Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)


*Rome. Italy’s capital city, in which the novel begins with lovers Giorgio and Ippolita meeting for the first time in the Via del Babuino. The city is immediately established as a point of departure; the story then hurries on to a point, two years after their first meeting, when they are consulting a Baedeker travel guide for inspiration. No sooner have they left the city, however, than they begin to immerse themselves in their memories of it. It becomes part and parcel of their existential predicament that wherever they are, they will soon yearn to be elsewhere. They find it hard to select a destination, and in the early phases of the novel they are often sidetracked. There is a sense in which Rome remains the center of their conceptual universe no matter where they are, but they cannot be content to remain or return there. Perhaps, for Giorgio at least, Rome is symbolic of life itself; he finds it impossible to leave the city in any meaningful sense, even though he does not want to be there.

Villa Cesarini

Villa Cesarini. House in Albano, not far from Lake Nemi, at which Giorgio and Ippolita stay while on their first excursion. Their mail catches up with them there, bringing them news from other places, renewing their restlessness and drawing them back to Rome.


*Guardiagrele (gwahr-dyah-GRAY-lay). Town in Chieti Province in which Giorgio was born and where various members of his divided family still...

(The entire section is 616 words.)


(Great Characters in Literature)

Jullian, Philippe. D’Annunzio. Translated by Stephen Hardman. London: Pall Mall Press, 1972. A comprehensive study of the man and his works. The Triumph of Death is discussed in chapter 5.

Klopp, Charles. Gabriele D’Annunzio. Boston: Twayne, 1988. A compact but thorough study of the man and his works.

Praz, Mario. The Romantic Agony. Translated by Angus Davidson. New York: Oxford University Press, 1933. This classic study of Romanticism and Decadence makes abundant reference to D’Annunzio. Section 24 of chapter 4 considers Ippolita as a femme fatale.

Rhodes, Anthony. The Poet as Superman: A Life of Gabriele D’Annunzio. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1959. A biography with some critical discussion. The Triumph of Death is discussed.