Biography (Critical Survey of Poetry)
Pier Paolo Pasolini was the first of two sons born to Carlo Alberto and Susanna Colussi Pasolini. Carlo Alberto Pasolini, though from an aristocratic Bolognese family, was reduced to poverty and became a soldier. Until his death in 1958, his life was a dream of military and Fascist ideals, and after his discharge from the military, he became an alcoholic. It was rather with the petite bourgeoisie background of his mother’s family of the Friuli area (in the northeastern corner of Italy, bordered by Austria and Yugoslavia) that the poet identified. Susanna Colussi, who had inherited her Hebrew name from a great-grandmother who was a Polish Jew, was a schoolteacher and already thirty when Carlo Alberto Pasolini married her.
Carlo Alberto Pasolini’s wife and two sons accompanied him wherever he was stationed in Northern Italy. The marriage was turbulent and marked by frequent temporary separations, and Susanna channeled all her love into her relationship with her sons, especially her older son. Indeed, the relationship between Pasolini and his mother, whom he would one day cast as the Virgin Mary in his film Il vangelo secondo Matteo (1964; The Gospel According to St. Matthew, released 1964), was animated by an unequivocally incestuous tension. When the two of them moved to Rome without Carlo Alberto in 1945, Susanna took a position as a maid to support her son’s literary aspirations. The image of his “artless, eternally youthful...
(The entire section is 1365 words.)
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