Flashing in the Sun with a Glitter of Knives

Literary criticism about Futurism. Can any of Futurism’s aesthetic ideas prevail beyond the problematic politics? Should they?

Essay featured in Octopus magazine. Issue 1. 2012. Online.

Flashing in the Sun with a Glitter of Knives

My essay lays out a basic introduction to the art movement known as Futurism and then offers some thoughts about how the tactics used by the Futurists might be useful for contemporary literature.

Today, even though some ideas like abstraction and a focus on the "new" have been communicated to nearly everyone in our culture, there are still some ideas in the futurist manifestos whose time seems yet-to-come. Many of these are the literary ideas set down in Marinetti's manifestos, which are now one hundred years old. Now that today really is the future, from Futurism's point-of-view, perhaps a survey of those ideas would prove to be inspiring, for a new literary generation, who now enjoy computers, desktop publishing, the Internet and an unprecedented ability to manipulate and disseminate language, quickly and globally. Perhaps now is a good time for futurist literature?

The editorial from this first issue of Magic Octopus sets the tone and describes the publication…

a magazine for intergalactic warrior mystics who love to step outside of the expected, embrace dualities of light and dark, cynicism and optimism. A playground for those who practice courageous curiosity, magical creativity, and hunger for knowledge. A travelogue of the fabulous, who insist on a passionate existence, who act, question, and crave new ways of living in a beautiful world. We feature people, organizations, and businesses that persist, invent and inspire. We are a voice for the glittering revo lutionaries of this wondrous age.

During the production of the issue, several of the writers and friends gathered to celebrate a futurist banquet. This was one the last few times I got the chance to hang out with celebrated Baltimore poet, Chris Toll.