Le Roi Bombance:
the original Futurist cookbook?
Le Roi Bombance
The themes of nutrition and digestion fascinated Filippo Tommaso
Marinetti for much of his career. The beginnings of this interest can be
traced to his pre-Futurist play Le Roi Bombance, published in 1905, in
which the eponymous obese king is concerned only with satisfying his
enormous appetite. Marinetti’s most famous discussion of gastronomy
and gastronomic habits came in 1932 with the publication of Lacucinafuturista, which was a development of the Manifesto della
In 1909, the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's Founding Manifesto of Futurism was published on the front page of Le Figaro. Between 1909 and 1912, the Futurists published works celebrating speed and danger, glorifying war and technology, and advocating political and artistic revolution. In Europe, this avant-garde movement was active in the field of painting and sculpture, theatre, photography and politics. This book reassesses the activities and legacies of Futurism. It looks at Futurist manifestos by linking techniques of promotion with practices in commercial advertising, and exploring the question of how Futurist manifestos address notions of genius and gender. The book also reconstructs the historical, cultural and ideological background of Marinetti's Manifesto del tattilismo. Zurich Dadaists adopted cultural stances heavily indebted to the terms of critical engagement and cultural visibility initiated within the Futurist circle. The book analyses avant-garde's examination of its internal strategies of identity and canonization, and the importance of Futurism for the Pierre Albert-Birot. It charts the details of the argument on simultaneity between Umberto Boccioni and Robert Delaunay, and analyses the critical readings of Fernand Léger's La noce. The dialogue between Occultism and Futurism is explored by discussing the theme of night in the works of the Florentine Futurists. In La cucina futurista, food is separated from its nutritional function, and the act of eating is related to notions of creativity and identity. The book presents unique examples of innovative expressivity in Italian Futurists' free-word poems, and examines poetry celebrating the triumph of modern aviation.
Performance is also the subject of Selena Daly’s analysis of Marinetti’s
1905 play Le Roi Bombance as a precursor to his 1932 Lacucinafuturista,
which, more than a book of recipes, should be considered as a piece of
performance art, in which food is separated from its nutrional function and
the act of eating is related to notions of creativity and identity.
The next two chapters examine Futurist poetics. John White considers
a series of unique examples of innovative expressivity in Italian Futurists’
free-word poems and dipinti paroliberi. He chooses