How to Mock a Warmonger


Rufus F.

Rufus is an American curmudgeon in Canada. He has a PhD in History, sings in a garage rock band, and does a bunch of other stuff.

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23 Responses

  1. Avatar dhex says:

    awesome series, sirrah.Report

  2. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    So what ever happened to D’Annuzio? We get this much story about him, and we know he was no Mussolni, and there is no independent Republic of Fiume today, so we know he failed somehow. But he must have had some power for some time; he wasn’t Emperor Norton I.

    Also, the word “irredentist” may be a bit obscure here; what territories was D’Annuzio trying to “restore” to a nation barely fifty years old?Report

    • Avatar Rufus F. says:

      Well, eventually Italy got sick of his occupation and bombarded Fiume until he went home. The funny thing is he returned to Italy and was well taken care of- given a title by the King, made president of the Royal Academy, and lived until 1938. The unfortunate part was Mussolini, who was pressured to join the occupation of Fiume and decided it would be better to stay home and organize, eventually eclipsed him. Also, about two years after he returned from Fiume, someone pushed him out a window and that sort of threw him off his game.

      The Italian irredentists wanted to claim any piece of land where there was a substantial Italian speaking population, in order to get back some of the places that Napoleon claimed and even, in the case of North Africa, to get back places the Roman Empire lost. The idea was to reach Italy’s “natural borders”- a concept that many countries at the time were obsessed with. Here’s a pretty good introduction that distinguishes between that and the risorgimento.

      • Avatar Jim Heffman says:

        Seventy years on and China’s doing much the same thing, uncovering “evidence of historical Chinese occupation” all over the South Asian Sea.

        Oh, and then we have the pretext for the Russian occupation of Eastern Europe.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      The history of Italy from Napoleon to World War II is filled with too many impossible characters to not have been written by an eccentric German sometime in the mid-20th century.

      Also, if I remember correctly, Mussolini may have attempted to kill D’Annuzio by having him thrown out of a building. When that merely wounded him (because again, these cannot be real people), Mussolini then spent most of the rest of his life supporting him financially with the understanding that D’Annuzio would not re-enter public life so long as he was well taken care of.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi says:

        I keep on telling you, truth is always stranger than fiction.
        Fiction has to be at least plausible.

        Only in truth do people go to war over pantzing each other (China, ages ago — it was quite a fad of diplomatic incidents).Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Marlo: Don’t seem possible.
        Chris: It don’t.
        Marlo: That’s some Spiderman shit there.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        If Omar had written pretty good, extremely sexual novels, I might think his character was based on D’Annuzio.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. says:

        I don’t think it was ever quite figured out who was behind his defenstration, although odds are pretty good the Fascisti had something to do with it. Accounts of his fall vary wildly too with one of my absolute favorites being that his political career was supposedly hurt by the widespread belief that he had fallen out of the window while high on cocaine and attempting to fondle a niece.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Somebody would so win an Oscar for playing this dude.Report

  3. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    a heroic member of the elite Arditi storm troops who had flown over Vienna to drop propaganda

    “Those Germans thugs might call themselves stormtroopers, but a real storm troop can drop a leaflet into a mail slot from 3000 feet up.”Report

  4. Avatar James Hanley says:

    the purifying force of violence

    A lot of people still seem to believe in this.Report

  5. Avatar Chris says:

    On d’Annunzio, from here:

    When Liane de Pougy, one of the most celebrated Parisian courtesans, visited Florence, a famous admirer sent a carriage filled with roses to collect her. As she descended the steps, his servants threw more roses at her. “There before me was a frightful gnome with red-rimmed eyes and no eyelashes, no hair, greenish teeth, bad breath, the manners of a mountebank and the reputation, nevertheless, for being a ladies’ man.”


    Yet he was brave in battle, a passionate protector of his men, a pioneering aviator. Above all, he was a prodigious writer whose collected works ran to 48 volumes. Puccini wanted to work with him, Proust admired him and Joyce said he was one of the three most talented writers of the 19th century, alongside Kipling and Tolstoy. His flowery and explicit writing had flair, even if he was not, as he claimed, the greatest Italian writer since Dante. But then, even his children had to call him maestro.

    Read the whole thing. I’m telling you, he is an impossible person.Report