The Pike: Gabriele D'Annunzio - Poet, Seducer, and Preacher of War
Godfather to Mussolini, national hero of Italy and the WWI irredentist movement, literary icon of Joyce and Pound, lover of actress Eleonora Duse: here is Lucy Hughes-Hallett’s extraordinary biography of Gabriele d’Annunzio, poet, bon vivant, harbinger of Italian fascism.Gabriele d’Annunzio was... show more
Godfather to Mussolini, national hero of Italy and the WWI irredentist movement, literary icon of Joyce and Pound, lover of actress Eleonora Duse: here is Lucy Hughes-Hallett’s extraordinary biography of Gabriele d’Annunzio, poet, bon vivant, harbinger of Italian fascism.Gabriele d’Annunzio was Italy’s premier poet at a time when poetry mattered enough to trigger riots. A brilliant self-publicist in the first age of mass media, he used his fame to sell his work, seduce women, and promote his extreme nationalism. In 1915 d’Annunzio’s incendiary oratory helped drive Italy to enter the First World War, in which he achieved heroic status as an aviator.In 1919 he led a troop of mutineers into the Croatian port of Fiume and there a delinquent city-state. Futurists, anarchists, communists, and proto-fascists descended on the city. So did literati and thrill seekers, drug dealers, and prostitutes. After fifteen months an Italian gunship brought the regime to an end, but the adventure had its sequel: three years later, the fascists marched on Rome, belting out anthems they’d learned in Fiume, as Mussolini consciously modeled himself after the great poet.At once an aesthete and a militarist, d’Annunzio wrote with equal enthusiasm about Fortuny gowns and torpedoes, and enjoyed making love on beds strewn with rose petals as much as risking death as an aviator. Lucy Hughes-Hallett’s stunning biography vividly re-creates his flamboyant life and dramatic times, tracing the early twentieth century’s trajectory from Romantic idealism to world war and fascist aggression.
Publish date: August 20th 2013
Pages no: 608
Edition language: English
bookshelves: winter-20122013, radio-4, published-2013, nonfiction, poetry, biography, fradio, history, italy, costa-whitbread-winner Recommended for: BBC radio listeners Read from January 22 to 26, 2013 BOTWThe Pike 9780307263933pub 2013BBC Radio 4winter 2012/2013non-ficitalianpoetryblurb- Hayd...
BOTWThe Pike 9780307263933pub 2013BBC Radio 4winter 2012/2013non-ficitalianpoetryblurb- Haydn Gwynne reads from Lucy Hughes-Hallett's biography of this remarkable Italian poet and political agitator whose words triggered riots. Once d'Annunzio's fame as a great wordsmith was established he used it u...