An important book from two angles:- the first comprehensive biography of the enigmatic Italian poet and patriot, and an...

READ REVIEW

D'ANNUNZIO

An important book from two angles:- the first comprehensive biography of the enigmatic Italian poet and patriot, and an angle on the man by the person closest to him during most of his adult life. However, as straight, readable biography, it is a disappointment. It is an unconventional form of treatment, topical rather than chronological, and full without being intimate. Antongini was at one time his publisher, at another his executive secretary and general manager, at all times his associate and -- in so far as he had friends -- his friend and admirer. The picture he presents of D'Annunzio is objective in that he weighs the weaknesses of the man in the balance with his greatness, but always one feels that he lines up his points rather than allowing the reader to draw conclusions from facts and incidents. For instance, he takes D'Annunzio in relation to his family; his amours; his patriotism; his physical characteristics; the legends that have grown up around him, etc. etc. All the details are there, almost as if a meticulously kept card file index had been published in book form, but there is no survey of the successive facts of his life, and no attempt to analyze his contribution as a poet. Perhaps his biographer feels that his poetry and his dramas speak for themselves; he presumes too much upon the intimate knowledge of his work as applied to the American reading public. This should be invaluable for students, but for the general reader it lacks cohesion and dramatic value. And anyone hoping to find intimate pictures of D'Annunzio's love life must look elsewhere. Libraries -- schools -- colleges.

Pub Date: June 6, 1938

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1938