5 Unearthly Visions

Contents
Stamped Caution by means of Raymond Z. Gallun
Dio through Damon Knight
Conditionally Human through Walter M. Miller Jr.
Legwork via Eric Frank Russell
Shadow World by way of Clifford D. Simak

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Marinetti’s waning political activism can be partly explained in biographical 29 Introduction 30 Lawrence Rainey terms. In late 1919 he had met Benedetta Cappa, a young woman from Rome who was taking painting lessons with Giacomo Balla and a relative of Innocenzo Cappa (a lawyer who had defended Marinetti when he faced obscenity charges over Mafarka the Futurist back in 1910). Benedetta Cappa was then twenty-two, Marinetti forty-three. Their extended courtship led in early 1924 to their taking up a common residence in Rome.

Sensing trouble, the carabinieri intervened and locked up the two groups in a waiting room till a police commissioner could arrive. When he finally came, he found them chatting amiably, delighted by all that they had in common. Lacerba, which was a nonce-word created by dropping the apostrophe from l’acerba (something sour or bitter), struck up a brief, tense alliance with the Futurists. From 1913 to early 1915 the fortnightly would be the preeminent venue of Futurist writing. Contemporaries estimated its press runs differently, some citing figures as low as 8,000–10,000 copies, others 18,000–20,000.

Interventionist sentiment soon engulfed the Socialist Party as well. On 20 October, the editor of the party’s newspaper, Benito Mussolini, unexpectedly asked the party to abandon its position of neutrality. His motion was rejected, and on 24 November he was expelled from the party. A sizable minority broke away to follow him. The next month, buttressed with money from the French government (which wanted Italy to join the war), Mussolini started his own newspaper, Il Popolo d’Italia (The People of Italy).

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