Piaf and Cocteau: Les Enfants Terribles | A R T L▼R K

When I write I disturb. When I make a film I disturb. When I paint I disturb. When I exhibit my paintings I disturb, and I disturb if I don’t. I have a knack for disturbing. (Jean Cocteau, Diary of an Unknown)

On the 11th of October 1963, a French poet, novelist, designer, playwright, artist, and filmmaker Jean Cocteau died in his country house in Milly-la-Forêt, France. The multi-talented dandy …

Source: Piaf and Cocteau: Les Enfants Terribles | A R T L▼R K

To His Son Benedict from the Tower of London by John Hoskyns

19th-century engraving of The Trusty Servant, from the 1579 painting by John Hoskins [sic]

The epigram attached to the Hoskyns family is ‘Imprison thy tongue or it will thee.’ In other words, keep your trap shut or you’ll end up in trouble! His descendants, which include the owner of this blog, still have similar problems because we tend to open our mouths when it would be prudent to keep our thoughts to ourselves. John Hoskyns was imprisoned at the same time as John Aubrey, who mentions him in Brief Lives.

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To His Son Benedict from the Tower of London by John Hoskyns 1614

Sweet Benedict, whilst thou art young,
And know’st not yet the use of tongue,
Keep it in thrall whilst thou art free:
Imprison it or it will thee.

John Hoskyns (1566-1638)

© Sarah Vernon

D’Annunzio and PR – Beachcombing’s Bizarre History Blog

Gabrielle d’Annunzio was one of the most ghastly men to have walked the earth and, yet, he was unquestionably a genius, ‘a talented shit’. He dominated Italy’s literary scene for a half a century and packed more into his lifetime than most of us would manage in ten: a random line from his biography ‘fell out of a window while high on cocaine after fondling his mistress’ sister’, or was it his sister’s mistress… d’Annunzio constantly played the spontaneous libertine, but really his life was – and of how many geniuses this is true – an act of lurid calculation. Particularly interesting was his use of the press to further his various dubious causes. An anecdote that is worth a thousand words is the fact that on arriving with his army in Fiume (the lost Italian town), he refused to enter before the camera crew had caught up. There are though other more dramatic examples.

In 1881 he tipped off the press that he had died. The passing of a talented young poet was much discussed and when he emerged…

Source: D’Annunzio and PR – Beachcombing’s Bizarre History Blog.

The “John the Baptist” of Fascism

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Italians in Fiume cheering D’Annunzio in September 1919

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There murmur swarming through my drowsy head
In this vast furnace of a summer day
Relentless verses clamoring to be said,
As beetles round a putrid carcass play.

Gabriele D'Anunnzio.png

One doesn’t often run into a Fascist poet although Ezra Pound was considered one. Usually poets tend to be dreamers of leftish persuasion – not Fascists.

Yet the “John the Baptist” of Italian fascism was a poet – Gabriele D’Annunzio. He was the model on which Benito Mussolini would later build the full Fascist state.

D’Annunzio was born in the Abruzzi region of Italy in March 1863 as the bastard child of a wealthy landowner. His mother’s name was Rapagnetta and it was his surname until he was adopted by a retired wealthy uncle Antonio D’Annunzio, who sent him to a fine private school to continue his education. It was there, at 16…

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