Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 278
Gabriele D’Annunzio is more famous as a poet and novelist than as a dramatist. His first book of poems, Primo vere (1879, 1880), was assembled when he was a teenager, and he was very prolific thereafter, following with Canto novo (1882, 1896; new song) and Intermezzo di rime (1884, 1896; an interlude of verses). Alcyone (1904; English translation, 1977) was intended to be the third book in a heptalogy called Laudi del cielo del mare della terra e degli eroi (1899). The project was not completed, but the 1899 work was expanded to create Alcyone, as well as Maia (1903), Elettra (1904), Merope (1912), and Canti della guerra latina (1914-1918). D’Annunzio was also renowned, and sometimes notorious, for his novels; Il piacere (1889; The Child of Pleasure, 1898), his first, caused a scandal. Giovanni Episcopo (1892; Episcopo and Company, 1896) and L’innocente (1892; The Intruder, 1898) exhibit a Dostoevskian influence, while Il trionfo della morte (1894; The Triumph of Death, 1896) and Le vergini della rocce (1896; The Maidens of the Rocks, 1898) show the influence of Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Richard Wagner. Il fuoco (1900; The Flame of Life, 1900), inspired by his affair with the well-known Italian actress Eleonora Duse, caused another scandal. Throughout his career, he published collections of prose, including short stories, sketches, and meditations, such as Terra vergine (1882, 1884; the virgin land), Il libro della vergini (1884; the book of the virgins), and San Pantaleone (1886), later republished as Le novelle della Pescara (1902; Tales from My Native Town, 1920). Later, D’Annunzio also wrote Contemplazione della morte (1912; contemplation of death), Vite di uomini illustri e di uomini oscuri (1913), La Leda senza cigno (1916; Leda without swan, 1988), La musica di Wagner e la genesi del “Parsifal” (1914), and Il notturno (1921; nocturne). He wrote the screenplay for the film Cabiria (1914), as well.
Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 155
Gabriele D’Annunzio’s plays contain some of the most poetically beautiful passages in Italian drama. The early works, such as The Dream of a Spring Morning and The Dream of an Autumn Sunset, are lush, decadent, lyric, and effusive, very much in the fin de siècle style, shifting from the realism of Giovanni Verga, Luigi Capuana, and Guy de Maupassant (early influences) into the sensuality and eroticism of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé (pb. 1893). Although D’Annunzio’s reputation has suffered because of his overtly fascist politics and because modern literature has moved toward a starker mode of expression, he has been called the greatest lyric talent in Italy in the twentieth century. The Daughter of Jorio represents D’Annunzio at his best, combining realistic details of folklore and peasant life in the Abruzzi region with passionate dialogue and intense emotion. It is usually called D’Annunzio’s masterpiece and has often been revived.
Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 511
The literary production of Gabriele D’Annunzio (dahn-NEWNT-syoh) encompasses many other genres: short stories, poetry, autobiographical essays, political writings, and several plays, both in Italian and French. It would appear difficult as well as arbitrary, however, to draw a sharp distinction between D’Annunzio’s fiction and his memoirs, for his works in both forms are eminently autobiographical. The only possible differentiation between the two genres depends on the mere change from first-person to third-person narration. Moreover, D’Annunzio’s fiction and nonfiction follow a pattern of parallel development that escapes chronological schematization. Finally, to exclude memoirs would present only a...
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