Pasolini, Pier Paolo
Pier Paolo Pasolini 1922–1975
Italian poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, filmmaker, critic, editor, and short story writer.
Pasolini has been called one of the most notable poets to have emerged from post-World War II Italy. Although recognized outside his country primarily as a filmmaker, Pasolini is well known in Italy for the outspoken views on Marxism and religion he presents in his poetry. Central to Pasolini's life and works is his despair over Italy's impoverished conditions and his anger over the indifference of the materialistic bourgeoisie. During the course of his controversial career, his observations on Catholicism, communism, and the existing social order have alternately pleased and angered conservatives and leftists alike and have earned Pasolini the title of "civil poet." Frank Capozzi noted, "In Pasolini one finds the lyricism of Pascoli, the aspiration of Rousseau, the revolt and the anguish of Rimbaud, the self-destruction of Genet. His … poems … will always be important for an understanding of post-war society."
Pasolini was born in Bologna, the son of an army officer. His father's long absence as a prisoner of war in Kenya and his brother's execution as a partisan by the Fascists forced political awareness upon Pasolini at an early age. Having begun to write poetry when he was seven, Pasolini attended high school and university in Bologna, though he had lived in various parts of northern Italy during his youth. His childhood and early adult experiences in the poverty-stricken village of Casarsa, located in the province of Friuli, inspired his first book of Friulian dialect poetry, Poesie a Casarsa (1942) as well as his lifelong identification with the poor. Following a brief period with the Italian army, just before the Italian surrender to the Allied forces in 1943, Pasolini returned to Casarsa, where he was strongly influenced by the ideas of Karl Marx and Antonio Gramsci, the leading theoretician of Italian communism. In the late 1940s, Pasolini earned his doctorate degree and became a state high school teacher. He had kept his homosexuality a secret until a scandal in 1949, stemming from accusations that he had approached a male student, led to the loss of his teaching job and his membership in the Italian communist party. Pasolini escaped with his mother to Rome, where he became immersed in the slum life of that city. Subsequently the lives and views of its underclass youths would become central to his poetry and films. In 1955 Pasolini co-founded the review Officina in Bologna with friends Francesco Leonetti and Roberto Roversi, and
later joined Enzo Siciliano in the Nuovi Argomenti. In 1957 Le ceneri di Gramsci (The Ashes of Gramsci) was published, earning Pasolini a Viareggio Prize. In 1962 Pasolini was arrested on charges that he had insulted the church in his poetry and films. Later, two of his films, I racconti di Canterbury (1972) and Salò o le centoventi giornate di Sodoma (1975), were declared obscene. In 1975, at age 54, Pasolini was murdered in Ostia, outside Rome, by a 17-year-old male prostitute.
Pasolini wrote his earliest poetry, collected in his first book, Poesie a Casarsa, in his native Friulian peasant language, in the hope of creating a literature accessible to the poor. Pasolini rejected the official language because he believed that it had been created by and for the bourgeoisie. These early poems appear in an expanded and revised version, La meglio gioventù (1954) and center on his renunciation of Catholicism and his endorsement of Marxist beliefs. Other early poems, along with some experiments in the tradition of religious poetry, are collected in the volume, L'usignolo della Chiesa Cattolica (1958). The poetry of Le ceneri di Gramsci and La religione del mio tempo (1961) reflects, among other beliefs, Gramsci's idea of a "popular national literature." Pasolini broke away from the preceding generation of Italian poets by composing Le ceneri di Gramsci in terza rima—a subversive return to the traditional verse of Dante, Pascol, and the civic poets of the Risorgimento. Although he eventually abandoned terza rima, he later returned to it in "A Desperate Vitality," in Poesia in forma di rosa (1964). He revised many poems in Friuliano and published them in La nuova giovento (1975). Pasolini's later poems are more autobio-graphical and confessional, yet the political concerns central to the majority of his works are still evident. In his last works Pasolini declared a kind of poetic bankruptcy as he attempted to renounce literature and his origins. Shortly before his death Pasolini repudiated a large part of his own work: "It's already an illusion to write poetry, and yet I keep doing so, even if for me poetry is no longer the marvelous classic myth that exalted my adolescence. I no longer believe in dialectic and contradiction, but only in opposition."
