Francesco Cangiullo

  1. Il sifone d'oro, 1913 (3:53)
  2. Da Pie Digrotta - F. Cangiullio 2:03
1 - Spoken by the author; recorded October 1975)
from the LP Futura Poesia Sonora (Cramps Records, Milan)

2 - from Italian Futurist Poetry (1913-1933), performed by Vittore Baroni

Francesco Cangiullo personifies the meeting between futurism and the Neapolitan spirit. The mixture explodes in the words at liberty "Piedigrotta" (Milan, 1916), published together with Marinetti's manifesto on dynamic and synoptic declamation. In "Piedigrotta," Cangiullo's southern exuberance expresses itself, futuristically, in the form of stupendous typographical and phonic devices, an uninterrupted sparking of inventions, worthy of being republished in its original form, anastatically. Visual poetry is Cangiullo's debtor for the subsequent "Café concerto, alfabeto a sorpresa" (Café concert, surprise alphabet") (Milan, 1916), in which the typograhical component, employed in a masterly manner, provides a spectacle entirely without precedent at the time, a sort of printed theatre. "It sifone d'oro" ("The golden siphon") was published in 1924 (Casella, Naples) but composed in 1913, and was translated into French by Marinetti. It is declaimed by the author, a hitherto unissue phonic document. It is a great pitythat the limited technical resources of the time has deprived us of recordings of the famous futurist sessions, a form of variety theatre which was related to the Commedia dell'Arte and at the same time heralded the dadaist Cabaret Voltaire and the Bauhaus scene.

Francesco Cangiullo was born in Naples in 1884, son of a well known wood sculptor. He initiated classical studies, at his mother's wish but gave them up to dedicate himself to poetry. In addition to collections of verse, he published novels, short stories and works for the theatre, and contributed to magazines such as "Lacerba" and "La Fiera Letteraria and to newspapers: "It Tempo", "It Mattino", "Il Giornale d'Italia". He embraced futurism with enthusiasm and brought to the movement the fruits of his fertile inventiveness: pentagrammed poetry, surprise alphabet, humanized letters, surprise theatre. He withdrew in 1924 and continued more independently his work as a writer and poet. He lives at Livorno and Still continues to contribute literary leading articles to the Roman newspaper "It Tempo".