Other Literary Forms
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.