Biography

Abstract Verbalization

In 1912 came out the two important technical pmanifestos of Letteratura Futurista (Futurist literature). The following year, instead, the other important operational manifesto, that of  Immaginazione senza fili (Wireless Imagination) and Parole in libertà (Words in freedom). Then, in 1914, Marinetti published Zang Tumb Tuuum a revolutionary book where the text, broken any orthogonal cage, exploded on the page. Depero, on his turn, joined paroliberism moving from another conceptual point, that is, not a literary one.

In 1912 came out the two important technical pmanifestos of Letteratura Futurista (Futurist literature). The following year, instead, the other important operational manifesto, that of  Immaginazione senza fili (Wireless Imagination) and Parole in libertà (Words in freedom). Then, in 1914, Marinetti published Zang Tumb Tuuum a revolutionary book where the text, broken any orthogonal cage, exploded on the page. Depero, on his turn, joined paroliberism moving from another conceptual point, that is, not a literary one.

His Onomalingua, onomatopoetic language, is essentially only one of the stages of his research on «abstract equivalents», in this case «phonic equivalents». Thus the onomatopoeia and the noise become the inspiring sources of an abstract, poetic verbalization, as a hypothetical universal language, immediately and perceptually, understandable.

In this regard, Carlo Belli, years later, specified that Depero’s onomalanguage should not be confused with the free-word tables that «were polemical explosions burst to shatter a certain logical and academic quadrature: Depero’s invention, instead, enjoyed his autonomy as a new genre of art that stood at the opposite of genre art (!) – and then he remembered – I still hear his extraordinarily mobile voice when he articulated to me:

Ambla no-òffa èmbla carèmba

narici pèndule

matercòlostro…

I didn’t always have the strength to look at him the moment he broke into these sonorous nursery rhymes: according to the intensity, the fatness or the dryness of the sounds, his lips bent to express a violent contempt, his face brightened in a sudden lighting, or his eyes became ferocious pins of tar»(1).

His Onomalingua , onomatopoetic language ,is essentially only one of the stages of his research on «abstract equivalents», in this case «phonic equivalents». Thus the onomatopoeia and the noise become the inspiring sources of an abstract, poetic verbalization, as a hypothetical universal language, immediately and perceptually, understandable.

In this regard, Carlo Belli, years later, specified that Depero’s onomalanguage should not be confused with the free-word tables that «were polemical explosions burst to shatter a certain logical and academic quadrature: Depero’s invention, instead, enjoyed his autonomy as a new genre of art that stood at the opposite of genre art (!) – and then he remembered – I still hear his extraordinarily mobile voice when he articulated to me:

Ambla no-òffa èmbla carèmba

narici pèndule

matercòlostro…

I didn’t always have the strength to look at him the moment he broke into these sonorous nursery rhymes: according to the intensity, the fatness or the dryness of the sounds, his lips bent to express a violent contempt, his face brightened in a sudden lighting, or his eyes became ferocious pins of tar»(1).

Notes

  1. Carlo Belli, Memoria di Depero, in: Fortunato Depero, catalogue of the exhibition in Bassano del Grappa, curated by B. Passamani, 1970.

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