Study Guide

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti - Major Arguments

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Major Arguments

As you can imagine, I love a good, loud, violent argument. I've never been one to shy away from speaking my mind; even when I didn't agree with violent dictators, I didn't shut up. Call me crazy, right?

I decided to argue with the past. The 19th century was over, and it was time to move on, embrace the future, go modern, industrialize, mechanize, stop wallowing in nostalgia, forget routine, embrace the chaos. War? No biggie. It was for the best.

My days were long before Twitter, and although I would have loved the speed of that social medium—and would have had followers in the mega digits—I was never a man of few words. For me, it was all about the manifesto. "The Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism" (now usually known as "The Futurist Manifesto") was my first manifesto, but I never left that argumentative style behind.

I wrote a lot more than that, too—including some outrageously risqué and offensive novels, like Mafarka the Futurist. Violence? Check. Racism? Check. Misogyny? Check. Crazy Futurist writing style? Check. It's all there.

I didn't stop there. In my collected works, you'll find Futurist political manifestos, discussions of the beauty of battles and wars, extended discussions of syntax and numbers, and essays on Futurist Cuisine, radio, photography, and television (source).

But I never lost my focus: the future, and how we can bully and claw our way there. Men, I'm talking to you here: we must never get soft and obedient. The only acceptable behavior is aggressive and anti-authoritarian. Yeah, it's a little odd that I liked Mussolini for a spell, but not everyone can be consistent, 'kay? In the end, I was just too much of an off-the-rails individual with my own plan to keep that up, anyway. Those totalitarians are so controlling.

Italy was fertile ground for me—so stuck in the past with all those popes, crumbling buildings, and Renaissance nonsense. What was Futurism, you may ask? It was change—now—to language, identity, architecture, artistic expression, masculinity, you name it. It was about moving in cars and planes. It was about communicating through radios and telegraphs. Was it a nice humanitarian effort? No. Did it outrage people and get attention? Absolutely.

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