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Italian Futurism

L'Angoscia delle macchine. Sintesi tragica in tre tempi [The anguish of machines: a tragic synthesis in three stages].

Turin: Edizioni Rinascimento (Societa Anon, Editrice Torinese), 1925. 16mo (18 × 13 cm). Original pictorial wrappers by Ivo Pannaggi; XX, 72, [2], 1 pp., with frontis portrait of the author by G. Severini. Signed and inscribed in red pencil by Vasari to Franz Leppmann on the front flyleaf. Some light sunning to wrappers; minor creasing and chipping along edges; pages uncut; overall very good.

Ruggero Vasari (1898–1968) was an important figure in Italian Futurism who helped connect the movement with Central and Eastern Europe. He was the head of the group's concentration in Berlin, having moved there in 1922 with the intention of organizing a stop for the traveling “Italian Avant-garde Art Exhibition” which opened in Prague in 1921. He also served as the editor of the movement’s Berlin-based journal “Der Futurismus”, publishing translations of seminal Futurist texts but also important writings from members of the Berlin circle.

“L'Angoscia delle macchine” and his other science-fiction play, “L'uomo e la macchina. Raun,” are both post-Expressionist works that deal with technology, machines, and dystopias. They also contain criticisms of Futurist ideas as presented in their many manifestos, highlighting the chasm that had evolved between the movement and Vasari's own values. Vasari sought out assistance in getting the plays translated and also performed abroad, but the avant-garde nature of his work made it difficult for him to find venues and willing producers. A number of productions were planned at theaters and festivals in France, Germany, Serbia, Croatia, Poland, and Russia, among others, but only one staging in Paris was ever realized. (Maria Elena Versari, "Enlisting and Updating: Ruggero Vasari and the Shifting Coordinates of Futurism in Eastern and Central Europe,” International Yearbook of Futurism Studies 1, 2011).

This volume is the rare first standalone edition of this work, which was preceded by partial publication in both “Der Sturm” and “Teatro: periodico di nuove comedie,” also in 1925. This particular volume is inscribed on the front flyleaf by the author to Franz Leppmann (1877–1948), a German writer and journalist. Leppmann taught briefly before becoming a columnist for the Ullstein newspaper publisher and a theater critic at the Vossische Zeitung. During the Weimar Republic he also worked as a translator and editor for Ullstein-Verlag and editor-in-chief of Propyläen-Verlag. A Jew, he fled to London in 1938 to avoid persecution.

Collezione Mughini 686. Cammarota, Futurismo, 480.4.

As of March 2022, OCLC locates two holdings of this edition in North America.

Book ID: 51881

Price: $4,500.00