Most critics agree that Pasolini's great contribution was the creation of a "civic" poetry, "the rational argument of a civilized mind." The adjective has also been used to describe Pasolini's verse as "public" poetry, even if there was not necessarily a consensus of acceptance by the public. Critics and intellectuals have considered Pasolini an "organic intellectual," a term used by Gramsci to designate a new kind of militant intellectual, linked to the working class, who worked through the apparatus of the party. The openness in Pasolini's poetry has been seen as a strength by some critics; others have commented on Pasolini's inability to resolve his inner conflicts in his work, and his tendency toward narcissism, egocentrism, and martyrdom. While some critics, noting Pasolini's strong narrative tendency and use of traditional metrics, have read his poetry as a conservative exercise which missed the 1960s avant-garde trend in Italy, Pasolini's poetry has been seen by some as immune to a historically-determined categorization. Stefano Agosti considered Pasolini's poetic language "a diction which is at once total and suspended, entirely involved and critically deferred."
Poésie a Casarsa 1942
I diarii 1945
Tal cour di un frut: Nel cuore di un fanciullo 1953
Dal diario, 1945-47 1954
La meglio gioventù 1954
Le ceneri di Gramsci [The Ashes of Gramsci] 1957
L'usignolo delia Chiesa Cattolica 1958
Passione e ideologia, 1948-1958 (poetry and essays) 1960
Roma 1950: Diario 1960
La religione del mio tempo 1961
L'odore dell'India [The Scent of India] (poetry and prose) 1962
Poesia in forma di rosa 1964
Poesie dimenticate 1965
Trasumanar e organizzar 1971
La nuova giovento: Poesie friulane, 1941-1974 1975
La divina mimesis [The Divine Mimesis] 1975
Le poesie [Poems] 1975
Roman Poems: Bilingual Edition 1986
Other Major Works
Ragazzi di vita [The Ragazzi] (novel) 1955
Una vita violenta [A Violent Life] (novel) 1959
Accatone (screenplay) 1961
Il sogno di una cosa [A Dream...
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SOURCE: An Interview with Pier Pasolini, in Stanford Italian Review, Vol. II, No. 2, Fall, 1982, pp. 46-8.
[In the following interview, originally published in 1971, Pasolini discusses the poetic renewal that inspired Trasumanar e organizzar.]
Pasolini the filmmaker had overshadowed for some time Pasolini the writer. Then, however, not only six tragedies and a collection of essays were published one after the other, but with Trasumanare e organizzar a poetic silence that had lasted since Poesia in forma di rosa (1964) was broken.
[Gardair]: Was this silence due to circumstances or to some "poet's block"?
[Pasolini]: Let's say that after Poesia in forma di rosa I had the feeling of having exhausted a certain linguistic world, the pleasure of certain choices, certain words. I didn't give up immediately, or rather I first tried to renew myself at any cost, but for this will power is not enough. There is no renewal without an interior renewal. Time is needed. So, meanwhile, I preferred to express myself through others: my actors, the characters of my tragedies. And when, about two years ago, I started to write poems again, I realized that the poetic renewal I had hoped for and pursued in vain had happened spontaneously. Most of the words and figures that were the base of my former poetry had completely disappeared from this last collection....
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SOURCE: "Pier Paolo Pasolini's Dialect Poetry," in Forum ltalicum, Vol. IX, No. 4, December 1975, pp. 343-67.
[In the following essay, O'Neill comments on Pasolini's use of Friulian dialect in his poetry, and on his Spanish and Italian poetic influences.]
