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Title: Futurism and science : refractions of scientific knowledge in the work of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
Author: Greenberg, M.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2008
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The thesis aims to analyse the relationship that F. T. Marinetti established between innovations in science at the fin-de-siècle and his Futurist movement. Chapter 1 examines the introduction and repercussions of Comtian Positivism in Italy. Chapter 2 provides a history of the relationship between science and literature in order to argue that Marinetti’s project was in certain respects related to the genre of ‘proto-science-fiction’. Following the more general theoretical and literary historical background of the first two chapters, Marinetti’s early French work as a Symbolist is read in Chapter 3 through representations of the neurological condition of synaesthesia in his and others poetry. The experience of simultaneity is investigated in Chapter 4 as a consequence of innovations in the study of electricity and in particular to the impact of the widespread use of Guglielmo Marconi’s wireless telegraph. In Chapter 5 Marinetti’s machine idolatry is contextualised as part of the late nineteenth century popular understanding of the first two laws of thermodynamics, the conservation of energy and entropy, which revolutionise the interpretation of the lifecycle. Finally, in Chapter 6, the discussion of thermodynamics in Marinetti’s Futurism is extended to an analysis of its links to debates on evolution and degeneration, and more specifically to the impact of a national ‘hygienic’ agenda for the purification of society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available