Speed Destruction Noise War by F.T. Marinetti and Luigi Russolo - Read Online
Speed Destruction Noise War
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Founded in 1909 by the Italian writer Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Futurism was a radical art and social movement that glorified modernistic concepts of speed, destruction, noise, machines, cities and war. Marinetti's obsession with the future even extended to the abolition of libraries and museums, which he demanded be burned to the ground in a vortex of incendiary violence. Over 100 years later, Futurism stands as a key conceptual movement of the 20th century, one whose ideas are still ominously relevant in the age of rampant technological progress, suicide bombers and unmanned drone strikes. This special ebook volume in the Radical Manifesto series collects nine of the most challenging manifestos of the early Futurist Movement, from Marinetti's founding charter and subsequent calls to war to the seminal noise theories and machine music blueprints of Luigi Russolo and Balilla Pratella. It also contains as a bonus the first manifesto of Russian Futurism, written by Vladimir Mayakovsky and others.
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ISBN: 9781908694935
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SPEED DESTRUCTION NOISE WAR

BY F.T. MARINETTI & OTHERS

AN EBOOK

ISBN 978-1-908694-93-5

PUBLISHED BY ELEKTRON EBOOKS

COPYRIGHT 2013 ELEKTRON EBOOKS

www.elektron-ebooks.com

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a database or retrieval system, posted on any internet site, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright holders. Any such copyright infringement of this publication may result in civil prosecution

FOREWORD

Founded in 1909 by the Italian writer Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Futurism was a radical art and social movement that glorified modernistic concepts of speed, destruction, noise, machines, cities and war. Marinetti’s obsession with the future even extended to the abolition of libraries and museums, which he demanded be burned to the ground in a vortex of incendiary violence.

Over 100 years later, Futurism stands as a key conceptual movement of the 20th century, one whose ideas are still relevant in the age of rampant technological progress, suicide bombers and unmanned drone strikes.

This special ebook volume in the Radical Manifesto series collects nine of the most challenging manifestos of the early Futurist Movement, from Marinetti’s founding charter and subsequent calls to war to the seminal noise theories and machine music blueprints of Luigi Russolo and Balilla Pratella. It also contains as a bonus the first manifesto of Russian Futurism, written by Vladimir Mayakovsky and others.

1: F. T. MARINETTI

THE FIRST AND FOUNDING MANIFESTO OF FUTURISM

(February 20 1909)

We had been up all night, my friends and I, beneath mosque lamps whose brass domes burned as bright as our souls, because like them they were illuminated by the internal radiance of electric hearts. And trampling underfoot our atavistic ennui on opulent oriental carpets, we had held discussions that pushed at the outer limits of logic and scrawled our demented writings over countless reams of paper.

Our hearts were filled with an immense pride at feeling ourselves standing quite alone, like lighthouses or like the sentinels in an outpost, facing the army of enemy stars encamped in their celestial trenches. Alone with the stokers in the infernal fireholes of great ships, alone with the black spectres which rage in the belly of rogue locomotives, alone with the drunkards beating their broken wings against the city walls.

Then we were suddenly distracted by the rumbling of huge double-decker trams that went blurring by, streaked with light like villages celebrating occult festivals, which the Po in flood suddenly demolishes and uproots, and, in the rapids and cataracts of a deluge, drags down to the entombing sea.

Then the silence deepened. As we listened to the last faint prayer of the old canal and the crumbling bones of the moribund palaces with their green damp beards, automobiles suddenly roared voraciously beneath our windows.

Come, my friends! I cried. Let’s go! At last Mythology and the mystic cult of the Ideal have been left behind. We are going to be present at the birth of the Centaur, and we shall soon see the first Angels fly! We must assail the very gates of life to test the bolts and the padlocks! Let’s go! Here is the very first sunrise on earth! Nothing equals the splendour of its red sword, striking for the first time through our millennial darkness.

We went up to the three snorting beast-machines to caress their fiery breasts. I lay along mine like a corpse on its bier, but revived at once beneath the steering wheel – a guillotine blade which threatened me with evisceration.

A raging sweep of madness jolted us sharply out of ourselves and drove us through the streets, steep and deep, like dried-up torrents. Here and there, sickly lamps in the windows taught us to despise the mutinous mathematics of our eyes. Smell, I exclaimed, smell alone is good enough for wild beasts!

And like young lions we hunted Death with its black fur stained with pale crosses, fleeing before us in the vast, violet, living, throbbing sky.

And yet we had no ideal Mistress stretching her divine form up to the clouds, nor yet a cruel Queen to whom we might offer our corpses, twisted like Byzantine rings! No reason to die unless it were the desire to be rid of the punishing weight of our courage!

We raced on, crushing watchdogs beneath our burning wheels like shirt-collars under a steam-iron. Death, tamed, met me at every corner, proffering a tender paw or sometimes lying prostrate with a noise of grinding jaws, throwing me velvet glances from the bottom of oil-slicks.

‘Let’s crack open good sense like a hideous husk and hurl ourselves, like fruit spiced with pride, into the immense, contorted mouth of the wind! Let’s feed ourselves to the Unknown, not from despair, but simply to replenish the unfathomable reservoirs of the Absurd!"

As soon as I had said these words, I spun back sharply on my tracks with the rabid frenzy of a dog biting its tail, and suddenly there were two cyclists tottering in front of me, disapprovingly, like two equally persuasive but contradictory arguments. Their stupid dilemma was blocking my way.

What a bore! Pouah! I slammed up short in disgust and propelled myself wheels over heels into a ditch.

Oh, maternal ditch, half full of putrid water! A beautiful factory gutter! I savoured a mouthful of nourishing filth, which recalled the black teat of my Sudanese nurse. As I raised my body – mud-splattered, torn and stinking – I felt the white-hot poker of joy deliriously pierce my heart!

A crowd of fishermen and gout-stricken naturalists were swarming in terror around this marvel. With patient, loving care they raised up enormous grappling irons to fish out my car, like a vast beached shark. It rose slowly from the ditch, leaving behind like scales its heavy coachwork of good sense and its soft upholstery of