Perhaps the best synthesis of the world of Pasolini's dialect poetry is that given, unconsciously, by the author himself in the important 1952 essay on La poesia dialettale del Novecento, talking of the Triestine poet, Giotti:
Una povera storia, infinitamente più nuda e deserta che nei crepuscolari, poiché nella sua angoscia non c'è compiacimento o ripensamento da favola decadente, ma come un interno terrore, una nozione della morte e del disfacimento del mondo, delle cose care e degli affetti, che ha quasiun remoto accento leopardiano.
The "mondo" of which Pasolini speaks is that of Friuli, specifically Casarsa, the birthplace of his mother, to where his family had been evacuated in 1943, and where he remained until 1949, when, he moved, definitively, to Rome. But the Casarsa of Pasolini is not a precise, well-defined geographical location; it is not, in a word, realistically described and recognisable as such, like, say, the Tuscany or Umbria of Luzi: rather it has become, to adopt an expression of Silone's, the poet's paese dell'anima. Casarsa is not part of the...
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SOURCE: "'I Am a Free Man': Pasolini's Poetry in America," in Italian Quarterly, Vols. XXI-XXII, Nos. 82-83, Fall-Winter, 1980-81, pp. 99-105.
[In the following excerpt, MacAfee focuses on the appropriateness of Pasolini's civil poems to a post-fascist society.]
Pasolini's Italian poems were made as civil poems, in bright contrast to the then still dominant mode of poetic discourse, hermeticism—whose style was, I think, a function of its poets living under the growth and success of fascism. Pasolini's Italian poems, from 1954 to his death, are discourse appropriate to a post-fascist society, and fully use a climate of freer speech. Pasolini's long civil poems link him to Whitman and Pound and Ginsberg, but he is a real original—and just as the films of this film-poet have had roughest going in America, of all the non-Communist world, the poems will also upset some ideas about what a poem can't be—but I think the soil is already prepared by the three aforementioned American poets, and that Pasolini's poetry and career will have a deep effect on American poetry, and thus on American life.
American poetry 1980 is at a point of particular opportunity. For at least ten years a network of poetry queries and magazines has been in the process of organizing itself. The outlets are there for publishing good and great work, as well as the usual vast amount of mediocre writings. But...
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SOURCE: '"Ah Mistica / Filologia!" Rereading Pasolini," in Italian Quarterly, Vols. XXI-XXII, Nos. 82-83, Fall-Winter, 1980-81, pp. 95-8.
[In the following essay, Mandelbaum comments on what he deems the "over-sympathetic relation between Pasolini and his audience"]
Few poets have declared their own bankruptcy as resolutely as did Pasolini: "Ιο? Ιο sono inaridito e superato," uttered in parentheses, parentheses less complex than Marvell's "my fruits are only flowers" but certainly echt Pasolini. Like Eliot's rueful assessment of "twenty years largely wasted" at the end of "east Coker"; or Swinburne's "least song" at the end of "By the North Sea"; or Montale's musings in "Méditerranée"; or the anti-pride of Pound in the Pisan Cantos—this is not a humility topos, but the product of what I should call an adherent I, an epistolary I (the I of Ungaretti's final strophe in "Monologhetto": "Poeti, poeti, ci siamo messi—Tutte le maschere;—Ma uno non è che la propria persona.")
But oxymoronically, no poet has so resolutely hedged himself against those who would even cite, let alone anatomize, these declarations of bankruptcy. The first of his Umiliato e offeso epigrams is addressed to Catholic critics, but one need not be Catholic to feel the force of the elbow—or the stiletto—in "Ai critici cattolici"
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SOURCE: "Pasolini and the City: Rome 1950: A Diary," in Italian Quarterly, Vols. XXI-XXII, Nos. 82-83, Fall-Winter, 1980-81, pp. 107-19.
