Monday, February 2, 2009

Eat Your Syntax

Although it can be argued that F.T. Marinetti was a raging misogynist and an apologist for the Italian-Fascist movement, his Futurist manifestos are truly inspiring. They are so loaded with gems, I wish I could re-print them all here. But, since that isn't going to happen, here is a gem from one of them.

From F.T. Marinetti's "Technical Manifesto of Futurist Literature (May 1912)":

"Together we will discover what I call the wireless imagination. One day we will achieve an art that is still more essential, the day when we dare to suppress all the first terms. To achieve this, it will be necessary to forgo with being understood. It isn't necessary to be understood. We have already dispensed with that privilege anyway even when we have written in fragments of a Futurist sensibility by means of traditional and intellective syntax."

"Syntax has been a kind of abstract cipher which poets have used in order to inform the masses about the color, the musicality, the plasticity and architecture of the universe. It has been a sort of interpreter, a monotonous tour-guide. We must suppress this intermediary so that literature can directly enter into the universe and become one body with it."

"They scream at us: 'Your literature will not be beautiful! We'll no longer have a verbal symphony that is composed of harmonious rockings and tranquillizing cadences. 'We understand that quite well! And how lucky! We, instead, make use of all the ugly sounds, the expressive screams of the violent life that surrounds us. Let us boldly make 'the ugly' in literature, and let us everywhere murder solemnity. Go on! don't assume those grand priestly airs when listening to me. Every day we must spit on the Altar of Art. We are entering the boundless domains of free intuition."

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