The present proposal aims to analyze some features of the imaginary world of crowds probed by Scipio Sighele (also) thanks to Gabriele d’Annunzio’s writings, and in particular to The Ship (1908). After studying the psychological complexity of the criminal characters thronging d’Annunzio’s novels, the author of The Criminal Crowd (1891) sees in The Ship d’Annunzio’s first attempt to appear an “agitator of modern ideas”, having been “a summoner of ancient ideas” in the previous plays. This is what Sighele asserts in a long article published in “Il Giornaled’Italia” on March 16 1908, less than two months after the first performance of the work at the Argentina Theatre in Rome (January 11, 1908). The article is nothing but an excerpt of the long essay published the same day in the new issue of the “Nuova Antologia” and collected in the second edition of The Intelligence of Crowds (1910). This journalistic operation confirms the interest that d’Annunzio’s drama fueled not only at a literary level, but also from a social and cultural point of view. In fact, according to Sighele the drama implies an attentive analysis of the collective movements, linked to the fulfillment of the will of the people. This is what Sighele himself claims in a letter to d’Annunzio written on October 16, 1909. The sociologist wonders if the hypothesis (confirmed by the poet) that The Tragedy of Crowds announced by the poet in 1899 may be the original title of The Ship. As a result, it is possible to strengthen Sighele’s thesis that the literary medium may be functional to probe the confusion of changes engendered by modernity. In this way, the evolution of the sociology of masses as a scientific discipline (from Le Bon and Tarde to Canetti, Riesman, Smelser) can also be explained in these terms, by considering the wider context of both Italian and European culture to which Sighele and d’Annunzio contributed with analysis and representation that should not be underrated.

Sighele, d'Annunzio e l'immaginario della folla

Lombardinilo Andrea
2019

Abstract

The present proposal aims to analyze some features of the imaginary world of crowds probed by Scipio Sighele (also) thanks to Gabriele d’Annunzio’s writings, and in particular to The Ship (1908). After studying the psychological complexity of the criminal characters thronging d’Annunzio’s novels, the author of The Criminal Crowd (1891) sees in The Ship d’Annunzio’s first attempt to appear an “agitator of modern ideas”, having been “a summoner of ancient ideas” in the previous plays. This is what Sighele asserts in a long article published in “Il Giornaled’Italia” on March 16 1908, less than two months after the first performance of the work at the Argentina Theatre in Rome (January 11, 1908). The article is nothing but an excerpt of the long essay published the same day in the new issue of the “Nuova Antologia” and collected in the second edition of The Intelligence of Crowds (1910). This journalistic operation confirms the interest that d’Annunzio’s drama fueled not only at a literary level, but also from a social and cultural point of view. In fact, according to Sighele the drama implies an attentive analysis of the collective movements, linked to the fulfillment of the will of the people. This is what Sighele himself claims in a letter to d’Annunzio written on October 16, 1909. The sociologist wonders if the hypothesis (confirmed by the poet) that The Tragedy of Crowds announced by the poet in 1899 may be the original title of The Ship. As a result, it is possible to strengthen Sighele’s thesis that the literary medium may be functional to probe the confusion of changes engendered by modernity. In this way, the evolution of the sociology of masses as a scientific discipline (from Le Bon and Tarde to Canetti, Riesman, Smelser) can also be explained in these terms, by considering the wider context of both Italian and European culture to which Sighele and d’Annunzio contributed with analysis and representation that should not be underrated.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/710766
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