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To Measure Futurism


One of Futurism’s most consistent traits was its hostility to traditional intellectual culture: scholarship, academies, professors. Yet, Futurism also produced its own critical-intellectual products and scholarship in the form of misurazioni (theatrical measurements-reviews), commemorazioni in avanti (forward-looking commemorations), and collaudi (prefaces to futurist poetry collections). I analyze these intellectual products with an eye to both inserting them in the history of modernist ideas, and applying to them the futurist concept of “measurement” in order to highlight what was futurist in Futurism. The surprising result of this inquiry is that Futurism’s most lasting intellectual contribution may have been its multifaceted anti-dialectical idea of synthesis, which anticipated the encounter between cybernetics and eugenics in what Marinetti called a “bellissimo dopodomani” (beautiful day after tomorrow).

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