His next important novel, ll lrionfo delamorte The Triumph of Death) was produced in 1896. This brought upon him a storm of mingled applause and criticism admiration for its marvelous beauty of literary expression, condemnation of the realistic study of a degenerate whose sins lead him to suicide. But, with a proud defiance of criticism, with eyes fixed only on his art, he dared after this achievement to write the self-revelatory novel that is known as his masterpiece — [l fuoco (the In this great novel, which may fairly be called unique, we recognize the personification of a renascence of Latin genius. Under the thinnest veil of disguise, the author presents his own figure and that of one of the world's greatest tragic actresses, revealing the most intimate de tails of their well known friendship. On this picture of the most romantic of love-affairs, in Venice, the most romantic of cities, he has lavished his finest strokes of genius, writing of feminine nature with rare truth and skill, and an exquisite intuition as to the workings of a woman's mind and the throbbings of her heart.