Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Zang Tumb Tumb, 1914.
Cover by the author.

The book is an account of the battle of Adrianopolis (Turkey) in 1912 in which the author volunteered as a Futurist-soldier. The poetic and literary impressions of the explosions of grenades and shots of the weapons are here shown graphically with the use of the so called "words-in-freedom," accomplished with different typefaces, some hand-designed, of various size. The text features a large use of onomatopoeias in order to express the variety of sounds and noises of battle.

The great interest of F.T. Marinetti in battle (and, in general, in the war) is part of his theory of vitalistic dynamism: "We intend to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness," he wrote in his first, and founding, manifesto of Futurism, dated February 1909. "We will glorify war, the world's only hygiene - militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman." On this basis, the Futurists were among the first who wanted Italy to declare war on Austria when the First World War started and the Italian Government decided to be neutral to the fighting (until May 1915). Later, after the War was over, Futurist polemic and political ideologies paved the way to Fascism, which found its early revolutionary incarnation in the subversive thrust of Futurism.

Next Image