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Idling in Italy by J. E. Collins

IDLING IN ITALY

IDLING IN ITALY

STUDIES OF LITERATURE AND OF LIFE

BY JOSEPH COLLINS

AUTHOR OF "MY ITALIAN YEAR"

_I loaf and invite my soul_

NEW YORK CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 1920

Copyright, 1920, by

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

Published September, 1920

[Illustration]

TO M. K. C.

... Io vengo di lontana parte, Dov'era lo tuo cuor.

PREFACE

Nothing obstacled my pleasure so much when I first went to Italy as unfamiliarity with its literature. Every one who would add to his spiritual stature and his emotional equanimity by tarry in Italy should have some intimacy with the Bible, with mythology, and with Italian writers, especially the poets. I sought books about books but was not very successful in finding them. Interpretative articles on men and books which are so common in British and American literature are exceptional in Italy. One who is ambitious to get even a bowing acquaintance with them must make the introduction himself. In 1918 an enterprising Italian, Signor A. T. Formiggini, attempted to supply such introduction by the publication of a literary review called _L'Italia Che Scrive_, a monthly supplement to all the periodicals. He has had gratifying success.

My purpose in publishing the essays on fictional literature in this volume is in the hope of awakening a larger interest in America in Italian letters and to aid in creating a demand for their translation into English. I shall be glad if they serve to orient any one who is bewildered by his first glance into the maze of Italian modern, improvisional literature.

Americans go to Italy by the thousands, but very few of them take the trouble to acquaint themselves with her history or with her ideals and accomplishments. This is to be regretted, for proportionately as they did that their pleasure would be enhanced and their profit increased. Moreover, it would contribute to better mutual understanding of Americans and Italians.

The remaining chapters are the outgrowth of experiences and emotions in Italy during and after the war.

Some of these essays originally appeared in _The Bookman_, _Scribner's Magazine_, and _The North American Review_, and I thank the editors of those journals for permission to make use of them.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. LITERARY ITALY 1

II. LITERARY ITALY (CONTINUED) 25

III. GABRIELE D'ANNUNZIO--POET, PILOT, AND PIRATE 44

IV. THE FUTURIST SCHOOL OF ITALIAN WRITERS 70

V. GIOVANNI PAPINI AND THE FUTURISTIC LITERARY MOVEMENT IN ITALY 88


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