Against Rome and Against Benedetto Croce. A Speech Given by Giovanni Papini at the Futurist Meeting at the Costanzi Theater on February 21, 1913
This text of a speech given at the Costanzi Theater in Rome belongs to the start of the period when Giovanni Papini, a poet and journalist, published the literary magazine Lacerba. It marked the short-lived adherence of Papini to Futurism, before his estrangement from the movement and its founder. Benedetto Croce was a conservative moral philosopher and literary critic who disdained the Futurists. The text is from a collection of Futurist documents held by the University Library of Padua. Futurism was a short-lived artistic movement, founded in 1909 by the Italian writer Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876‒1944). The goal of the Futurists was to discard the art of the past and to usher in a new age that rejected tradition and celebrated change, originality, and innovation in culture and society. The original Futurist manifesto of 1909, written by Marinetti, exalted the beauty of the machine and the new technology of the automobile, with its speed, power, and movement. The Futurists glorified violence and conflict and called for the destruction of cultural institutions such as museums and libraries. Marinetti also founded and edited a journal, Poesia (Poetry). Marinetti’s original manifesto was followed by Futurist manifestoes on sculpture, painting, literature, architecture, and other fields written by other members of the movement. Prominent Futurists included painter and sculptor Umberto Boccioni (1882‒1916); painters Carlo Carrà (1881‒1966), Giacomo Balla (1871‒1958), and Gino Severini (1883‒1966); painter and composer Luigi Russolo (1885‒1947); and architect Antonio Sant’Elia (1888‒1916). Several of the Futurists, notably Boccioni and Sant’Elia, were killed during World War I.
Governing Group of the Futurist Movement, Milan, Italy
Title in Original Language
Contro Roma e contro Benedetto Croce. Discorso di Giovanni Papini detto al Meeting futurista del Teatro Costanzi il 21 febbraio 1913
Type of Item
- Elza Adamowicz and Simona Storchi, editors, Back to the Futurists: The avant-garde and its legacy (Manchester, U.K.: Manchester University Press, 2013).
- John James White, “Futurism,” in Encyclopaedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/art/Futurism#ref1052836.
- “Words in Freedom: Futurism at 100.” An exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 2009. https://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2009/futurism/.
Last updated: June 29, 2017