Monday, October 19, 2015

"Sam Dunn is Dead" by Bruno Corra (Atlas Press)

This totally obscure "Futurist Novel" by Bruno Corra, himself a very obscure Italian author, is a beautiful entrance from the 19th century sensibilities and into the 20th century wonder.   Written in 1914, and published by the Italian Futurist Filippo Marinetti, in 1915.  This brief 'novel' captures the moment where everything is possible, and the imagination is limitless.   There is a magnificent chapter "Paris Driven Crazy" where the beloved capital of taste, becomes a loony toon cartoon.   Objects rise up and march off in the streets, and things re-form into other forms.  Pre DADA, pre-Surrealist, and even more out there than Futurist text, Corra captures the essence of creation in a world that he knows.  Essential avant-garde literature of the 20th century.  A must for dandies and those who taste the fruits of nihilism.

I also want to add that this book, published by the excellent Atlas Press, is beautifully designed with original illustrations by Rosa Rosà, an artist who illustrated a lot of Futurist text in her time and age.  John Walker's (also the translator) introduction is informative, interesting, and well-documented.  Praise to those like Atlas, who continues to bring out European avant-greatness.

- Tosh Berman

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