Triumph of Death is an 1894 novel by Gabriele D'Annunzio. This is the last of the so-called trilogy of the Romance of the Rose after Pleasure and the Innocent. An example of a psychological novel, in which the plot and the plot give way to the introspection of the protagonist's conscience, Giorgio Aurispa, in whose mind the whole novelistic story takes place. The novel, which opens with a passage from the Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche in the " esergo" develops the theme of " superomismo" as interpreted by the then thirty-one D'Annunzio.
The work was always started in 1889, together with Piacere, taking the title of L'Invincibile. However, after some serial publications, the work will remain unfinished. In the same period, D'Annunzio met his beloved Barbara Leoni, with whom he will take a house on the so-called "damned promontory", at San Vito Chietino, where the events of the protagonists will take place. Always drawing inspiration from this, D'Annunzio will write letters to his lover, emphasizing the social life so archaic of the area, including the macabre episode of the pilgrimage to Casalbordino. The work was completed in 1894 and published by Treves of Milan.
Giorgio Aurispa is a young Abruzzese of Guardiagrele, cultured and refined by noble descendants, who has left his native country to move to Rome, free from any use, thanks to the legacy left him by the death of his suicide Uncle Demetrius. He interweaves a relationship with a married woman, Ippolita Sanzio, who will then decide to abandon her husband in favor of the protagonist. The sentimental relationship born between the two has that violent and sensual intensity dear to D'Annunzio, as well as the Sperelli in "Il piacere", and to his decadent way of describing the passion as a work of art. Arrived at Guardiagrele to meet Demetrius, George then discovers that he is dead and that the noble family lives in disgrace because the head of the family, his father, lives in dissolution with a prostitute. Giorgio is shocked, both by the news that the poor condition in which the population, abandoned to poverty and superstition. He decided to stay at the seaside then, in the Teatina coast of San Vito Chietino, renting a house on a promontory. Hippolyte reaches him and the couple lives happily, despite Giorgio, in his Nietzschean studies, he feels repulsion for the still pastoral and primitive life of Abruzzo. Hippolyta, on the other hand, is fascinated by it, especially when she witnesses a child's exorcism.
Giorgio becomes more and more restless and melancholic, and his madness explodes during a pilgrimage to the "Madonna dei Miracoli of Casalbordino", where he attends instead to a scene of Christian charity, to a macabre spectacle of sick and poor people in inhumane conditions. Since Ippolita has shown herself very amazed and attracted by the local pastoral life, Giorgio sees her relationship and balance destroyed, deciding suicide with her beloved.