Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2006


Anxiety over whether or not to teach literary works that may be deemed offensive is not limited to the perennial example of Conrad's Heart of Darkness. This problem is felt at least as keenly by foreign language teachers, who act as ambassadors of cultures even less familiar to our students than the former British Empire. In deciding whether to assign Curzio Malaparte's novel The Skin (La Pelle, 1949) in a recent course on Italian civilization through literature and film, I was hesitant for a number of reasons.