[In the following excerpt, Oldcorn examines the poet's formative years in Rome and how they are reflected in his work, particularly in the early verse journal, Rome 1950: A Diary.]
The verse journal Roma 1950, diario (Rome 1950: A Diary) remained unknown until 1960, when it was published in a limited edition of 600 copies by Vanni Scheiwiller of Milan. This "book of hours," which chronicles the poet's state of mind in his moments of rest from servile work—his first awakenings, his evenings, holidays, the noontide siesta—is a slim volume of fifteen short poems in more or less regular unrhymed hendecasyllables (the Italian equivalent of blank verse). With the same timid indecision that characterizes the psychological attitudes it represents, the volume hovers between tradition and innovation, between literary freedom and convention, between open and closed form. The number of lines varies from 11 to 28 (twice 14), though most of the compositions are closer to eleven lines than to twenty-eight, while the final poem is actually fourteen lines long. The average length makes us suspect that the ghost at least of the confessional sonnet form ("… with this key—Shakespeare unlocked his heart; the melody—Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's...
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SOURCE: "Pasolini's Gramsci," in Modern Language Notes, Vol. 96, No. 1, January, 1981, pp. 120-37.
[In the following excerpt, Sillanpoa investigates the influence of Antonio Gramsci on Pasolini's work.]
When discussing those who perhaps most influenced the thought of the late Pier Paolo Pasolini, poet, novelist, critic and filmmaker, one critic recently spoke of "il suo Gramsci." Implied in this possessive is the highly personal interpretation that Pasolini attached to the example and writings of Antonio Gramsci, revolutionary political theorist whose famous notebooks survived their author's death in 1937 after eleven years of Fascist imprisonment. What follows attempts to qualify this implication through a survey of Pasolini's writings directly linked to a reading of Gramsci. Demonstration should emerge to bolster those claims of a subjective interpretation whose ultimate complexity can best be described generally as a curious admixture of confraternity and contradiction.
The closing section of L'usignolo delta Chiesa Cattolica (1958), containing verse composed between 1943 and 1949, carries the subtitle, La scoperta di Marx. War and the Italian Partisan response had transformed Pasolini, leading him to the conviction that life demands "qualcos'altro che amore/per il proprio destino." For the young Pasolini, that "something other" prompted a probe into an...
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SOURCE: "The Concept of Death in Pier Paolo Pasolini: A Philosophical Approach," in Canadian Journal of Italian Studies, Vol. 5, Nos. 1-2, Fall-Winter, 1981-82, pp. 91-7.
[In the following essay, Colilli uses philological criticism to study the concept of death in Pasolini's poems.]
The purpose of this paper is to investigate briefly the application of philological criticism to the study and interpretation of poetry, and in particular to a selected poem of Pier Paolo Pasolini in order to examine the claim by philological critics that a specific word is not used repetitively and randomly by the poet. In fact, as is generally believed by philological critics, a diachronic study of a specific word in its context of occurrence usually demonstrates that it contains a semantic configuration which forms a psycholinguistic frame, or "charge", that determines both lexical and overall poetic structure. In the present case we shall concentrate on lexical items based on the morpheme "mor-", hence the various forms of "morte", "morire", etc.
As is well known, Benedetto Croce believed artistic creation to be the result of pure inspiration and intuition: "L'arte è intuizione pura o pura espressione, non intuizione intellettuale alia Hegel…." However, in line with proposals advanced by philological critics we intend to demonstrate that, in the case of Pasolini at least, a poet is indeed in...
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SOURCE: "The Word Beside Itself," in Stanford Italian Review, Vol. II, No. 2, Fall, 1982, pp. 54-71.
[In the following essay, Agosti presents a phenomenological analysis of Pasolini's poetry, seeing his verse as both conservative and innovative.]
