The World of the Future, the Future of the World

Glenn Watkins

in Proof through the Night

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780520231580
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927896 | DOI:
The World of the Future, the Future of the World

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Artists as well as politicians always seem to be talking about and predicting the future. Paradoxically, the charted paths to their iridescent kingdoms are typically strewn with calls for sacrifice, as though the stated willingness to pay such a high personal price is proof of the worthiness of the cause. Filippo Marinetti's Manifesto of Futurist Poetry appeared in 1909. Similar manifestos, all reverencing urban dynamism, speed, and the polyphony of noises inspired by the machine age, appeared over the next three years for painting, sculpture, and music. In 1911, only three years before the unleashing of the Great War, Gabriele D'Annunzio had provided Claude Debussy with a French libretto for the mystery play Le martyre de Saint-Sébastien. D'Annunzio's vision of a youthful Italy that would supplant an aging and corrupt ruling class was a seductive corollary to the interventionist's rage over the country's lack of national power. It was Luigi Russolo, a painter by training, who brought the Futurist movement in music to a head.

Keywords: future; Filippo Marinetti; machine age; music; Great War; Gabriele D'Annunzio; Italy; Luigi Russolo; Futurist movement

Chapter.  4313 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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