Laughter and the Manifesto: Aldo Palazzeschi’s Counter-Futurist Futurist Il controdolore

Cristina Caracchini


Literary history made a Futurist out of Palazzeschi, and he himself said about his manifesto, Il controdolore (published in Lacerba in 1914) that it represented his “modest and direct” contribution to Marinetti’s movement. This article situates Il controdolore among other mainly contemporary texts devoted to laughter. Referring to theories of manifestos, it looks at Palazzeschi’s text as a theatrical space, underlining its literary and non-pragmatic nature. I intend to show that, in this iconic work, we start to recognize certain recurring features and ideas that position Palazzeschi’s very anomalous avant-garde experience among the ranks of the Futurists, in a space of autonomous opposition to both poles of the binary Futurism/non-Futurism. As a matter of fact, his position, liminal, and somewhat anarchic, makes his work a convincing antecedent of avant-garde movements to come, especially Dadaism.

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