"We stand on the last promontory of the world!
"We will glorify war--the world's only hygiene!
"We will destroy the museums, libraries, academies of every kind . . .
"We will sing of great crowds excited by work, by pleasure, and by riot . . . "
These are not lyrics from the latest rock band, but an excerpt from the first Futurist Manifesto, published in 1909 by Italian Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. In the years that followed, the Futurist movement united artists determined to sweep away 19th-Century Romanticism and drag society forcefully into a new world where technology ruled and all sentimental attachment to convention would be swept away. The main aesthetic principles of the Futurists were excess and shock value.
The "Futurist Cookbook," a late device of the exuberant iconoclast Marinetti, was published in 1932. It promotes nothing less than a revolution in food, from table settings to eating habits. The recipe for the edible food sculpture "Equator + North Pole" describes "an equatorial sea of poached egg yolks . . . In the center emerges a cone of firmly whipped egg white full of orange segments looking like juicy sections of the sun. The peak of the cone is strewn with pieces of black truffle cut into the form of black aeroplanes conquering the zenith." To enhance the eating experience, La Cucina Futurista recommended music and perfumes selected for maximum impact.