Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Gabriele D'Annunzio: quite possibly the most interesting man in history

Gabriele D'Annunzio, poet, warrior, playboy, mystic. He bombed Trieste with poems (literally) in WWI, losing an eye in the process. Bored at the end of the war, he led an anarchist army and captured the city of Fiume, where he created the "last of the Pirate-Utopias"--but not before first ensuring victory via a little necromancy with his mistress in a Venice graveyard. His little empire was a non-stop party while it lasted: fireworks every evening and a constitution that declared "music to be the central principle of the state". He inspired Mussolini and Hitler (to whom he bears an uncanny resemblance, see the picture below)--in fact, the famous brown & black shirts (and the SS symbol) all derive from his personal sense of fashion--and in many ways, the Free State of Fiume was the model for future fascists everywhere. He was even the basis for the fascist fascination with the occult. When the Italian navy finally showed up to evict him, he built himself a fantasy palace on a lake in Northern Italy. He died in 1938 in a crowning feat of poetic justice, having realized the errors of fascism too late--Mussolini had him pushed from his own balcony.




Actually NOT Hitler--this is Gabriele D'Annunzio addressing his forces at Fiume in 1920. Quite the trend setter...

3 comments:

troutsky said...

Hard to get proportions right from the picture but he looks like another guy with short-mans disease.

Alex Rettie said...

"He died in 1938 in a crowning feat of poetic justice, having realized the errors of fascism too late--Mussolini had him pushed from his own balcony."

This makes it sound like Mussolini had him killed in 1938. But he died of a stroke -- the balcony incident occurred some 15 years earlier and may or may not have been ordered by Mussolini -- the evidence is unclear,

lu. said...

>Mussolini had him pushed from his own balcony>

The balcony incident occurred in August, 13, 1922.

It seems that the poet was conversing softly, near the window, with Baccara's sister, the Lady (of) Vittoriale. Because of her jealousy, Luisa Baccara pushed Vate and made him fall out the window, not off the balcony.