The Child of Pleasure
The Child of Pleasure (written in 1888 and published in 1889) and its protagonist Andrea Sperelli introduced the Italian culture of the late 1800s to Aestheticism and a taste for decadence. Sperelli is a young count, who - like Joris Karl Huysmans' Baron Des Esseintes or Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray - following family tradition, seeks beauty and despises the bourgeois world; leads an extraordinary life, which he lives as a work of art; and rejects the basic rules of morality and social interaction. However, this extraordinary sensitivity also implies a certain corruption, evident in his sadistic superimposing of the two women: Elena Muti and Maria Ferres.
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Andrea Sperelli answered asked Andrea Barbarella Barbarisi beautiful began breath caress carriage charm cried cypresses d'Annunzio Delfina delicate delight desire Donna Maria dream Duke Elena Emile Zola exclaimed eyes face feel felt Ferentino flowers fountain Francesca Gabriele d'Annunzio gaze gleamed grace Grimiti hair hand head heart Hippolyta horses indefinable ISBN kiss ladies laughed leaned light lips listened looked Lord Heathfield lover Lucoli Ludovico Maria Ferres Micigliano mind mingled mouth murmured Musellaro mysterious never night once palace Palazzo Palazzo Barberini Palazzo Zuccari pale passed passion perfume Petrarch Piazza Piazza di Spagna pleasure Princess Rome rose round Rutolo Schifanoja Secinaro seemed shadow silence smile soul spirit stood suddenly sweet tears things thought to-morrow tone touch trees trembling tremor Trinita turned veil Villa Villa Medici Villa Sciarra violets voice whole window woman words
Page iii - Italian can, of the reality and the beauty of sensation, of the primary sensations ; the sensations of pain and pleasure as these come to us from our actual physical conditions ; the sensation of beauty as it comes to us from the sight of our eyes and the tasting of our several senses ; the sensation of love, which, to the Italian, comes up from a root in Boccaccio, through the stem of Petrarch, to the very flower of Dante. And so he becomes the idealist of material things, while seeming to materialise...
Page 16 - Rome was his passion — not the Rome of the Caesars, but the Rome of the Popes — not the Rome of the triumphal Arches, the Forums, the Baths, but the Rome of the Villas, the Fountains, the Churches. He would have given all the Colosseums in the world for the Villa Medici, the Campo Vaccino for the Piazza di Spagna, the Arch of the Titus for the Fountain of the Tortoises.
Page iii - ... comes to us from the sight of our eyes and the tasting of our several senses ; the sensation of love, which, to the Italian, comes up from a root in Boccaccio, through the stem of Petrarch, to the very flower of Dante. And so he becomes the idealist of material things, while seeming to materialise spiritual things. He accepts, as no one else of our time does, the whole physical basis of life, the spirit which can be known only through the body, the body which is but clay in the shaping or destroying...