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MARINETTI, Filippo Tommaso.

Mafarka il futurista.

Romanzo. Traduzione dal Francese di Decio Cinti.

Published: Milan: Edizioni Futuriste di "Poesia", 1910

Stock code: 100421

Price: £1,500

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First Italian edition of Marinetti’s uncommon first novel, translated by his personal secretary. Presentation copy from the author, inscribed flamboyantly on the front free endpaper: “al caro e intelligentissimo amico dei futuristi, Koltonski” (“to the dear and intelligent friend of the Futurists, Koltonski”), and accompanied by a Futuristic lightning sketch of “Futuris Marinetti” pricking the sagging bubble of “Passatismo” (Traditionalism). A significant association: “Aleksander Koltonski [(1882-1964) Polish writer and translator], who was a resident in Italy and can be considered a protagonist in popularizing Futurism in Poland, issued a summary of the manifestos on Futurist music by Francesco Balilla Pratella and Luigi Russolo. Koltonski was clearly familiar with the collection I manifesti del futurismo. Prima serie (1914) and demonstrated his extensive knowledge in a groundbreaking article, entitled On Futurism as a Cultural and Artistic Movement, which also included an excerpt from Mariinetti’s Zang Tumb Tumb… Koltonski emphasized the importance of Futurism for the political-cultural development of Italy, the innovatory character of its aesthetics, and the movement’s fertilizing effect on life and art” (Przemyslaw Strozek, “Marinetti is foreign to us”: Polish Responses to Italian Futurism in International Yearbook of Futurism Studies, 2011, volume I p. 89). Originally published in French (Paris: Sansot, 1909) as Mafarka le futuriste: roman africain. There would appear to be a number of issues of this first Italian edition: our copy (and others noted in OCLC) have “10o migliaio” (or “10th thousand”) printed on the front cover; Copac notes a copy (Leeds University) with “11th thousand” and we know of a copy calling itself “6th thousand”. These are all generally regarded as fictional. Mafarka, set in an imaginary African country, brought Marinetti to trial for obscenity. He was acquitted and the furore helped to put Futurism on the cultural map. Koltonski has made two neat inscriptions in Polish that appear to touch on the trial, saying that the book was “confiscated on moral grounds”. .

Octavo. Original orange printed wrappers. Spine lightly toned, slightly rolled and a little creased. An excellent copy of this fragile publication.

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