Futurism in Europe

John J. White

in The Oxford Handbook of Modernisms

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199545445
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Futurism in Europe

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)
  • Literary Theory and Cultural Studies


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This article examines two types of futurisms in Europe: Italian and Russian. It describes futurism's manifesto programmes and literary achievements, and their importance within early twentieth-century modernism. The article argues that the objectives, thematic and stylistic innovations, and principal preoccupations of these two virtually simultaneous European avant-gardes were largely the result of different socio-economic and historical factors, although stark national differences also coloured their responses to the pace of modernity. In both Italy and Russia, futurism was conceived of as a call for artistic revolution in all media and art forms, and the outcome was a rich period of influence and cross-fertilization between painting, poetry, and the performing arts, coupled with an experimental climate conducive to the systematic exploration of new genres and fresh modes of delivery.

Keywords: futurism; Europe; Italian futurism; Russian futurism; literary achievements; modernism; avant-gardes; artistic revolution

Article.  9105 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards) ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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