This article examines the reception of European futurism in colonial Korea in the early-to- mid-1930s through the writings of Kim Ki-rim and O Chang-hwan, both of whom composed over the course of 1934 long modernist poems engaging with modern warfare and global imperialism—Kim’s “Weather Map” (Kisangdo, p. 1935) and O’s “War” (Chŏnjaeng, 1934, unpublished). My central proposition, based on close readings of these two poems in comparison with works by Italian and Japanese futurists, is that Korea’s unevenly developed colonial location and its experience with the violence of military occupation and with escalating warfare in China indirectly discouraged the celebratory posture adopted by the European futurists towards technology, speed, and mechanized violence.
On October 4, 1923, the American composer George Antheil made his highly anticipated Paris debut at the Champs Elysées Theatre, in front of a rioting audience. A few minutes into the recital the crowd became unsettled; members of the audience started to protest the offensive nature of the music, others jumped to the musician’s defence, and before long the house was out of control. Unbeknownst to Antheil, the riot was in fact staged by his friends Marcel L’Herbier and Georgette Leblanc, who needed to film just such a scene for their upcoming movie, The Inhuman Woman. The ruse would only be revealed to him about a year after the incident.