Edition: 2009
Pages: 168
Series: IR/L
ISBN: 9788842088400

Our Challenge To The Stars

Emilio Gentile


They dreamt of a nationalist and libertarian democracy, they proclaimed "poetry is the new commander", they wanted to bring artists and imagination to power, they invented a style of political rebellion destined to have many heirs, both conscious and unconscious, among the rebels of the twentieth century. They were the futurists. "Erect on the summit of the world, once again we hurl our defiance at the stars!" Exaggerated, vital, scandalous, warmongering: this was how the futurists announced themselves to the world, in the founding manifesto published by Marinetti in "Le Figaro" on 20 February 1909. A movement that exploded onto the stage of beautiful modernity and one that actively rebelled against moralistic liberal Europe, loudly declaiming its rejection of the past. "Let's abolish history!", cheered Ugo Tommei, and finally create the 'new' man. With the Great War, futurism entered the political sphere and, unique among the twentieth-century avant-garde movements, founded its own political party. Highly interventionist, nationalist, cantered around the radical utopia of a new State and the natural supremacy of the Italian character, in the course of its brief existence the movement of the future fasci maintained ongoing and real ties with Mussolini. Illusion, error, propaganda, opportunism: how to assess the political activity of an artistic avant-garde that was then unanimously celebrated as one of the founding revolutionary movements of modern art?

The author

Emilio Gentile

Emilio Gentile is an historian of international renown, he is emeritus professor at ‘La Sapienza’ University of Rome. He received the Hans Sigrist Prize at the University of Berna for his studies on the religions of politics. Among his main works published by Laterza, often reprinted and translated all over the world: The Cult of the Lictor: the sacralisation of politics in fascist Italy; Politics as religion; Fascism: History and interpretation; Fascism in three chapters; God’s democracy: American religion after September 11 (Burzio Prize); Stone fascism; Two gunshots, ten million dead, the end of a world; The March on Rome and Fascism in Power; The leader and the Crowd; “In a democracy people are always sovreign” False!.

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