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Description

The poet-soldier Gabriele D’Annunzio (1863-1938) wrote to Luigi Cardorna (1850-1928), Commander-in-Chief of the Italian army on 18 September 1917. The letter is written on headed paper of the air squadron Della Comina, a place near Pordenone, in Friuli. The Latin motto of the squadron is cominus et eminus ferit, it will wound from near and far.

Transcript

Excellency, yesterday I came to the army’s general headquarters for some minutes, but, I couldn’t disturb you, as I knew you were really busy. I took with me in Udine the noble French sculptor Maurice Favre, whose name couldn’t be unknown to Your Excellency, because he is reliable for the Republic Government by the headquarter.

  1. Excellency, yesterday I came to the army’s general headquarters for some minutes, but, I couldn’t disturb you, as I knew you were really busy. I took with me in Udine the noble French sculptor Maurice Favre, whose name couldn’t be unknown to Your Excellency, because he is reliable for the Republic Government by the headquarter.
  2. That Government would be pleased to have, thanks to Maurice Favre who had already immortalized the most famous French Chiefs, the busts of Luigi Cadorna and Carlo Porro.

    Yesterday the Chief seemed to be disorientated and he was afraid of a long disturb. But I assured him that Favre is not an artist who needs lots of sittings. He

  3. needs only to observe and understand the man he’s going to interpret with the matter of his art.

    The Chief accepted to receive the sculptor after his return. Favre would be really grateful to your Excellency if you could work to obtain that this agreement didn’t disappear

  4. for any reason. He is patient and he could wait.

    Now I ask you for him also the consent of Y. E. We know how precious is your time, especially in these bloody weeks, but it would be enough for Favre to see you for an hour in silence in the room where

  5. Y. E. works or meditates. He didn’t wont the materiality of the image, but the deep character, the style of the man.

    Yesterday I sent to tenant Scotti some photographs about busts already known. Anatole France, for example, thinks he never had any picture from a more immobile hand and a more perceptive mind. The one of gene-

  6. -ral Maumoury is full of painful nobility.

    Today Maurice Favre goes to Venice to wait. He could come back at any call. In fact yesterday he had been introduced to colonel Barbarich.

    I recommend him to the protection of Y. E.

    And, as Italian, I think that –in the ideal order- is appropriate

  7. that Your images could remain, fixed by a synthetic and divining art like Favre’s one.

    Forgive me Y. E. if, in conclusion, I’m telling something about me as captain.

    There are some weeks in which there is a proposal for a promotion thanks to my war merits, motivated by my work for the

  8. bombing teams. 

    After the date of this proposal, I took the command of my team –as a senior captain- for every offensive action, as the group of Comina was without a commanding after the departure of major Falchi.

    I think there is a paper about how I worked, which has been send or is been sending

  9. to the Command of the air force. My plane was the only one that went down approximately to 50 metres, and that revealed the existence of the railway establishment of Gorjansko thanks to a photograph praised by the Command of the III Army. In this occasion I have been lightly injured at the wrist and the leg, and I had
  10. to land for the third time out of field, with the plane perforated. 

    My action after the proposal should strengthen the reasons. 

    I confess to Y. E. that I prefer the promotion in front of any other return, because the superior grade will allow me to command again

  11. a new group and to give a larger operation to that aviation I am –as Y. E. knows- so passionate.

    I would be really pleased if this could happen in the next action of Cattaro ordered from Y. E. 

    Forgive me, considering

  12. that there is no military vanity but only the desire of serving as better as I can.

    And Y. E. could always consider me as Your devote and grateful 

    Gabriele d’Annunzio

    La Comina: September 18th, 1917