Marinetti's futurist manifesto: epigraph of pre-war Europe or the New Testament of 'Modern Europe'?

Essay by cauchemar81University, Bachelor'sA-, March 2003

download word file, 6 pages 3.7

Downloaded 72 times


Marinetti's futurist manifesto: epigraph of pre-war Europe or the New Testament of 'Modern Europe'?

NB: Situating the manifesto in its historical context and its implications on the future.

At la fin de siecle (the end of the century) a disillusioned Europe stood at the crossroads to the future. There were many avenues which she could take; she could continue the path of innovation and scientific discovery- thus idealism. Or it could take the broader, the more pragmatic route envisioned by Marinetti's dogma- one of eradicating the past in order to rejuvenate the future. However one thing was certain, if Europe regressed further then she would plummet into the depths of oblivion.

Firstly before examining the implications of the Marinetti's manifesto it is important to appreciate the context from which it emerged - the turbulent atmosphere of Italy at the start of the 20th century. Despite the optimistic view regarding the mechanization and 'progression' which the "hungry automobile" -capitalism brought with it, the European populace found itself disorientated and intoxicated by the pressures of modernism.

Modernism for them introduced secular ideas, which were rooted in doubt and uncertainty. It was a time when human perceptions were changing and were being determined by the attitudes and fears of the age. Europe's atmosphere provided "ready fuel for the spark of war."

On the social front a social stratified hierarchy remained. However the bourgeoisie now held an unassailable and decadent rule over European society, whilst the stranglehold of the nobility was increasingly becoming more diminutive. The working class, too, were rising in masses, voicing their opinions on how society should be governed. Thus it presented a linear correlation between the social realization of the working class, and the rapid speed of technological development.

However the main area of concern was the...