It is probable (it is, at least in part, already an established fact) that an attempt at historical collocation of Pier Paolo Pasolini's poetry—considered in terms of its most significant and most striking achievements: Le ceneri di Grantsci, 1957; La religione del mio tempo, 1961; some sections of L'usignolo delta Chiesa cattolica, published in 1958 but containing work of the period 1943-1949—would lead to its finding itself firmly placed on the side of experiences that might be termed conservative as opposed to innovative or "eversive" experiences in twentieth-century literature; nor need this imply any doubt of its intrinsic worth if one admits that a considerable part of significant twentieth-century Italian literature (the perfect example, the prose of Cardarelli) falls into just this perspective, whereas the revolutionary landscape all too often houses products of uncertain alloy when they are not outright vulgar (a no less paradigmatic example of this, Marinetti and, in general, the Italian brand of Futurism). That Pasolini should be so placed two macroscopic immanent aspects of his poetic production might seem to justify: (1) its...
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SOURCE: "Reading Pasolini's Roses," m Symposium, Vol. XXXVI, No. 3, Fall, 1982, pp. 207-19.
[In the following excerpt, Jewell examines the poems "A na fruta," "Poesia informa di rosa," and "Nuova poesia in forma di rosa" in order to find a definition of Pasolini's poetic language.]
Pier Paolo Pasolini initiated his literary education writing lyric poetry. Commentators have found elusive, inherent poeticity throughout his work. In fact it is possible to view the poetic as a key to the complexity and diversity of a production which included novels, plays, journalistic essays, drawings and films. I wish to examine moments of Pasolini's poetic practice and theory in order to find a definition of poetic language pertinent to Pasolini's artistic corpus. My point of reference is the long "Poesia in forma di rosa," the title poem for a volume of collected verse from the years 1961-64. Two factors influenced my choice: the volume Poesia in forma di rosa is contemporary with the poet's first films and forms a point both of rupture and of transition and this volume in particular presents an interesting paradox. In it one follows the course of a "death" of poetry for-Pasolini, as he becomes "poeta sul marciapiede" 'streetwalker poet,' and yet, simultaneously, the birth of an incipient "Cinema di poesia" (title of his theoretical article), as the "poetic" moves out of poetry and into cinema. To determine what...
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SOURCE: "Poet into man," in The Times Literary Supplement, No. 4,149, October 8, 1982,p. 1105.
[In the following excerpt, Thompson notes the development of Pasolini from "civil poet" to "kinetic poet" in Pier Paolo Pasolini: Poems]
As a poet, Pier Paolo Pasolini was an arch-traditionalist; as a man, a "politikon z on", he was a radical romantic whom disillusion drove to despair. The man frustrated the poet and forced him, first, to relinquish his traditional means in favour of a freer approach to poetry, and later, to abandon his poetry—ostensibly, at least—for the cinema.
The present volume of Poems, … represents about a sixth of Pasolini's published work in Italian and none of his early lyrics in the Friulan dialect. It is based on a selection Pasolini himself made for an edition in 1970, and includes his introduction to this volume as an appendix. Certainly, making a first, rigorous choice from among the works of such a wide-ranging poet is an exceedingly difficult task, and, while this selection is inclusive, showing the move from rational public poet to tortured private man, the picture it presents is inevitably incomplete….
What kind of a poet emerges? As may be expected of a writer who also painted, and later turned to film, a very visual one; the two long poems in terza rima are intense metaphysical meditations, but firmly located in time...
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SOURCE: "La meglio gioventù: The Best Youth," in Pier Paolo Pasolini, Twayne Publishers, 1982, pp. 48-59.
[In the following essay, Friedrich analyzes the imagery of Narcissus in Pasolini's Fruilian poems of La meglio gioventù.]
La meglio gioventù [The best youth] is the volume, published in 1954, that brings together the entire first cycle of Friulian poems: most of the Poesie a Casarsa (1941-48); the Suite furlana (1944-49); a group of poems directly linked to the events of the Resistance entitled Il Testament Coran (1947-52); Appendice (1950-53); and Romancero (1953). The latter group includes, under the subtitle / Colús—the surname of the poet's mother's family—the "humble" story of the Friulian land.
