Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
Italian poet, editor, and theorist Filippo Tommaso (F.T.) Marinetti was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1876, and he was educated in Egypt and France. He was the author of Destruction (1904) and La Ville Charnelle (1908), two volumes of largely ignored poetry, before sparking immediate controversy with his novel Mafarka il futurista (1910). The novel, along with the publication of "Manifeste de Futurisme" in Le Figaro (February 20, 1909), marked the origin of futurism, which Marinetti detailed as a rejection of the past for greater attention to beauty in contemporary art and politics. In his famous Manifesto, Marinetti advocated “words in freedom”—a language unbound by common syntax and order that, along with striking variations in typography, could quickly convey intense emotions.
His next collection of verse, Guerra sola igiene del mondo (1915) celebrated World War I as an act of futurism. Marinetti served in WWI as a member of the Lombard Volunteer Cyclist regiment in 1915. He would write speeches in journalistic pieces in 1916 to support Italy's war effort, and in 1918 he founded Partito Politico Fururista (Futurist Political Party), which would merge one year later with the Italian Fascist Party.
Throughout the rest of his life, Marinetti espoused the merits of futurism in his writings, including his volume of essays, Futurismo e fascismo (1924), and his play, Tamburo di Fuoco (1932). Marinetti and other Italian futurists allied themselves with militaristic nationalism, which alienated their cause internationally following World War II.
He volunteered for active service in WWII, serving at the front for a few weeks in 1942. He died of a heart attack in 1944.