an ancient village, a beautiful square, a work of art. But at the same time Tuscans are also famous for their colorful language and for their unforgivable sharp tongue. Let's say that the two things outweigh each other!
What do you think, do you fancy filling your eyes with beauty too? Take a look at our tours in the villages of Tuscany, book one and you’ll have plenty to see! For something language-related, take a look at our anecdotes and fun facts about the idioms and you will find some colorful examples of the sharp Tuscan spirit. Have fun!
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