The presentation in a single volume of a number of poetic works, written during different periods even if thematically and linguistically tied, seems to indicate the author's desire to clarify a posteriori the psychological and cultural structure of his first literary attempts. The fundamental choice is that of the Friuli as "the early characterization of an essential rapport, of a bond with a geographical, social, and even biological matrix" conditioning the poet's whole discourse, up to the necessary ideal conclusion. Underlying the choice of the Friuli is the dialectal option shared by all the compositions of...
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SOURCE: "Pasolini: His Poems, His Body," in Parnassus: Poetry in Review, Vol. 11, No. 2, Fall/Winter, 1983-Spring/Summer, 1984, pp. 103-26.
[In the following excerpt, Ahern demonstrates how Pasolini 's "whole poetic career can be seen as a doomed struggle with the violence of poetic language. "]
It is easy to forget that Pier Paolo Pasolini is a major poet. Between 1950 and his death in 1975 he published four volumes of vigorous criticism—social, political, cultural, linguistic, and literary. Some of these pieces, just a few years after newspaper publication, have already found their way into anthologies. He wrote or directed over two dozen compelling, highly personal movies. He translated Aeschylus and Plautus, and wrote four plays of his own. He edited two anthologies of poetry in Italian dialects. He produced two linguistically remarkable novels. Given the bulk of his work and the notoriety of his life and death, it is easy to overlook his five volumes of Italian verse and his single volume in the Friulano dialect….
Pasolini was the adored son of an adored mother. His tolerated, absent father was a career military man, a patriot and enthusiastic Fascist. In his childhood the family moved every two or three years, spending summers in Friuli, his mother's region, a pastoral oasis in northeastern Italy between Venice and Udine. Just before the Second World War he studied at...
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SOURCE: "Most Ancient of Youths," in The Times Literary Supplement, No. 4,253, October 5, 1984, p. 1130.
[In the following excerpted review of Selected Poems, Wells notes that the strength of Pasolini's poetry derives from its openness and departure from hermetic lyric tradition.]
"What strikes me is the realization of how ingenuous was the expansiveness with which I wrote them: it was as if I were writing for someone who could only love me a great deal. I understand now why I have been the object of so much suspicion and hatred".
The great strength of Pasolini's poetry is its openness, the desire "to have / the world before my eyes and not / just in my heart". Writing often in a loose terza rima which derives from Dante, he broke with the hermetic lyric tradition to produce a civil poetry (innovatory in Italian because it is of the Left), exploring in his own "obscure scandal of consciousness" the difficulties of postwar Italy. At its best, in for example "The Ashes of Gramsci", he combines liveliness and gravity, the apprehension of a general predicament with beautifully observed and lived specifics. The world of his poetry is chiefly that of the Roman suburbs and a population of first or second-generation city-dwellers, still living by the values of the countryside from which they came. Pasolini celebrates an ideal of archaic ingenuousness belonging to an immemorial...
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SOURCE: A Review of Selected Poems, in Modern Language Review, Vol. 80, No. 4, October, 1985, pp. 959-61.
[In the following excerpted review of Selected Poems, Formis finds that Pasolini's "fracture between moral vocation and inner feelings, between reason and instinct" is not resolved in his poetry.]
Pasolini's death was tragic and at the same time dreary: a homosexual murdered by ragazzi di vita. The Italian media and over-zealous biographers exaggerated in giving details of the event. Here Pasolini's lifelong problem clearly comes to light: the fracture between moral vocation and inner feeling, between reason and instinct. I would not have brought this issue forward if the discrepancy were resolved in his poetry. But is it so? In my opinion Pasolini's style does not flow, rather it is like a diagram that oscillates up and down. The lyrical and autobiographical elements do not seem to blend consistently with that aspect of the poet as public figure making use of his accusatory and more narrative style. A considerable amount of narcissism is also very often apparent, generated by Pasolini's consciousness of being different both as intellectual and homosexual. Poetry slips then, with empty repetitive cries, to rhetoric, although Italian critics, always very clever with words and abstruse formulae, have glorified Pasolini's poetry, probably because they were scared of being hit by one...
