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The pike. Poet, seducer and preacher of war…

The pike. Poet, seducer and preacher of war (original 2013; edition 2013)

by Lucy Hughes-Hallett (Author)

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1514117,485 (4.03)6
Title:The pike. Poet, seducer and preacher of war
Authors:Lucy Hughes-Hallett (Author)
Info:London: Fourth Estate Ltd (2013)
Collections:Physical Copy, Your library, Read All Time, Read in 2019
Tags:English Literature, History, Italian Literature, Italian History, Biography, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Mussolini, Fascism

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The Pike by Lucy Hughes-Hallett (2013)



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Showing 4 of 4
A fascinating history of a fascinating and little known man. The book is very cleverly and entertainingly structured, not a straight chronological telling of his life. It gives a chilling insight into the nature of fascism and how it was able to take such a grip in countries like Italy - particularly when describing its mythology and sense of style and oratory. This is also a very instructive account of Italian history which helps with an understanding of how Italy is where it is today (e.g. how someone like Berlusconi has remained so popular). It's only weakness is that, like so many books these days, it's too long and too detailed. It needed editing. D'Annunzio was such a public figure for most of his life and very much into a celebrity lifestyle that the author ends up with far too much information. ( )
  stephengoldenberg | Apr 6, 2016 |
A sprawling portrait of a singularly bizarre individual; d'Annunzio, by all rights, should have been in disgrace and shunned a hundred times over before World War I for his sexual and financial misadventures but he instead channeled his aesthetic gifts and his own Nietzschean will to power (or at least acclaim) into becoming an agitator for Italian entry into war and then built on that to ultimately become "leader" of the city-state of Fiume (now Rijeka in Croatia) to protest the "mutilated" victory that Italy was having to endure for her efforts. Consider this part of the general project to demonstrate the organic nature of Italian fascism as an acceleration of the dream of Italian great power status as a tool to create Italians.

The problem with this book is that while Hughes-Hallett does a fine job of illustrating the streams of experience and tradition that created d'Annunzio, she is probably weakest at illustrating what were the attractions of the man's artistic output to the populace at large, to the point that they would overlook that he was the proverbial bad man who was dangerous to know. This is considering that one of her goals in writing this book was to avoid the dichotomy of overlooking the man's politics for the sake of his art or damning his art due to his now discredited politics. ( )
1 vote Shrike58 | Jul 11, 2014 |
A brilliant, scholarly, yet well paced narrative describing the life, times, & events in Gabriele D'Annunzio's life. Whilst this is also a documentation of the development of fascism from an Italian point of view, this is more a close character study of a promiscuous, drug addled icon of that movement. The author clearly feels a good story in her research has had made a complex, lurid, repulsive character like D'Annunzio very accessible & very, very memorable. Highly recommended. ( )
1 vote aadyer | Jun 23, 2014 |
Sociopath. ( )
  picardyrose | Oct 28, 2013 |
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The story of Gabriele D'Annunzio: poet, daredevil - and Fascist.

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