The Sex-Crazed Poet Strongman Who (Shortly) Built A kingdom

The Sex-Crazed Poet Strongman Who (Shortly) Built A kingdom

Gabriele d’Annunzio pioneered the politics regarding the spectacle.

The young poet Gabriele d’Annunzio. Credit Credit Henri Le Lieure/Alinari, via Getty Images

By Tara Isabella Burton

Dr. Burton is a adding editor at The United states Interest and a columnist at Religion Information Service.

A hundred years back this autumn, a high profile showman became a strongman. The womanizing, profligate poet that is italian d’Annunzio, that has develop into a hero of World War I by airdropping their own propagandistic poetry over Vienna, marched to the Hapsburg town of Fiume (now Rijeka in Croatia) and declared himself its frontrunner.

Fiume’s status that is postwar held it’s place in dispute for months. Both the Kingdom of Italy plus the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia) reported the town, that has been bulk Italian but had a big Croatian populace. For Italian nationalists, Fiume had been an element of the “irredenti,” or unredeemed, territories: Italian lands waiting become advertised by Italians.

Enter d’Annunzio. The novelist that is 56-year-old poet had currently produced title for himself not merely as you of Italy’s best article writers, but in addition certainly one of its many flamboyant. As being a new guy he’d received spare cash writing celebrity gossip columns; in their prime, he utilized them to develop fables about their own history. (as an example, in 1911, if the Mona Lisa ended up being shortly taken through the Louvre, he greatly implied it was at their household.) He invested beyond their means, making his spouse and kids destitute while he gathered horses and objets d’art (and cocaine) . He’d a huge selection of love affairs — and would tip down reporters as he ended up being planning to break certainly one of them off, when you look at the hope that the scene that is subsequent result in the tabloids. He lived because of the maxim of 1 of their most well-known figures, Andrea Sperelli: “One must make life that is one’s a thing of beauty.”

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