Alimentary Discourses in Italian Modernist Literature
Chapter One A Futurist Digest: Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s Alimentary Rhetoric
1.1 Le Roi Bombance: Between a Dyspeptic Dystopia and an Embryonic Utopia La Grande Dypepsie éclatera tout à coup, coincidant avec le refroidisse- ment de la terre stérile!1 — F.T. Marinetti, Le Roi Bombance Even within F.T. Marinetti’s French, pre-futurist and thus already less well-known literary production, his tragédie satirique (or tragédie hilare) Le Roi Bombance,2 published by the editions of Mercure de France in 1905 and subsequently staged in 1909 at the Théâtre de l’Oeuvre in Paris, stands out as a text still very much at the margins of both editorial and critical 1 “Dyspepsia” “Dif ficulty or derangement of digestion; indigestion; applied towards forms of disorder of the digestive organs, esp. the stomach, usually involving weak- ness, loss of appetite, and depression of spirit” (Oxford English Dictionary). Here I use the term to indicate in particular the deranged, anomalous digestive situation that af fects the characters in Le Roi Bombance, one in which starvation, engorge- ment, cannibalism and vomiting represent a cyclic norm. 2 As Pasquale Jannini notes “Tra il 1894 e il 1912 F.T. Marinetti si volle e fu scrittore francese” in Scritti francesi (Milan: Mondadori, 1983), 7. The Italian translation by Decio Cinti, Re Baldoria, appeared in 1909. The editions of the play used here are: Le Roi Bombance (Paris: Société du Mercure de France, 1905) and Re Baldoria (Milano: Fratelli Treves, 1920). 22 Chapter One attention. Two simple considerations confirm that Marinetti’s social- gastronomical play has generally failed to find...
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