Photo Courtesy of Carica dei Lancieri

THE E’ER INSCRUTABLE | 1916: Annus Equi Sine Rectore and the Mechanized Frontier

“The machines were more to his soul than the sun. He did not know these mechanisms, their great, human-contrived, inhuman power, and he wanted to know them… He wanted machines, machine-production… He wanted to go…  beyond the Self, into the great inhuman Not-Self, to create the great unliving creators, the machines, out of the active forces of nature that existed before flesh. But he is too old. It remains for the young Italian to embrace his mistress, the machine.” -D.H. Lawrence, Twilight in Italy

It was with a heavy heart that D.H. Lawrence published his aforementioned 1916 travelogue; the old Europe had by then taken up arms, and every peninsular limb of her gangrenous body stood poised to strangle the other. A crossroads had been reached: the two year hump of the war, the hellfire of Verdun and the Stahlgewitter of the Somme, the stalemate of offensive and counter-offensive swallowing up young male blood in torrents.