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International Yearbook of Futurism Studies

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“Polemics, jokes, compliments and insults”: The Reception of Futurism in the Spanish Press (1909–1918)

Juan Herrero-Senés
Published Online: 2013-05-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/futur.2013.3.1.123


This essay examines the influence of Futurism in the Spanish cultural sphere before the First World War. It is generally assumed that, until 1918, Futurism did not have a significant impact on the writers and artists of the country, with the exception of Ramon Gomez de la Serna. However, discussions on Futurism can be found in the Spanish press more or less right from the publication of the Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism in Le Figaro in February 1909. In the early 1910s, Spanish journals and newspapers carried plenty of notices on the outpouring of manifestos and public actions of the Italian Futurists and informed the public of the controversies they unleashed and the impulses they gave to different artistic disciplines. Based on extensive archival research, this essay reviews the corpus of responses to Futurism in the Spanish press until 1918, with particular emphasis on its major phases and highpoints: the impact of the Foundationand Manifesto of Futurism (1909), the publication of the Futurist Proclamation tothe Spaniards (1910), and the commentaries on the first exhibitions of Futurist painting and sculpture (1912). The essay analyses the full range of reactions from enthusiasm to ridicule and assesses how the Spanish public opinion, mostly conservative, assimilated progressively the innovations and the challenges posed by Futurism.

Keywords: : Press reactions to the Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism; reception studies; disseminaton of Futurist aesthetics

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Published Online: 2013-05-22

Published in Print: 2013-05-01

Citation Information: International Yearbook of Futurism Studies, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 123–153, ISSN (Online) 2192-029X, ISSN (Print) 2192-0281, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/futur.2013.3.1.123.

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