Venezia Città-Donna nel Fuoco
D’Annunzio’s Il fuoco is largely founded on a complex symbolic ground. Analyzing the tissue of the novel as well as d’Annunzio’s Venetian Taccuini, the essay tries to demonstrate such symbolism with special regard to the representation of Venice. Unlike d’Annunzio’s I World War works Notturno and Licenza, in Il fuoco (1900) Venice embodies mainly positive meanings such as the joy of love, life and artistic creation. Hence, other values are derived and developed: Venice becomes ‘Città anadiomene’, a female symbol of pleasure. Consequently, d’Annunzio’s vision deeply differs from that of other fin de siècle famous writers, who saw in Venice the symbol of melancholy, illness and death. Although d’Annunzio does not deny these features, he efficaciously balances them by opposing positive meanings. Such a narrative strategy finds its fundamental medium in Foscarina, since the woman-actress embodies melancholy as well as vitality and artistic enthusiasm. Indeed a deep link between the woman and the city is traced: Foscarina, whom d’Annunzio often describes as frightened by the flight of Time, is metaphorically associated with the melancholy of lonely places like Calle Gambara as well as with the strong vitality of Venetian garden vegetation. Thanks to this ambivalence, Foscarina emerges as a more complete character than the hero Stelio Èffrena who is connected only to positive values.