Past Event

“Beyond Futurism: F.T. Marinetti, Writer”

November 12, 2009
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
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A two-day international symposium (continued on Nov 13 at the Italian Cultural Institute in New York). Organized by Paolo Valesio (Columbia) and the Department of Italian, Columbia.

The Department of Italian at Columbia University in the City of New York is pleased to announce Beyond Futurism: F.T. Marinetti, Writer, a two-day international symposium on Thursday, November 12, 9:30am-6:00 pm in the Teatro of the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University and Friday, November 13, 9:30-12:30 pm at the Italian Cultural Institute in New York.

Co-sponsors include the Department of Italian at Columbia University, the “Italian Poetry Review,” the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna, Centro di Studi ‘Aldo Palazzeschi’ (Università degli Studi di Firenze), the Italian Cultural Institute in New York, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò (NYU), Crossroads Cultural Center.

Futurism, thanks to its irreverence and its lack of interest in puristic distinctions, including its capacity to find redeeming value in banality, will survive the process of “touristicization” and fetishization that characterizes a good part of the current approach to this avant-garde movement. But the victim of this process has paradoxically been its founder, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, who has been even too successful in confusing metonymically the movement as a whole and his own oeuvre. The time has come to begin to redress such a confusion, concentrating on the still imperfectly known writings of Marinetti – one of the most remarkable post-symbolist poets and narrators in twentieth-century Italian, and European, literature.
The centennial anniversary of the foundation of the Italian avant-garde movement, which was famously inaugurated by Marinetti in the French paper Le Figaro in 1909, is an auspicious occasion for a renaissance of futurist studies, contemplating the figure of Marinetti as a writer. This two-day symposium will bring together a variety of international critical perspectives. Our admittedly ambitious aim is to begin a general process of redefinition and rediscovery of the Italian Novecento on an international scale, going beyond defeatist clichés.