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Futurism: a New Critical Approach

Updated on September 7, 2012

Literary criticism

Futurism as a movement in art and literature owes its inspiration to the recognition of the dynamism, energy and speed as symbolized in the machine which is evidently helping man to harness the natural forces and changing the face of the earth and conquering the universe itself. The movement was started by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti who demanded a change in literature corresponding to the change in the external life wrought by machine. In the New Futurist Manifesto (Sep., 1913) he pleaded for ‘a complete renewal of human sensibility’, for ‘Wireless imagination and words of liberty’ in conformity with the ‘Scientific inventions that have accelerated the pace of communication’. With the loss of faith in soul’s immortality which has necessitated a fuller appreciations of our human possibilities; with the rejection of romantic love which has opened the way for the full expression of sexual desires and gratification of erotic carvings, now facilitated by the freedom of women, man is now free to march forward to the tune of the machine music. Man must develop a new mechanical sense, fusion of instinct with horse-power and with changed forces. For the adequate expression of this sensibility a new language will be required, language free from the fetters of old syntax and rules of punctuation and all the connecting wires. Language will become fluid and even words must be free from the fixities of form and usage.

This sound and fury was bound to have some impact upon art and literature, but it was not able to shake the age-old conviction, happily still strong, that literature cannot fulfill its useful functions by trying to rival the noise and speed of the machine, because it has ever been a refuge, where man’s mind and heart may have liberty to listen to that ‘still small voice’ which rises from the depth of silence, the center of calm in the very heart of storm, external as well as internal.


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    • anupma profile image

      Dr Anupma Srivastava 5 years ago from India

      Thanks rasta1

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks for opening up my consciousness to another interesting form of expression.

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      IntegrityYes 5 years ago

      That rocks and I voted up for sure.

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 5 years ago

      I barely knew anything of futurism before this article, thank you for sharing.

    • vansh121 profile image

      vansh121 6 years ago from India

      You are a master of literary criticism.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ...another fascinating subject explored here by you - thank you for this learning experience - I am most inspired by your thinking and world class writing - the last two hubs and this one would be considered 'essential ' reading by the epi-man.

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    • shea duane profile image

      shea duane 6 years ago from new jersey

      very interesting