Sometimes there’s a theme in a week’s minor news stories, and this week it seems to be: the mislaid spermatazoa of flamboyantly (even specifically upward-turning!) mustachioed Mediterranean fascist-sympathizing bohemian egomaniacs. First, there was the news that one Pilar Abel, a 58-year-old Spaniard, was filing a paternity suit against the estate of Salvador Dalí, claiming the bombastic Catalan surrealist painter had had an affair with her mother while he was married to Gala Diakonova Éluard Dalí, his Tatarstan-born Russo-Spanish muse. Of course, the case will get tossed right out; after all, she looks nothing like him:
And now there is the news that police in Italy have used a semen-stained handkerchief to map the genome of Gabriele d’Annunzio, an Italian poet, playwright, and ennobled prince who founded his own authoritarian micronation of sorts, the Regency of Carnaro, in 1919, and styled himself “il Duce” (“the Leader”) in anticipation of the eventual rise of Benito Mussolini. The aristocratic snail tracks were sent, in 1916, to Countess Olga Levi Brunner, d’Annunzio’s mistress, and were preserved for most of a century in a private collection in Cagliari, Sardinia. The hanky is now housed with other Annunziana at the Vittoriale degli Italiani (“Shrine of Italian Victories”) museum at his the prince’s former home on Lake Garda in Lombardy.
|Gabriele d’Annunzio, Prince of Montenevoso|
|Olga Brunner, the prince’s mistress.|
She’d better wait till the maid leaves the room before opening the mail.
|Poor Prince Gabriele: before the age of smartphones and “sexting,”|
little ... um ... presents had to be sent through the royal mails.
|In the waning days of the Second World War, a second try|
at an independent Carnaro also claimed some now-Croatian islands in the Adriatic.
[You can read more about the Free State of Fiume, the Regency of Carnaro, and other bizarre and obscure separatist movements in my new book, a sort of encyclopedic atlas just published by Litwin Books under the title Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements and Aspirant Nations, from Abkhazia to Zanzibar. The book, which contains 46 maps and 554 flags (or, more accurately, 554 flag images), is available for order now on Amazon. Meanwhile, please “like” the book (even if you haven’t read it yet) on Facebook and see this special announcement for more information on the book.]