Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Romance Studies
My dissertation focuses on the influence of esoteric practices on the Italian revolutionary movement founded by F. T. Marinetti, Futurism. Futurists considered esoteric fields such as theosophy, spiritism, and black magic, as a return to an intuitive, primordial sensibility. The desire to challenge the limits of reality, and attempt to represent the invisible, linked Futurism to the primitivistic motives usually attributed to avant-garde movements such as Surrealism and Dadaism. So far, few scholarly works have stressed the profound influence that esotericism had on Futurism as a whole, especially the connection between the “irrational” belief Futurists had in the existence of forces imperceptible to the senses, and their primary goal to return to a primitive sensibility. Therefore, my study intends to be a catalyst to widen the audience of a new reading of Futurism, focused on a new critical categorization of Marinetti’s avant-garde.