Thursday, February 18, 2010

Marinetti´s and His Manifesto of Futurism

Futurism Art Movement - Umberto Boccioni from
'Elasticity'  1912

Futurism was an artistic and social movement originated in Italy at the beginning of SXX, though parallel movements existed in other countries, as Russia and England.
Futurism was a complete rejection of the past, the glorification of the machine, the wars, violence, youth, speed and fascism in an Italian historical context of an industrialization process with hard conflicts and fears of revolutions.
The futurists practiced in painting, sculpture and whatever was concerned with expressing movements and the dynamics of forms.
The movement was launched by the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, who, in 1905 created an international magazine –Poesía-. He then published his Futurist Manifesto for the first time on 5 February 1909 in La Gazzetta dell´Emilia, article that was reproduced in the French daily newspaper Le Figaro on 20 February 1909.
Marinetti breaks the literary conventionality; with his Manifesto directed to all living people on earth,  he moved from the political to the cultural field. So, Futurism had universal pretensions to save the world.
Below, I reproduce the items that express the main characteristics of the movement.
  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 aggresive action, a feverish insomnia, the racer’s stride, the mortal leap, the punch and the slap.
  4. We affirm that the world’s magnificence has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing car whose hood is adorned with great pipes, like serpents of explosive breath—a roaring car that seems to ride on grapeshot is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.
  5. We want to hymn the man at the wheel, who hurls the lance of his spirit across the Earth, along the circle of its orbit.
  6. The poet must spend himself with ardor, splendor, and generosity, to swell the enthusiastic fervor of the primordial elements.
  7. Except in struggle, there is no more beauty. No work without an aggressive character can be a masterpiece. Poetry must be conceived as a violent attack on unknown forces, to reduce and prostrate them before man.
  8. We stand on the last promontory of the centuries!... Why should we look back, when what we want is to break down the mysterious doors of the Impossible? Time and Space died yesterday. We already live in the absolute, because we have created eternal, omnipresent speed.
  9. We will glorify war—the world’s only hygiene—militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman.
  10. We will destroy the museums, libraries, academies of every kind, will fight moralism, feminism, every opportunistic or utilitarian cowardice.
  11. We will sing of great crowds excited by work, by pleasure, and by riot; we will sing of the multicolored, polyphonic tides of revolution in the modern capitals; we will sing of the vibrant nightly fervor of arsenals and shipyards blazing with violent electric moons; greedy railway stations that devour smoke-plumed serpents; factories hung on clouds by the crooked lines of their smoke; bridges that stride the rivers like giant gymnasts, flashing in the sun with a glitter of knives; adventurous steamers that sniff the horizon; deep-chested locomotives whose wheels paw the tracks like the hooves of enormous steel horses bridled by tubing; and the sleek flight of planes whose propellers chatter in the wind like banners and seem to cheer like an enthusiastic crowd.
¨It is from Italy that we launch through the world this violently upsetting incendiary manifesto of ours. With it, today, we establish Futurism, because we want to free this land from its smelly gangrene of professors, archaeologists, ciceroni and antiquarians. For too long has Italy been a dealer in second-hand clothes. We mean to free her from the numberless museums that cover her like so many graveyards.
Museums: cemeteries!... Identical, surely, in the sinister promiscuity of so many bodies unknown to one another. Museums: public dormitories where one lies forever beside hated or unknown beings. Museums: absurd abattoirs of painters and sculptors ferociously slaughtering each other with color-blows and line-blows, the length of the fought-over walls!¨

To read the complete Manifesto


  1. I love your website photos and information is excellent

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  3. Myram amiga me encanta tu espacio. Me he puesto este blog tuyo para seguirlo desde el mío pero no sé mi niña cómo colocarte algunos poemas por aquí. Podrías explicàrmelo?. Un abrazo inmenso.

  4. Muchas gracias M. Ascensión! No podés postear tus poemas directamente aquí, porque la página es personal, no es como bligoo que está configurada para todos. En podés bajar todos los que quieras, directamente.
    Pero como hice antes, pasaré otro día por tu blog, seleccionaré algún/os poemas tuyos y yo los posteo con tu permiso y referencia.


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