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GABRIELE D'ANNUNZIO - TYPESCRIPT SIGNED - HFSID 18400

GABRIELE D'ANNUNZIO Near the end of World War I, the Italian poet and activist - a model for Mussolini - praises the French army. Typescript signed: "Gabriele d'Annunzio", 2p (front and verso), 7½x9½.

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Reg. $320.00

Condition: slightly soiled, otherwise fine condition
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GABRIELE D'ANNUNZIO
Near the end of World War I, the Italian poet and activist - a model for Mussolini - praises the French army.
Typescript signed: "Gabriele d'Annunzio", 2p (front and verso), 7½x9½. Printed text of his statement, "Salut a l"Armee Française" ("Salute to the French Army"), addressed to General Berthelot, 1918 September 27. A speech in French evidently delivered by D'Annunzio on a visit to France, Berthelot being his host. The speech is full of elaborate praise of the French army and nation, concluding with this paragraph (translated): "For having accomplished humbly each day an act of fidelity to your cause, to your noble cause, I am able, am worthy, my General, of saluting through you the French Army, this immense wave of glory which surmounts all sacrifices and dominates all horizons." Italian poet, novelist, playwright and journalist Gabriele D'Annunzio (1863-1938) appeared in print in the early 1880s. Critics universally praised his style, but some condemned his sensual themes as immoral. His first novel, published in English as The Child of Pleasure, appeared in 1889. D'Annunzio always lived life to the fullest. He had a long affair with the actress Eleanora Duse, casting her in several of his plays. An ardent Italian nationalist, D'Annunzio urged Italy to join World War I on the Allied side. During the war, he became a celebrated fighter pilot, losing an eye. Angry at the Versailles Treaty, which awarded the city of Fiume (now Rijeka) to Yugoslavia, D'Annunzio led Italian volunteers in seizing the city (1919), hoping Italy would annex it. When Italy declined, and instead blockaded the port, D'Annunzio declared it independent. While governing Fiume for a year, D'Annunzio set many precedents which Italian dictator Mussolini would later imitate: the title of "Duce", balcony speeches, blackshirted followers, and a constitution establishing a "corporatist" state. After Mussolini took power in Italy, however, he viewed D'Annunzio as a potential rival. The poet played no active role in the fascist state, although he supported Mussolini's expansionist foreign policy. D'Annunzio strongly opposed Mussolini's alliance with Hitler. Lightly creased and rolled. Slightly soiled. Bisecting horizontal fold. Otherwise, fine condition.

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