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10-08-2015, 16:27

WAR AND REVOLUTION: WORLD WAR I AND ITS AFTERMATH

According to the First Futurist Manifesto: We intend to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness. Courage, audacity and revolt will be essential ingredients of our poetry. We affirm that the world’s magnificence has been enriched by a new beauty; the beauty of speed. A racing car whose hood is adorned by great pipes, like serpents of explosive breath—a roaring car that seems to run on shrapnel— is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace. We will glorify war— the world’s only hygiene.1 From the tone of this manifesto, with its emphasis on speed, violence, and revolt, the contemporary reader might assume that it had been composed in the 1990s, the product of a generation raised on MTV that craves excitement and danger as a diversion from the humdrum reality of a boring existence. In fact, it was published in 1909 by a group of European writers, artists, and intellectuals, thrilled by the potential power and force represented by the advent of the Industrial Age, who looked forward to a future cut off completely from the past, in which modern technology would create a new type of human being. Their reference to the glory of war was eerily prophetic. Several leading members of the movement would soon lose their lives in the Great War, which erupted only five years later.

 

 

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