Mafarka the futurist, by F.T. Marinetti

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The trial of F.T. Marinetti

F.T. Marinetti was an Italian poet and dandy. He was the founder of the Italian Futurist movement, which would be the first of a number of art movements comprising modernism. His manifestos had a profound influence on visual arts within Italy, and abroad influenced English poets such as Wyndham Lewis and Ezra Pound.

His first novel, Mafarka the futurist, was initially published in Paris to broad critical acclaim. When it was later translated into Italian and published in Milan however, Marinetti was quickly brought before court and charged with obscenity and distributing pornography.

He was eventually acquitted, but the legal battle was recorded and published in Italy under the title Il processo e l'assoluzione di "Mafarka il Futurista." It’s an interesting document in it’s own right, and gives a glimpse into the Futurist movement. It also places Mafarka in a very distinguished tradition of modernist literature being put on trial, a tradition that includes Allen Ginsberg's Howl, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, and Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita.

An African novel

Mafarka the futurist is the story of Mafarka-el-Bar, an African warlord who overthrows his oppressive uncle in a violent civil war. Set in an imagined nation in an imaginary Africa, Mafarka weaves a surreal orientalist tapistry of heat, filth and lust from which emerges the titular Mafarka, a true futurist hero who's superhuman struggle to reinvent the world in his image eventually leads him to his greatest, final act: the birth of a mechanical winged over-man to transcends humanity itself.

Coming Soon

Table of Contents

Mafarka the futurist - F.T. Marinetti

I The rape of the negresses

II The stratagem of Mafarka-el-Bar

III The dogs of the sun

IV The price of victory

V The belly of the whale

VI Ouarabelli-Charchar and Magamal

VII The nocturnal voyage

VIII Hypogea

IX The futurist address

X The blacksmiths of Milmillah

XI The crucified sailing ships

XII The birth of Gazourmah

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