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Vasari, Ruggero

Entry updated 12 August 2018. Tagged: Author.

(1898-1968) Italian painter, editor and author associated with Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in the evolution of Futurism before around 1930, but strongly opposed to Marinetti's "robust" exaltation of the Machine as the shaping engine of a clean future. Vasari dramatized his opposition in L'angoscia delle macchine ["The Anguish of the Machines"] (written 1923; 1925 chap), a play set in a surreal Near Future Dystopia, under the control of a master Computer, where a Marinetti-like masculinist worship of the mechanical future is radically challenged by women (see Feminism), who are, however, massacred; the text appears trans Anna Lawton as "The Anguish of the Machines" in Robots, Robots, Robots (anth 1978) edited by Ronald Gottesman and Harry M Geduld.

A second play, "Raun" (written 1926-1927; in Le macchine morte di Raun ["The Death Machine of Raun"] coll 1932), presents a more organized dystopia, with rigid divisions of function and rank on Eugenic principles, with women again insultingly demeaned; throughout, Vasari expresses a humane sensibility significantly at odds with much of Modernist art between the wars. With the addition of an earlier drama, La mascherata degli impotenti ["The Masquerade of the Powerless"] (1923), this work has been assembled as L'angoscia delle macchine e altri sintesi futuriste ["The Anguish of the Machines and Other Futurist Syntheses"] (omni 2009) edited by Maria Elena Versari. [JC]

Paulino Ruggero Vasari

born Saint Lucia del Mela, Messina, Italy: 1898

died Messina, Italy: 1968

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