Study Guide

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti Buzzwords

Italian Fascism

Let's get this out of the way: this is not Hitler's fascism.

Just so you know, Italian Fascism was the first and original fascism—in short, we started it. Yeah, Italy was allied to Germany, and Mussolini and Hitler did have a sort of on-again, off-again thing going on, but Italian Fascism is definitely different from that Nazi stuff, so please don't see us as one and the same.

First, Italian Fascism is about Italian nationalism—as in: "We're number one." Everything about Italian culture is better than anything in any other culture anywhere else at any time, ever. Anybody remember a little thing called the Roman Empire? We'd like to see you just try to top that.

Actually, I didn't like Italian Fascism's whole love affair with Ancient Rome, because seriously folks, that was, like, way in the past. I was down with the idea that the Italian people had to get their modern on.

Futurism

You're not actually going to make me talk about how we Futurists were a forward-looking bunch who looked down our noses at institutions, the past, tradition, and so on and so forth, are you? Our name should imply all that. Get with the program, people.

Futurism's likes would include: speed, cars, violence, technology, dynamism, machine guns, youth, war, hygiene, patriotism, action, creation… you get the idea. On the thumbs-down list: women, libraries, museums, and morality.

Futurism was a multimedia movement that included painting, music, writing, and combinations of all of the above. We were about art and politics, cranking out manifestos as quickly as Stephen King cranks out novels. We wanted to see real action, and wanted our art to inspire it.

Words in Liberty (Parole in Libertà)

So, I was a Renaissance man. Not a Renaissance man, because that would associate me with the past, which I spit on—but one of those guys who can do it all.

One of my greatest roles as a Futurist, though, was as a poet. You sort of have to see my poems to believe them. The point is that the whole idea of a linear poem with a steady rhyme scheme and dilapidated metaphors was out. My poems were alive—liberated, speedy, on the edge, bucking convention.

In my poems, graphic design merged with a language of revolt. Fonts whirled on the page, changing in size, fragmenting, coming at weird angles. My poetry was wild, and it made 19th-century novels look like a pile of moldering corpses.

Speed

I know you know what speed is—but do you know how central it was to my whole gig? It's the big main idea in my original manifesto, where I talk about "the beauty of speed," "eternal, omnipresent speed," "fire, hatred and speed" (source). My love of speed is about my love of machines and technology.

I wanted my poems to reflect that. They never stand still. They hit the future in its face. They're like locomotives tearing down the tracks, glinting in the sun, moving like bullets. Pow!