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1913 __ « Destruction of Syntax -- Wireless Imagination -- Words in Freedom »
Filippo Tommaso Emilio Marinetti (1876-1944)
Comment : Italian Futurism's founder, F.T. Marinetti, also technologized his body. In "Destruction of Syntax -- Wireless Imagination -- Words in Freedom" he clearly stated that deep-seated effects of modern technology upon body and soul were, in fact, inescapable. (Douglas Kahn)The text was first published as an independent leaflet in Italian in May 1913. It was reas as a lecture by Marinetti in Paris at the Galerie La Boëtie on June 22, 1913. A French translation was published shortly thereafter, and is discussed in articles in the Parisian newpaper “Gil-Blas”, July 7, 1913, the “Magazine de la revue des Français”, July 10, 1913, and “Paris-Journal”, July 10, 1913. An English translation, by Arundel del Re, ws published in what was then the leading journal of contemporary poetry in London, “Poetry and Drama”, 1.3 (Sept 1913), pp. 266-276. It was prefaced by an account of Marinetti’s activities written by Harold Monro, “Varia” (pp. 263-265), and followed by 30 pages of Futurist poetry in translation.
Original excerpt : « The Futurist sensibility.My “Technical Manifesto of Futurist Literature” (May 14, 1912), in which I first invented “synthetic and essential lyricism, wireless imagination”, and “words-in-freedom”, is concerned exclusively with poetic inspiration. Philosophy, the exact sciences, politics, journalism, education, business, however much they may seek synthetic forms of expression, will still have to make use of syntax and punctuation. Indeed, I myself have to make use of them in order to advance the exposition of my concepts. Futurism is based on the complete renewal of human sensibility which has been brought about as an effect of science’s great discoveries. Those who use the telephone today, the telegraph, the phonograph, the train, bicycle or automobile, the ocean liner, dirigible or airplane, the cinema or a great daily newspaper (the synthesis of a day in the whole world) do not dream that these diverse forms of communication, transportation and information exert such a decisive influence upon their psyches. An ordinary man, spending a day’s time in the train, can be transported from a small town, dead, with empty squares in which the sun, the dust, and the wind disport themselves in silence, to a great capital bristling with lights, movement, and street cries. By means of newspaper, the inhabitant of a mountain village can tremble with anxiety every day, following the Chinese in revolt, the suffragettes of London or New York, Doctor Carrel, or the heroic dogsleds of the polar explorers. The pusillanimous and sdentary inhabitant of any provincial town can allow himself the inebriation of danger by going to the movies and watching a great hunt in the Congo. He can admire Japanese athletes, Negro boxers, inexhaustible American eccentrics, the most elegant and Parisian women by spending a franc to go to the variety theater. Then, tucked up in his bourgeois bed, he can enjoy the distant and costly voice of Caruso or a Burzio. [...] Words-in-freedom.[...] Moreover, if this same narrator gifted with lyricism has a mind sticked with general ideas, he will involuntarily link his sensations to the entire universe as he has known and intuited it. And in order to render the exact weight and proportion of the life he has experienced, he will hurl immense networks of analogies across the world. And thus will he render the analogical ground of life, telegraphically, which is to say with the same economical rapidity that the telegraph imposes on war correspondents and journalists for their synoptic accounts. This need for laconicism not only responds to the laws of velocity that regulate us today, but also the age-old relations that the public and the poet have had. For between the poet and the public, in fact, the same kind of relations exist as between two old friends. They can speak to each other with a half-word, a gesture, a wink. That is why the imagination of the poet must weave together distant things “without connecting wires”, by means of essential “words-in-freedom”. [...] Wireles Imagination.By wireless imagination, I mean the absolute freedom of images or analogies, expressed with disconnected words, and without the connecting syntactical wires and without punctuation. Wireless imagination and words-in-freedom will transport us into the essence of matter. With the discovery of new analogies between things remote and apparently contradictory, we shall value them ever more intimately. Instead of “humanizing” animals, vegetables, and minerals (a bygone system) we will abl to “animalize”, “vegetize”, “mineralize”, “electrify”, or “liquefy” our style, making it live the very life of matter. For example, to render the life of a blade of grass, we might say: “I will be greener tomorrow”. But with words-in-freedom we might have : Condensed Metaphors. - Telegraphic images. - Sums of vibrations. - Knots of thoughts. - Closed or open fans of movement. - Foreshortened analogies. - Color balances. - The dimensions, weights, sizes, and velocities of sensations. - The plunge of the essential word into the water of sensibility, without the concentric eddies produced by words. - Intuition’s moments of repose. - Movements in two, three, four, five different rythmns. - Analytical explanatory telegraph poles that sustain the cable of intuitive wires. [...] » (Translated by Lawrence Rainey)
Source : Marinetti, F.T. (1913), "Destruction of Syntax -- Wireless Imagination -- Words in Freedom", In "Modernism: An Anthology", Edited by Lawrence S. Rainey, Blackwell Publishers, 2005, pp. 27-34.
Source : Kahn, Douglas (2004), “Art and Sound”, In “Hearing History: a reader”, Edited by Mark Michael Smith, Athens, University of Georgia Press, pp. 36-48; Abridged from "Introduction: Histories of Sound Once Removed", in Douglas Kahn and Gregory Whitehead (Eds), "Wireless Imagination : Sound, Radio, and the Avant-Garde", Cambridge, Mass : The MIT Press, 1992, pp. 1-29.
Source : Marinetti, F.T. (1913), "Destruction of Syntax -- Wireless Imagination -- Words in Freedom", Lacerba, 11 May & 15 June 1913, Translated in Richard J. Pioli, "Stung by Salt and War : Creative Texts of the Italian Avant-Gardist F.T. Marinetti", New York : Peter Lang, 1987, p. 45.

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