A Century of Futurism: Introduction (Essay)
Annali d'Italianistica 2009, Annual, 27
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The Futurist movement marked a crucial rupture within European literature and art. For all its political and cultural contradictions, Italian Futurism called into question all aspects of literary and artistic production, from the sacrality and eternalness of the work of art to the privileged role of the artist and the passivity of the reader and the spectator. Yet, one hundred years after the publication in Le Figaro of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's founding manifesto, Futurism can still be considered an enigmatic and uncanny object. Although countless scholars have tirelessly examined the aesthetic, cultural, and social implications of Futurism's most radical and adventurous ideas and art practices, the most widespread habit--at least in the humanities--still remains that of cautiously approaching the movement as a pathological detour from mainstream literary communication and stylistic practices. Futurism's shameless cult of war and Marinetti's sexism and alliance with Fascism have certainly not helped to disseminate or even garner sympathy for the artistic methods of this pioneering avant-garde movement. However, while scholars do not exclusively reduce Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy of life, Martin Heidegger's ontology, or Ezra Pound's literary achievements to their political beliefs, Futurism is still predominantly understood as a (crypto-)Fascist artistic ideology. Not surprisingly, as a result of this strategy of immunization from Futurism and the avant-gardes at large, whereas contemporary visual arts are consciously post-Dada, and contemporary classical music is overtly post-tonal, most contemporary literature and criticism proudly prolong the agony of nineteenth-century classical forms.
- Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
- Published: 01 January 2009
- Publisher: Annali d'Italianistica, Inc.
- Print Length: 15 Pages
- Language: English