(plural‐festos or ‐festoes)
A public self‐justification or proclamation of intentions, usually issued by a political authority or party. Literary and artistic groups since the 19th century, especially those of the avant‐garde associated with modernism, borrowed this political genre for their own purposes, usually to declare the obsolescence of some previous artistic movement and the arrival of a new era based upon their own new principles. The most famous political model for the genre is Karl Marx's and Friedrich Engels's Communist Manifesto (1848), itself a modern rhetorical masterpiece. Notable literary examples include André Breton's Manifeste du Surréalisme (1924) and the many manifestos (no fewer than five were issued between 1909 and 1913) of Futurism. Less celebrated now is the Italian philosopher Giovanni Gentile's Manifesto degli intellettuali fascisti (1925). For a fuller account, consult Janet Lyon, Manifestoes: Provocations of the Modern (1999).