A Futurist and a Surrealist

The “Futurist Manifesto,” written by F. T. Marinetti, and the “Surrealist Manifesto” written by Andre Brenton, are both interesting writings that contain radical ideas for the early 20th century. The Futuristic Manifesto focuses more on the rejection of the past, or in other words Futurism. It promotes sexism, war, and destruction of museums. The Surrealist manifesto focuses on revolution slightly more than the Futurist Manifesto does, but in a less violent way. It is written that they are “determined” on creating a revolution, yet refrains from mentioning violence in wars.

Two things about the Futurist Manifesto really intrigued me. Out of curiosity and to better understand the history surrounding this manifesto, I looked up the date it was published. I found out it was published at 1904, which I found interesting in regards to the manifesto’s discussion about violence and revolution. This manifesto was written before the Russian revolution and World War I, and at this point in time the world had not truly experienced the kind of war and revolution this writing was describing. This made me think, did this manifesto have any influence on the Russian Revolution? And second, why would Marinetti want to glorify war in the first place?

The main thing about the Surrealism manifesto that fascinated me was Article 2. Here it is written that Surrealism is not a means of expression but a freeing of the mind. Previous to reading this manifesto, I had always thought of Surrealism in the sense that it was an art style. To me, art has always been a way of expressing ones’ self, while concurrently freeing ones’ mind. I took my original view of Surrealism and applied it to the reading. I still think that one is expressing themselves while also freeing their minds, because free thoughts lead to great ideas. So to me, Article 2 was slightly contradictory. However, I could just be interpreting Breton’s ideas incorrectly.

Overall, I found both these manifestos very interesting in the ways they express their desire  and capability of revolution.

3 thoughts on “A Futurist and a Surrealist

  1. This post provides a great analysis and comparison of the Futurist and Surrealist Manifestos. The writer’s extra research also allows for some interesting and thought provoking insights. While the Futurist Manifesto may have had some influence over the Russian Revolution, there had been other revolutions and overthrowing of governments that had occurred up to this point in history which most likely had more of an impact on the Russians.

  2. I like how you avoided summary and focused on what you thought. As for Surrealism, it is not clear what you find unclear about article two. Is it that when you free your mind, you cannot be thinking? For the Futurists, I think they want to glorify war because every revolution involves some kind of violence. For them to achieve their goals, they must also use violence.

  3. I thought that you could have gone more in depth into your interpretation of the Surrealist Manifesto, although your focus on the Futurist Manifesto was intriguing. To try and answer your question, I think the manifesto stresses violence as being imperative to bringing about a revolutionary change. I believe that that is why Marinetti stressed violence.

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