Found 74 unpublished manuscript pages of Gabriele d'Annunzio's Il Piacere

The Il Vittoriale degli Italiani Foundation announces the discovery of 74 unpublished manuscript pages of Gabriele d'Annunzio's 'Il Piacere'.

The Fondazione Il Vittoriale degli Italiani has announced the news of the discovery of 74 unpublished manuscript pages of Il Piacere by Gabriele d’Annunzio (Pescara, 1863 - Gardone Riviera, 1938). These are proofs of writing that later did not end up in the final draft of the novel published in 1889, but they are of great interest as they contain notes, memos, word lists and are therefore very useful for better understanding the genesis of D’Annunzio’s masterpiece. Two essays that will be published in the next issue of the magazine L’officina del Vittoriale (published by Silvana Editoriale) will give an account of the discovery. The issue, titled ’Che grande e superbo artista voi siete!’ Proofs of the drafting of Piacere, will contain the writings of art historian Daniela Garofalo and literary historian Niva Lorenzini, a specialist on D’Annunzio (she edited the edition of Il Piacere for the Mondadori Meridiani).

Garofalo, in her essay entitled The ’Pleasure’ of Synergy: The Collaboration between Francesco Paolo Michetti and Gabriele d’Annunzio, will delve into the relationship of deep friendship between the Vate and the painter Francesco Paolo Michetti (Tocco da Casauria, 1851 - Francavilla al Mare, 1929), who taught D’Annunzio, as the poet himself had occasion to write, “the exercise and development of the noblest among the faculties of the intellect,” namely observation and method. A method that appears in the unpublished manuscript papers, from which the artistic lesson that D’Annunzio learned from Michetti shines through. And, moreover, the unpublished papers are owned by a private collector, who has decided to remain anonymous for now, but come from Michetti’s own descendants. Garofalo will therefore focus on the relationships between art and letters in the new manuscripts.

Lorenzini, on the other hand, will subject the newly discovered pages to a thorough and complexphilological-literary analysis (in fact, the pages are full of overwritings and erasures). It was thus found that the papers are writing proofs for pages 131-188 of the Mondadori Meridiani edition, namely the first three chapters of Book Two, where the protagonist, the young Count Andrea Sperelli Fieschi d’Ugenta, is a guest of his cousin Donna Francesca in the villa of Schifanoja during his convalescence after being wounded in a duel, and where he then meets one of the novel’s protagonists, Maria Ferres, wife of the minister plenipotentiary of Guatemala, with whom he will enter into the relationship that sustains the entire second part of the book.

The president of the Il Vittoriale Foundation, Giordano Bruno Guerri, explained to the Adn Kronos agency that these are “perfectly preserved papers that show a D’Annunzio writing somewhat different from what we are used to, not always balanced and posed, but in many cases (especially in the verso of the sheets) hasty, frenetic, impetuous, as impetuous was D’Annunzio’s guest of Michetti in the Francavilla convent,” that is, the place where Il Piacere was written. Among the most relevant excerpts is an autograph where D’Annunzio reports a judgment on him, the one that gives the title to the booklet on which the two essays will be published: “What a great and superb artist you are! Too superb, perhaps.”

Pictured is one of the unpublished pages, from Chapter III of Book II, where Maria reports to Andrea Sperelli her feelings after reading a poem, the Fable of Hermaphrodite, written by the count.

Found 74 unpublished manuscript pages of Gabriele d'Annunzio's Il Piacere
Found 74 unpublished manuscript pages of Gabriele d'Annunzio's Il Piacere

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