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Gabriele D'Annunzio

Gabriele D'Annunzio

The Italian poet and patriot Gabriele D'Annunzio (1863-1938) was one of the last major representatives of fin-de-siècle decadence in European literature.

Gabriele D'Annunzio was born on March 12, 1863, at Pescara of well-to-do parents. He was educated at the Convitto Cicognini of Prato; he then attended the University of Rome but did not take a degree. Of small physique, bald at an early age, he nevertheless lived in Rome the life of a dandy and ladies' man. In 1883 he married the duchess Maria Hardouin di Gallese, with whom he had three sons. His daughter Renata (the Sirenetta of the novel Notturno) was born out of wedlock by a married woman, Maria Gravina Cruyllas, one of his many companions.

In 1910 D'Annunzio was forced to sell La Capponcina, a sumptuous villa near Florence, where he had lived since 1899. He moved to France, settling finally in Arcachon. In 1915 he returned to Italy to campaign for its entry into World War I. He made famous speeches at Quarto dei Mille and from the steps of Rome's Capitoline Hill. An active participant in the war, he flew over Trieste (1915) and Vienna (1918) and lost the sight of an eye after a bad landing. In 1919 he and his legionnaires occupied Fiume, thus anticipating its later union with Italy. D'Annunzio's rightist leanings made him sympathetic to the Fascist regime, which in 1924 conferred on him the title of Principe di Montenevoso. The government also gave him a villa, Il Vittoriale, on the Lake of Garda, where he resided until his death on March 1, 1938.

Literary Works

One of the most prolific writers of modern Italian literature, D'Annunzio tried all genres with varying success. His accomplished virtuosity in technical matters is evident primarily in his poetry, where the search for new sensual experiences is one of his prime concerns. He also glorified heroic deeds in his patriotic poetry (Odi navali, 1892-1893). A synthesis and symphonic repetition of his earlier poetry is evident in the cycle Laudi del cielo, del mare, della terra e degli eroi (1903-1904; Hymns of the Sky, Sea, Earth and Heroes).

D'Annunzio collected the best of his short stories in the volume Novelle della Pescara (1902). As a story teller, he owes much to Gustave Flaubert and Guy de Maupassant. His novels are of an extreme autobiographical nature. He is Andrea Sperelli in Il piacere (1889; The Child of Pleasure), Tullio Hermil in L'innocente (1892; The Intruder), and Giorgio Aurispa in Trionfo della morte (1894; Triumph of Death). Il fuoco (1900; The Flame of Life) depicts his relationship to Eleonora Duse. Among D'Annunzio's numerous plays the best are Francesca da Rimini (1902) and La figlia di Jorio (1904; The Daughter of Jorio).

Further Reading

Two major critical biographies of D'Annunzio in English are Tom Antongini, D'Annunzio (1938), and Anthony R. E. Rhodes, The Poet as Superman: A Life of Gabriele D'Annunzio (1959). On D'Annunzio's relationship with Eleonora Duse see Bertita L. Harding, Age Cannot Wither: The Story of Duse and D'Annunzio (1947), and Frances Winwar, Wingless Victory: A Biography of Gabriele D'Annunzio and Eleonora Duse (1956). □

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D'Annunzio, Gabriele

Gabriele D'Annunzio (gäbrēĕ´lā dän-nōōn´tsyō) 1863–1938, Italian poet, novelist, dramatist, and soldier, b. Pescara. He went to Rome in 1881 and there began his literary career. Considered by some to be the greatest Italian poet since Dante, he expressed in many of his works the desire to live in a more heroic age, an age that he attempted to create in the events of his life. The richly sensuous imagery of even his early poetry—Le primavere della mala pianta [the springtime of the evil plant] (1880) and Canto nuovo [new song] (1882)—displayed his unrivaled literary craftsmanship. His novels—Il piacere (1889, tr. The Child of Pleasure, 1898), in which he expresses his hero's and his own credo that a person's life should be made a work of art; L'innocente (1892, tr. The Intruder, 1898, and The Victim, 1914); Giovanni Episcopo (1892, tr. Episcopo & Company, 1896); Il trionfo della morte (1894, tr. The Triumph of Death, 1896); and Alcione (1904)—show the same creative handling of the Italian language, but many of these works are regarded as shallow and theatrical. D'Annunzio was also a prolific journalist and a relentless self-promoter.

The outbreak of World War I found him in France, where he had lived since 1910. He returned to Italy, where his extreme nationalist oratory had much to do with persuading Italy to join the Allies, and he fought with spectacular daring in the air force. In Sept., 1919, he led an expedition (known as the march on Ronchi) against Fiume, where he established a rule opposed by both the Italian government and the rest of Europe, which lasted until Jan., 1921. D'Annunzio, one of the few writers to be courted by Mussolini, was an early exponent of fascism, and his troops in the Fiume raid introduced the black shirt that became the uniform of the fascists.

His book Notturrno (1921) is a moving analysis of sensations and memories during weeks of blindness from which he partially recovered. He added little in later life to the long list of his works. His plays include Il sogno d'un mattino di primavera (1897, tr. The Dream of a Spring Morning, 1902), Il sogno d'un tramonto d'autunno (1898, tr. The Dream of an Autumn Sunset, 1904), La città morta (1898, tr. The Dead City, 1902), and Francesca (1902, tr. Francesca da Rimini, 1902). Most of these were written during the time of his love affair with Eleonora Duse, which he described with cruel candor in the novel Il fuoco (1900; tr. The Flame of Life, 1900). Mussolini appointed him (1937) president of the Royal Italian Academy, but he died before taking office.

See biographies by G. Griffin (1935, repr. 1970), C. Klopp (1988), J. Woodhouse (2001), and L. Hughes-Hallett (2013); studies by A. Rhodes (1960), G. Gullace (1966), R. Forcella (4 vol., 1926–37, repr. 1973), and M. Ledeen (1977) and (2001).

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DAnnunzio, Gabriele

D'Annunzio, Gabriele (1863–1938) Italian poet, novelist, and playwright. His flamboyant rhetoric greatly influenced early 20th-century Italian poetry. His poems include Alcyone (1904), and novels The Triumph of Death (1896) and The Child of Pleasure (1898). Of his many plays, La Figlia di Jorio (1904) is considered the best. He became a national hero when he seized and ruled Trieste (1919–21).

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Annunzio, Gabriele d’

Annunzio, Gabriele d’ (b Pescara, 1863; d Vittoriale, 1938). It. poet and dramatist who was keen student of music. Worked in Rome as mus. critic; in 1917 ed. National Collection of Italian Music with help of Pizzetti and Malipiero, among others. Debussy comp. incid. mus. for his play Le Martyre de Saint-Sébastien (1911) and Zandonai's Francesca da Rimini is based on another of his plays.

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"Annunzio, Gabriele d’." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Annunzio, Gabriele D'

Gabriele D' Annunzio: see D'Annunzio, Gabriele.

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