As a writer and as a man, Pier Paolo Pasolini was one of the most complex figures of twentieth century literature, and his life and work are replete with paradoxes. Despite his belief that his leftist poetry was different from all other poetry being written, he employed the hendecasyllable, the most widely used meter in all Italian verse in all periods, and the terza rima of Dante. He rebelled against Italy’s long-entrenched cultural traditionalism yet declared himself a lover of tradition whom it pained to witness the disappearance of Italian peasant culture. He was a Marxist and at the same time did not abandon the Catholic Church; he condemned abortion and called on the Church to lead the fight away from the materialism that was gaining such a stranglehold on capitalistic societies everywhere. With his romantic spirit of identifying with the outcasts of the earth, Marxism came easily to him, but as an active, rather than a sublimated, homosexual, his Marxism demanded a morality that allowed for the individual. His religion was the liberation of the masses, yet he chose to focus not upon their struggle but rather upon their vindicated joy; and although he professed to love the common people, such people as individuals figure little in his poetry. His style in both his poetry and his films was stark and unsentimental, yet he could wax fulsome and self-indulgent when writing on the subject of his mother.
Poesie a Casarsa
To some extent,...
(The entire section is 2075 words.)
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