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D’Annunzio in the immortal pages of the Recherche

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D’Annunzio in the immortal pages of the Recherche

There are those who call it serendipity, but we prefer to call it chance, luck, destiny. This happens many times: you are looking for something particular but by chance, in fact, you come across something else, coincidentally even more interesting than what you were looking for in the beginning. And what else but an archive lends itself to ensuring that such discoveries can take place? And what better archive than that of the National Library of Rome, a veritable treasure trove of digitized literary treasures such as press clippings, period newspapers, manuscripts not to mention the extraordinary photographs that accumulate there.

And in this sea full of fish we have found an oyster and a pearl. It is an episode of Proust’s Recherche which, further astonishment, sees the presence of the poet hovering in a frivolous, but very meaningful, in hindsight, coffee discussion in a Venice of a hundred years ago. As compelling as a detective story, the story of the discovery begins with the discovery of an article by Giovanni Comisso, one of D’Annunzio’s loyalists, that Comisso, writer, who, following the Commander, took part in the Fiume enterprise.

The piece of 4 July 1963 refers to a publication, which appeared on 2 September 1924 in an issue of the World, which consisted of the translation of a passage from the sixth volume of the Recherche by Marcel Proust, namely the tome Albertine disparue, better known as La Fugitive . An unpublished tome that was published only on December 30th 1925 by the Nouvelle Revue Française. when the tome in question was published by the NRF, it appeared purged of the praise that was being made of D’Annunzio. The expelled episode takes place in a restaurant in Venice, where the protagonist of the Recherche attends the conversation of Mr. from beyond the Alps, and of Mrs. De Villeparisis, his mistress. The two middle-aged diners lazily discuss the Italian politics of the time, while reading the Corriere della Sera and the Giornale d’Italia. We are in the historical climate of the signing of peace treaties on the sidelines of the First World War. Proust, on 11 December 1919, the day after the awarding of the Goncourt prize, and about two months after the entry into Rijeka of a handful of legionaries following D’Annunzio, intent on recovering Istria and Dalmatia, publishes in Matin an anticipation of the sequel to his novel, inserting this cameo on the Rijeka enterprise.

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After the long period of oblivion, the subsequent interest in this episode of the Recherche is due to Enrico Falqui, historical curator of the “third page” of the Tempo di Roma of which the National Library collects the cultural legacy in terms of press clippings, books with illustrious dedications and more which, in an italics of 17 August 1963 in the columns of the Roman newspaper contextualizes the episode mentioned, trying to find in the background, the presuppositions at the origin of this fleeting appearance of the poet in the immortals pages of the Recherche. And this is only the second piece of a literary mystery that cannot fail to fascinate today’s reader, when he finds that not wrecks but true masterpieces of incontrovertible historical interest have been “recovered”, albeit en passant, recalling even just the atmosphere.

Giovanni and Giuseppe Balducci, curators of the work Marcel Proust, Stay in Venice. D’Annunzio in the Recherche: an unpublished – Luni Editrice, Gutenberg’s Dream Series n. 28, 64 pp. – 10.00 euros, already in bookstores and on sale in all online engines and on the website: www.lunieditrice.com

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