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SOURCE: "Pasolini: Organic Intellectual'?" in Italian Quarterly, Vol. XXXI, Nos. 119-20, Winter-Spring, 1990, pp. 81-100.
[In the following excerpt, Greene surveys Pasolini's intellectual response to the thought of Antonio Gramsci, as reflected in his political verse.]
Pasolini's great debt to [Antonio] Gramsci (a debt he repeatedly acknowledged, defining himself at one point as "gramscian") was by no means an unususal phenomenon among members of his generation: as one historian has noted, the discovery of Gramsci's writings after the war "created a sub-renaissance within the wider reawakening of Italian cultural life." But he may have been unique in that his response to Gramsci was always colored by a deep and complex ambivalence. It is this ambivalence, in fact, and the resulting tensions (which greatly intensified in the course of his career) that lie at the heart of one of his most famous poems, "Le ceneri di Gramsci" ("The Ashes of Gramsci," the title poem in the collection which first won him national recognition as a poet when it appeared in 1954). These tensions have both existential and historical-political roots. On the personal level, Pasolini was torn by a lifelong conflict between ideological awareness, commitment and history (represented by the heroic and martyred figure of Gramsci), and his own attraction (part of his bourgoeis "exquisite" heritage) to the "innocence" and "primitive joy"...
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SOURCE: "A Postscript to Transgression," in Exotic Memories: Literature, Colonialism, and the Fin de Siècle, Stanford University Press, 1991, pp. 188-228.
[In the following excerpt, Bongie observes the importance of the "authentic experience" in Pasolini's poems.]
One cannot … speak of Pasolini during the early 1960's without taking into account the twenty-year path that led him to embrace the Third World as a radical solution to the problem of decadence…. If we consider his earlier (and without question most important) literary production, we find that the "outside" that will eventually become so necessary for Pasolini is anything but present there; it proves, in fact, irremediably absent. For the decadentist-tinged poetry of his first literary decade, the 1940's, this should come as no surprise. The young Pasolini was careful to situate himself firmly within Italian literary tradition: if this poetry—much of it indebted to the hermetic school that flourished during the fascist ventennio—succeeds, it is, quite clearly, only at the level of "a perfect stylistic success." There is no question of an "outside" in this work (or, rather, the motif is raised in the traditional and non-secular terms of religious transcendence).
One point about the early poetry does, however, need to be brought out before we examine some of the works written during the next decade—works that...
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Schwartz, Barth David. Pasolini Requiem. New York: Pantheon, 1992, 785 p.
Detailed biography of Pasolini's life, career, and violent death.
Siciliano, Enzo. Pasolini: A Biography, translated by John Shepley. New York: Random House, 1982, 435 p.
First translated biography of Pasolini.
Allen, Beverly. "The Shadow of His Style." Stanford Italian Review II, No. 2 (Fall 1982): 1-6.
Compares the "assertive uniqueness" of the Catholicism, Marxism, and sexuality present in Pasolini's films as well as in his poems and novels.
Capozzi, Frank. "Pier Paolo Pasolini: An Introduction to the Translations." Canadian Journal of Italian Studies 5, Nos. 1-2 (Fall-Winter 1981-1982): 109-13.
A brief, one-page biographical sketch and introduction to four translated poems.
Gatt-Rutter, John. "Pier Paolo Pasolini." In Writers and Society in Contemporary Italy: A Collection of Essays, edited by Michael Caesar and Peter Hainsworth, pp. 143-65. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1984.
Brief overview of Pasolini's career.
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