«Impones plagiario pudorem»
D’Annunzio Novelist and the affaire des plagiats
During d’Annunzio’s lifetime, a controversy arose concerning his alleged drawing from other literary sources – sources which he transformed in his writings through his own lyricism. Following the publication of d’Annunzio’s novel L’innocente (The intruder), Enrico Thovez instigated the so-called affaire des plagiats, in response to which critics such as Benedetto Croce took d’Annunzio’s part. By borrowing from French Symbolists and Russian writers, d’Annunzio wished to abandon 19th century realism so as to reflect fin de siècle irrationalism and spiritualism, but he proved unsuccessful in setting up an innovative narrative system. Apparently being more a poet than a novelist, d’Annunzio let the functions of poetry dictate narrative strategy; thus, another literary genre, the roman-poème, was founded.