The Futurism Movement and Marinetti Essay

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Filippo Thommaso Marinetti's the foundation and Manifesto of futurism or The Futurist Manifesto provides many a view into a perspective that was not all too common in that era. A rejection of past and a praise of machinery, violence, speed, industry, and youth, the Mainfesto advocated for cultural rejuvenation and modernization of Italy. This essay will cover the life of the writer, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and what the Mainfesto meant to him, the meaning derived by others, and why the writer’s work offers significance today. Additionally, there will brief discussion on Marinetti’s view on World Literature and his voice within the literary world.

Marinetti’s Life

Marinetti is considered the founder of the Futurist movement. Futurism was a social and artistic movement originating with Marinetti in Italy in the early 1900’s. With the emphasis on violence, technology, speed, and youth, objects like planes and cars took center stage. What influences led to Marinetti founding such a significant movement? Marinetti was born on the 22nd of December in 1876. (Esposito) He was known as an Italian editor, art theorist, and poet. His most popular and best-known work is the Futurist Manifesto and the Fascist Manifesto. He began his love of literature when he was a young boy. Having been born in Alexandria, Egypt, he had parents interested in world literature and Italian and European classics.

Such an influence led to Marinetti starting Papyrus, his first school magazine when he was seventeen. (Ialongo) During this time, he developed a minor rebellious streak almost being expelled for publicizing scandalous novels from author, Emile Zola. He began his studies in Egypt, and then moved to Paris to obtain a baccalaureate degree at the Sorbonne in 1894. (Ialongo) Following that degree, he moved to Italy and attended the University of Pavia earning a law degree in 1899. Although he had a law degree, he forwent becoming a lawyer and instead chose a literary career.

In developing his literary career, Marinetti experimented with poetry, narrative, and theatre among other kinds of literature. (Esposito) This is important to note because it demonstrates why he could be regarded as someone that contributed to world literature. His outside influences and studying in various countries, experimenting with various types of literature provides a wealth of knowledge that culminated in his start of the Futurist movement. The Futurist movement is one of his greatest contributions and allowed for people to think in a new perspective and apply this new perspective to literature and other areas of art. Writing the Futurist Manifesto in 1909, it led to it being shared and debated all over Europe. Published in Le Figaro, the manifesto described Art as being nothing but injustice, cruelty, and violence. (Esposito) Futurism was known for having both Fascist and anarchist elements to it. In fact, Marinetti at one point was an active supporter of Benito Mussolini.

The Futurist Manifesto Analysis

The textbook features The Futurist Manifesto Lines 1-11. These are the first four lines:

1. We intend to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness.

2. Courage, audacity, and revolt will be essential elements of our poetry.

3. Up to now literature has exalted a pensive immobility, ecstasy, and sleep. We intend to exalt aggressive action, a feverish insomnia, the racer’s stride, the mortal leap, the punch and the slap.

4. We affirm….....

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Works Cited

Berghaus, Gu?nter. International Futurism in Arts and Literature. Walter de Gruyter, 2012.

Esposito, Fernando. Fascism. Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

Ialongo, Ernest. Filippo Tommaso Marinetti: The Artist and His Politics. Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2015.

Puchner, Martin, et al. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. 2018.

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