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Gordon Craig and the Futurists: A Hate Story

This special lecture was presented on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the publication of the Futurist Manifest, as part of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura’s series of lectures exploring different aspects of the Italian Futurist movement.

Edward Gordon Craig wrote extensively on Italian theatre and on Futurism, especially in his journal, The Mask, published in Florence (1908-1929). In 1912 on the pages of his journal one finds an article entitled “The Futurists and Others” in which he degrades Marinetti the man and his “pseudo” movement Futurism. That same year he critiques Gino Severini’s technique and teaches him on the pages of the Mask how to draw. More importantly, in 1914 Craig publishes the “first unabridged translation of ‘Il teatro di varietà’” with, as footnotes, comments and criticisms that ridicule the manifesto and the Futurists. An article by Craig on Futurism follows the translation. In these articles one finds the source for Craig’s criticisms and comments at the Convegno Volta, which had as its major scope to stress that theatre, unlike cinema and sports, is literature.

The lecture focused on Craig’s relatively unknown writings on Futurism and the Futurists’ response.  (Read More)