Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"When Marinetti writes: “ . . . The heat of a piece of wood or iron is in fact more passionate, for us, than the laughter or tears of a woman” — then I know what he means."--D. H. Lawrence (in a letter)
“We declare that the splendor of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing automobile with its bonnet adorned with great tubes like serpents with explosive breath...a roaring motor car which seems to run on machine-gun fire, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.”--Manifesto of Futurism
In early 1918 he founded the Partito Politico Futurista or Futurist Political Party, which only a year later was absorbed into Benito Mussolini's Fasci di combattimento, making Marinetti one of the first supporters and members of the Italian Fascist Party. He opposed Fascism's later canonical exultion of existing institutions, calling them "reactionary." He however remained a notable force in developing the party thought throughout the regime's existence. For example, at the end of the Congress of Fascist Culture that was held in Bologna on March 30 1925, Giovanni Gentile addressed Sergio Panunzio on the need to define Fascism more purposefully by way of Marinetti's opinion, stating:
- "Great spiritual movements make recourse to precision when their primitive inspirations - what F. T. Marinetti identified this morning as artistic, that is to say, the creative and truly innovative ideas, from which the movement derived its first and most potent impulse - have lost their force. We today find ourselves at the very beginning of a new life and we experience with joy this obscure need that fills our hearts - this need that is our inspiration, the genius that governs us and carries us with it."
Thus Futurism continued to influence Fascist thinkers outside of the Futurist school of thought on the furthering of Fascism.
Marinetti is most noted for his authorship of the Futurist Manifesto, first published in the Paris newspaper Le Figaro on February 20, 1909, and the sound poem Zang Tumb Tumb. In The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism, Marinetti declared that "Art [...] can be nothing but violence, cruelty, and injustice". Since that text proclaims the unity of life and art, Marinetti understood violence not only as a means of producing an aesthetic effect, but also as being inherent in life itself, a stance which brought Futurism close to Fascism.
In 1938, when Adolf Hitler included creations of Futurism in an exhibition deriding what Nazi propaganda called degenerate art, Marinetti persuaded Mussolini not to allow the exhibition entrance into Italy.
He published works in both French and Italian, among them are Le Roi Bombance (1905) and Mafarka il futurista (1910).
Marinetti died at Bellagio, Italy.