Literary and political perspectives in Italian futurism : a study in the periodization of the works of F.T. Marinetti

Ainley, Marian P.

July 1984

Thesis or dissertation

© 1984 Marian P Ainley. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This study deals with the works of F. T. Marinetti between 1898 and 1938, giving special emphasis to the years 1909 to 1920, covering the 'periods eroico' of Futurism. I seek to illuminate the special relationship between Marinetti and Futurism which is the central topic of this study, beginning with the prelude to Futurism and continuing through its course until 1938. I trace the development in Marinetti of those ideas which he brought to Futurism and to this end I consider the literary and political background of the time in Italy and France, as well as examining Marinetti's own writings.

I then trace the evolution of Futurism in both the literary and the political sphere and discuss its interaction with individuals and movements in the contemporary literary scene in Europe. With the outbreak of the First World War there is a clear watershed between the early Futurism and its·later manifestation, as issues come to the fore which will also dominate post-war Italian politics. As an experience with long-term effects on those involved, the war enjoys a prominent position in this study. It also provides the link between Futurism and Fascism, an association which is still a source of controversy today. The importance of this chapter in the history of the movement is reflected in its extensive discussion in this study.

This study re-assesses the view of Marinetti and Futurism generally advanced. I also seek to redress the tendency to divorce these events from their historical content.

Department of Italian, The University of Hull
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