MARINETTI Filippo Tommaso
( 1876-1944) Italian poet and artistic entrepreneur; born in Alexandria, Egypt; studied in Paris. He was born in Alexandria, the son of a wealthy lawyer, and family money later allowed him the freedom to pursue his artistic interests. In 1893 he moved to Paris, then studied law in Genoa, graduating in 1899. At this point he settled in Milan, but he kept close links with Paris. Although he made a name by writing a play in French, King Bombance, which was produced at the Théâtre de l'Œuvre in 1909, his real title to fame is to have invented the word 'Futurism' for that movement, whose first manifesto he published in the newspaper Le Figaro on February 20th, 1909. In it he wrote: 'Until now literature has glorified pensive immobility, ecstasy and sleep; we want to exalt aggressive movement, feverish insomnia, the quickstep, the somersault, the slap in the face and the punch'. But this was still only literature, and it was not until Marinetti met the Italian painters Carlo Carrà, Umberto Boccioni and Luigi Russolo in Milan that painting in turn became involved in the movement.
Throughout his life Marinetti kept up a stream of writing, often in an experimental vein; in his poetry, for example, he sometimes used typography that had expressive qualities of its own, anticipating Concrete poetry.
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