The cult of the ‘expressive’ in Italian Futurist poetry
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This chapter shows the cult of 'expressivity' in all Futurism's diverse forms and modalities gradually took free-word experimentation, and shaped poetry in general, in a number of fresh directions and in doing so it reinvigorated the Futurist aesthetic. It looks at a series of arguably unique examples of innovative 'expressivity' in some of the Italian Futurist movement's best-known shaped free-word poems and dipinti paroliberi. Three years after publishing his Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism in 1909, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti began to set out his proposals for making Futurist poetry more 'expressive'. Marinetti's overarching concern with making Futurist language 'expressive' first surfaces in the section of his Technical Manifesto of Futurist Literature concerning passeist poetry's 'fatal time-wasting which destroys the expressive value its power to amaze'. Francesco Cangiullo's Milano-Dimostrazione of 1915 brings together verbal, numerical and graphic elements for a cumulatively 'expressive' propaganda purpose.

Back to the Futurists

The avant-garde and its Legacy

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