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Marinetti Dines with the High Command

Marinetti Dines with the High Command

By Richard Cavell

Marinetti Dines with the High Command is a work that dramatizes the turbulent life and times of F. T. Marinetti, founder of Futurism, the first global art movement. Marinetti's artistic career raises enduring questions about art and politics because of his association with Fascism, and the second part of my work is an essay which explores the implications of this association. What makes Marinetti unique is that it is the first work that assesses Marinetti's life in the context of a command performance he gave for the German High Command in January of 1934 -- and the spectacular conclusion to that performance.


Guernica Editions (Essential Drama Series)


122 pages |

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Richard Cavell’s performance piece on Marinetti – part drama, part spectacle, and part critical commentary – is one of the most acute texts on the role played by Marinetti – indeed, by Futurism itself – in the Fascist 1930s. The scene in which Marinetti recites his provocative “The Raid on Adrianople” at a dinner given in his honour by the German High Command (a true story!) shows that Marinetti was by no means a disciple of Mussolini but his very real enemy. Cavell’s is a delightfully witty tour de force, but his is also a serious revisionary work. This is a brilliant and important book.

Marjorie Perloff, author of The Futurist Moment: Avant-Garde, Avant Guerre, and the Language of Rupture

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About the author

Richard Cavell is a Canadian of Italian heritage whose academic career has explored Italian culture through a number of vantage points, from the novels of Verga, to McLuhan’s debt to Futurism, to the Italian element in Canadian literature. The first Canadian to teach our literature at the University of Padua (1979-81), Richard was instrumental to the success of Canadian Literature as an academic field in Italy. Founder of the International Canadian Studies Centre at UBC, Richard has devoted his career to an integrative approach to the study of culture. He is the author of McLuhan in Space: A Cultural Geography (2002), editor of Love, Hate and Fear in Canada’s Cold War (2004), and co-editor of Sexing the Maple: A Canadian Sourcebook (2006), as well as more than 70 chapters, articles and reviews. He is currently Professor of English at UBC and founder there of MeRG.e, the Media Research Group enterprise.