Overview of Chinese military integration + cyber operations doctrine, with analysis of Chinese-language documents and military, placing it within theOverview of Chinese military integration + cyber operations doctrine, with analysis of Chinese-language documents and military, placing it within the CCP's broader strategy of domestic information control. ...more
Generale Gabriele D'Annunzio, Prince of Montenevoso, Duke of Gallese was one of the most bizarre figures to lead an artistic or political movement. AGenerale Gabriele D'Annunzio, Prince of Montenevoso, Duke of Gallese was one of the most bizarre figures to lead an artistic or political movement. A contemporary writer compared him to the pike fish. It is tough, bony, a difficult catch, and it snatches up its prey with the clamping of its jaws. This was how D'Annunzio took up ideas, images, movements.
He was a poet, first, and that is part of what made him famous. He was obsessed with Byron, Ossian, and Dante. He wrote poems in the style of the troubadours long before Ezra Pound. He was an obsessive self-promoter, impressed by the early cult of celebrity around Liszt. From the earliest days, he takes care to exaggerate his own personality and the story of his life. He played up sales for his first book of poems by faking his own death. He obsessively documented his own life - what he ate, what he smelled, the feelings of sex with his many lovers. He lived in France for a few years, and he was one of the most read writers of his time, and such contemporaries as Romaine Rolland, Henry James, and Marcel Proust remember him. Hemingway thought him stupid, but brave.
He was also a total hedonist. He feigned madness, like the post-war painters Egon Schiele would later use madness. Like Mishima, he saw the impaled figure of Saint Sebastian as a vessel for desire. He writes the most decadent erotica, and performs cunnilingus almost in public view. We have a DNA sample from when he sent a crusty handkerchief to one of his lovers. He goes through mistresses like a serial masturbator goes through toilet paper. He uses them up and tosses them aside when he is done, gaining a noble title or an estate along the way.
After 1914, he recast himself into a warrior's image. He wrote speeches and drafted propaganda for the Italian government as it wasted hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the Isonzo campaigns, then he led bombing missions against the Austrians. He led his troops with chants from the Iliad. Eia! Eia! Eia! Alalà! His speaking style - fluid, repetitious, emotive, hypnotic - was copied by Mussolini and Hitler.
After the war, he protested the 'mutilated victory', where Italy had not been rewarded with territory consummate to what it had lost. This culminates in the mad dash to seize the city of Fiume (now Rijeka, on the Croatian coast). He puts out the call for 'new legions' to join him and desert the Italian Army, and they don black shirts and loot grain from the local farms. He calls for Victory or Death, and then surrenders after the Italian navy lobs a single shell through his window.
By the time the Fascists took power in 1922, he has reached the end of his public life. Mussolini kept him neutered by paying for a villa and his debauched lifestyle, so he would not contest the ruling party. Though he made ineffectual protests to the Duce, D'Annunzio spent his time eating elaborate desserts and sniffing cocaine. Mussolini called him the 'John the Baptist' of fascism, which D'Annunzio took as an insult. He could not allow Mussolini to play Jesus, he was supposed to be Jesus! He died in March 1938, a year before the war would begin, and five years before Fascism came to an end in Italy.
D'Annunzio was not a fascist - he was too early for that, and he was not enough of a systemic thinker even by fascist standards. But he contributed most to fascist politics as an aesthetic, a "politics of poetry". It is a cult of the image, of the spectacle, or chants, flags, banners, pseudo-antiquity, and the glorification of death.
This is an uncommonly good biography for such an unusual figure. The author does not take the usual approach of setting events in order, but sets them up according to themes and anecdotes - 'Nobility', 'War', 'Caesura'. She picks apart the trends of his behavior, and is quick to see through his strategic use of irony and deception. Think about the world where this vain decadent could become a major political inspiration. Think of all those who learned from him, and where we are today because of what they learned. The figure, so obscure in the English-speaking world, invites you to gape and wonder, to see a world where his feeling dominated thought, where he could, without a moment's hesitation, christen his ill-gotten Fiume a 'City of Holocaust'....more
A collection of 225 'tales of wonder' (志怪小说), compiled and translated from over 25 separate collections. Strange events, supernatural phenomenon, demoA collection of 225 'tales of wonder' (志怪小说), compiled and translated from over 25 separate collections. Strange events, supernatural phenomenon, demons and spirits of all sorts. The translator and editor suggest in the introduction that these stories may have had an important role in the writing of fiction, but more so an introduction to folk religious belief. ...more