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Memoria e Ricerca

Futurism’s Mutilated Subject: F.T. Marinetti and the Construction of the Post-WWI Italian Futurist

di Anthony Martire
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 38 (2011), p. 99

This article analyzes representations of mutilated and prosthetically reconstructed bodies in two works by F.T. Marinetti: L’alcova d’acciaio: Un romanzo vissuto (1921), and Come si seducono le donne (1917). I argue that Marinetti’s interest in the physical body belies an anxiety over the integrity of the Italian body politic as a result of the culturally destabilizing effects of Italy’s participation in the First World War. Moreover, I argue that the prosthetic reconstruction of the body that Marinetti lauds throughout his writings demonstrates the extent to which the futurist political project is an extension of traditional formulations of Italianità since the Risorgimento, while it posits a form of political subjectivity rooted in the dissolution of liberal-democratic principles, and produces a model of political subjectivity amenable to, though not coincident with, Fascism. Key words: Futurism, Mutilation, Literature, Subjectivity, Prosthesis, Marinetti