Eva Colombo, Bestiario dannunziano, capitolo sesto: Il fantasma del cane
Eva Colombo, D'Annunzio's bestiary, sixth chapter: The ghost of the dog
Hell’s flames of the Great War lick Dama Rosa, the French farmhouse where D’Annunzio and his lover Donatella raise with absolute devotion a splendid greyhounds pack. The poet and Donatella don’t escape, they don’t want to abandon their beloved dogs. However, hell seems to be the natural habitat of these dogs: their green eyes are flaming, someone jumps unceasingly looking for something to devour, the demoniac black dogs group stands aside in ambush.
But Great War’s hell swallows D’Annunzio spiting him far from Dama Rosa, in Venice. Here, in a night of crescent moon and high tide, ghosts of demoniac black dogs of Dama Rosa emerge from Canal Grande’s waters.
It is known that devil could assume dog’s features as well as snake’s features. Many years before the outbreak of Great War, in Venice ( not by chance, being Venice to D’Annunzio an “alchemical city” ), the poet recognised the greyhound portrayed in Durer’s engraving Melencolia I as a snake – greyhound: a demoniac dog to the nth power. Obviously, being engraving subject the first step of the Opus alchemicum, dark nigredo ( phase of death and hell ) ruled by Saturn, the Evil One. Many years after in France, at the time of Dama Rosa’s demoniac greyhounds, D’Annunzio will give features of Durer’s saturnine snake – greyhound to Ilah, the magician consecrated to Saturn who foretells S. Sebastian destiny gazing at alchemical crucible.