Between Anarchist Rebellion and Fascist Reaction, 1909-1944

Günter Berghaus

256 pages, 17 b/w illustrations; bibliography, index

ISBN 978-1-57181-867-6 Hb $90.00/£50.00 Published (1995)

Subject: Art & Politics, 20th-Century Italian History

“Futurism was the state art of the Fascist regime” – this is the view one encounters in most books written on Futurist art and literature. Whilst there can be no doubt about Futurist involvement with the founding of the fascist movement, little is known about the internal relationship between Futurists and Fascists in the years 1918-22, nor about the reasons for the Futurists’ departure from the Fascist movement in 1920, or about Futurist opposition to (and even armed struggle against) the Fascist regime after 1924. Whilst the public documents testifying to Futurist support of Mussolini are well known, little has been written about Futurist anti-fascism camouflaged as official adherence to the regime. This study, based primarily on unknown or unpublished documents discovered in state archives and private collections, presents a new andfar more complex picture of the relationship of the two movements than has previously been shown by critics and historians.

“… the story Berghaus relates is both fascinating and informative. The evidence he presents raises important questions for artistic and cultural historiography, and not only with regards to Futurism; the work also offers a case study for debates on avant-gardism and modernity.” · Art History

“… important and ambitious … the book combines the qualities of a wide-ranging synthesis with a concern for precise detail … [The] clearr, concise and usually very well-contextualized narrative … highly recommend the book to the undergraduate or the reader with general knowledge of Futurism, while the extensive notes with their rich documentation of sources contribute to making it a very valuable source of information for the scholar.” · Italian Studies

“… one of the best researched and most original pieces of writing on the subject for years.” · Roger Griffin, Oxford Brookes University

“… its combination of highly original and thorough archival research with keen analysis willinterest anyone who studies futurism and/or fascism and culture.” · Walter L. Adamson, Emory University

Günter Berghaus received his Ph.D. in Theatre Studies and his Habilitation from the Free University of Berlin; he taught at the University of London and now holds a Readership in Theatre History and Performance Studies at the University of Bristol.



Introduction: Setting the Scene for the Futurist Political Engagement: Italy between Unification and Mussolini’s Regime

Chapter 1. Marinetti’s Ideological Development and Early Political Influences Chapter

Chapter 2. Futurist Politics in 1910-1917 and Their Influence on the Radical Left Chapter

Chapter 3. Futurism and the Combatants’ Movement, 1917-1920 Chapter

Chapter 4. Rapprochement with the Left, 1920-1924- Accommodation with the Fascist Regime Chapter

Chapter 5. Futurist Resistance against the Regime: Three Case Studies




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