Date of Award

5-2-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Leeanne Richardson

Second Advisor

Randy Malamud

Third Advisor

Paul Schmidt

Abstract

Futurism’s political orientation has long perplexed and disturbed scholars. The movement’s militant nationalism often forces academics to marginalize or ignore Futurist politics entirely, by treating it in purely aesthetic terms. However, evaluating Futurism as purely nationalistic in nature constitutes an oversimplification. The movement paradoxically sought to synthesize collectivism with anarchic individualism. Like the Fascists, Futurists glorified the Italian State. However, they abhorred the Fascist reverence for the Roman Empire. Instead, they advocated for an uncompromisingly modern Italy, in both an aesthetic and moral sense. This thesis argues that Futurism’s Fascist patriotism and militarism ultimately led to the dissolution of the movement. Marinetti and the other Futurists could not reconcile their anarchic impulses with their Fascist tendencies. This paradox led to multiple ideological quandaries, including the problem of how the individual relates to the State, as well as the problem of the woman’s place within the State.

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