By Walter Adamson
They estimated a courageous new global, and what they acquired used to be fascism. As shiny as its opposite numbers in Paris, Munich, and Milan, the avant-garde of Florence rose on a wave of inventive, political, and social idealism that swept the area with the coming of the 20th century. How the flow flourished in its first heady years, in basic terms to flounder within the bloody wake of worldwide struggle I, is an engaging tale, informed the following for the 1st time. it's the historical past of an entire generation's remarkable promise--and both notable failure. The "decadentism" of D'Annunzio, the philosophical beliefs of Croce and Gentile, the politics of Italian socialism: most of these traces flowed jointly to buoy the rising avant-garde in Florence. Walter Adamson indicates us the younger artists and writers stuck up within the highbrow ferment in their time, between them the poet Giovanni Papini, the painter Ardengo Soffici, and the cultural critic Giuseppe Prezzolini. He depicts a new release rejecting provincialism, looking religious freedom in Paris, and finally mixing the modernist sort stumbled on there with their very own feel of toscanit? or "being Tuscan." of their journals--Leonardo, l. a. Voce, Lacerba, and l'Italia futurista--and of their cafe lifestyles on the Giubbe Rosse, we see the avant-garde of Florence as voters of an highbrow global peopled via the likes of Picasso, Bergson, Sorel, Unamuno, Pareto, Weininger, and William James. We witness their mounting dedication to the beliefs of regenerative violence and watch their life turn into more and more frenzied as battle methods. ultimately, Adamson exhibits us the final word betrayal of the movement's aspirations as its cultural politics aid catapult Italy into struggle and get ready the best way for Mussolini's upward thrust to energy.
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Extra info for Avant-garde Florence: From Modernism to Fascism (Studies in Cultural History) by Walter L Adamson (1994-01-21)
Nor is this a strange thing: many of the professors, ,vho w'ere neither Florentine nor Tuscan, had been among the intellectual promoters of the national revolution. They had come out of the school of De Sanctis, like Villari, and they had seen teachers and friends imprisoned or killed by monarchical reactions. The revolutionary experience had not happened in vain for them: exiled, in contact ,vith the most openminded intellectual outlooks in Europe, they had become men of European resonance, anxious, no,v that national unity had been achieved, to continue on the path tow'ard human emancipation.
Even before this last govern- 28 Avant-Garde Florence ment, Leopold was forced in February 1849 to seek refuge at the pope's residence at Gaeta, on the Mediterranean coast south of Rome. His restoration two months later, solely as a result of a decisive victory by the Austrian army over Piedmont, together with the dashed hopes of self-rule, made the 1850s a dismal decade for Tuscany and set the stage for the one radical cultural experiment of the era, Carducci's Amici Pedanti. The group had a brief existence, from 1856 to 1858, while events again reversed direction, pushing Tuscany and then Italy to full independence.
Though written later, the evocation of late nineteenth-century British Florence by the poet and sometime vociano Aldo Palazzeschi is not atypical in its attitude: They lived a countrified life within the old city walls. Their customs were simple and dignified, their houses tastefully decorated with beautiful and authentic Tuscan items, chosen or unearthed with loving care when they were not yet appreciated among us. Among them one might meet some old impec- 34 Avanl-Garde Florence cably dressed gentleman and some slightly evanescent young person who ,vould hold polite conversations at tea time, laughing at the top of their voices at ,vitticisms, wisecracks, or insignificant compliments (always among the guests ,vas an officially recognized dog with a little monogrammed handkerchief in the small pocket of his jacket) or seriously discussing matters that not everyone present recognized as serious.