A Biographical Dictionary of Modern Rationalists/Annunzio, Gabriele d'


Annunzio, Gabriele d', Italian poet, novelist, and tragedian. B. 1863. Up to the age of sixteen D'Annunzio did not attend school, yet in that year, when he first came under a teacher, he published his first volume of verse (Primo Vere, 1879), including translations from the Latin, which brought great praise from the critics. Five further volumes appeared in the next ten years. In 1889 he published his first novel, Il Piacere, and was at once recognized as a remarkable artist. His earlier novels show the influence of Bourget and Maupassant. The later novels (Il Trionfo della Morte, etc.) follow rather the standard and spirit of the Russian school; while his tragedies and dramas suggest the Greek spirit and seek to restore Greek ideals to the stage. He is generally recognized in Italy as the greatest writer since the Renaissance, and the literary movement he leads is known as the Renaissance (Risorgimento). He is, however, as much concerned with a philosophy as an art, and it is purely pagan, disdainful of all religion. D'Annunzio aims at "the re-establishment of the worship of man"; not in the religious and ethical sense of the Positivists, but in the sense of an appreciation of beauty and power and culture. His bravery and endurance during the War sufficiently answered those who spoke of him as " decadent." He is one of the most artistic writers in Europe.