To the editors:
Anthony Adler might consider reading the full text of articles on Filipo Tommaso Marinetti, founder of Italian Futurism, while searching for sandbags to support his tottering arguments [Letters, April 7].
That Marinetti and the early Futurists could promote both war and left-wing politics was hardly unusual for the time.
What happened when opposing soldiers found out they were members of the same Socialist International was a common theme in post World War I leftist drama. Plenty of leftists of every stripe volunteered to fight in that war; the IWW martyr, Wesley Everest, was lynched while still in uniform.
The Italian invasion of Ethiopia began in 1935. Marinetti, at the age of 60, volunteered for the army. Mr. Adler may have stretched the truth a bit when he says the old guy "fought."
If we are to buy the argument that an individual's future politics colored a whole movement in the past, then those of us who were the Yippies of '68 were really all Reaganite stockbrokers. If you don't believe that, then just look at Jerry Rubin, right?
Anyone can change. The Anthony Adler of the seventies wrote poems about his own testicles; today he waxes prosaic over someone else's. Perhaps someday he will even accept that the Futurists of the teens did not have the same views as the Fascists of the thirties. If he does, I'll be the last to accuse him of cuddlizing fascism.
Lionel Bottari W. 20th Pl.
Anthony Adler replies:
As a matter of strict fact, I've never written a poem about my testicles--though you might say some of my 70s poetry had to do with circumstances surrounding my testicles. Thoughts and experiences I shared with my testicles, as it were. And why not? We've been everywhere together and I owe them a lot. You'll never find me distancing myself from my testicles, Lionel.