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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Futurist War Noises: Confronting and Coping with the First World War


The aim of this article is to examine the Futurists’ understanding and interpretation of war noises and sounds before, during and after their First World War combat experiences. Firstly, the article examines the Futurist interest in war noises prior to the outbreak of the First World War, secondly, it analyses the Futurists’ experience of war noises during their time in combat, focusing particularly on the figures of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Umberto Boccioni, and Luigi Russolo. Finally, the article examines how the Futurist pre-war pronouncements on war noises offered them a ‘road map’ of how to behave in battle and provided them with successful strategies for coping with the intensity of life in the trenches.

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