Pasolini: Forms of Subjectivity

By Robert S. C. Gordon | Go to book overview

1
The Contours of a Career

Letters and documents of Pasolini's teenage life in the late 1930s and early 1940s show all the traits of a highly traditional literary formation: diaries, notebooks, passionate exchanges of juvenilia with friends, accounts of feverish formative readings, proliferating, eclectic projects for essays, books, paintings and treatises (e.g. Lettere, i. 15; cf. Naldini, 1989, 24-48; Schwartz, 1992, 118-32). Such activity was fed by a largely unproblematized appetite for literary success,1 and by a mutually supportive circle of friends. A marginally larger stage was provided by his involvement in Bolognese journals of the fascist student organizations GUF ('Gruppi Universitari Fascisti') and GIL ('Giovani Italiani del Littorio') (see Ch. 2 §1), and by occasional contributions in still larger arenas, such as the international youth conference in Weimar that he attended in 1942. But the primary arena of literary exchange for Pasolini was a private confraternity, and its most important early project was the unrealized journal, Eredi (Heirs), whose conservative agenda was to revisit the literary canon. Eredi was planned in 1941-2 with Francesco Leonetti, Roberto Roversi--later co-founders with Pasolini of Officina--and Luciano Serra, and although it was foiled by wartime paper shortages, it did lead to the private publication in Bologna of Pasolini's first collection of poems, in Friulan dialect, Poesie a Casarsa, in 1942.2

The founding moment of Pasolini's literary career can be traced back to Poesie a Casarsa, but not so much to its publication as to an extraordinary review in the Corriere del Ticino by the already influential critic Gianfranco Contini, who called it 'la prima accessione della letteratura "dialettale" all'aura della poesia d'oggi, e pertanto una modificazione in profondità di quell'attributo' (the first accession of 'dialect' literature into the aura of contemporary poetry, and hence a profound

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1
A significant motif of Pasolini's later work is its traumatic ironization of such an heroic notion of success, ('la vittoria'), and failure ('la sconfitta') (see Ch. 4 below).
2
The others in the group also published collections of poems: Leonetti, Sopra una perduta estate; Roversi, Poesie; and Serra, Canto di memorie.

-12-

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Pasolini: Forms of Subjectivity
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • List of Plates xi
  • Abbreviations and References xii
  • Introduction: The Work of Subjectivity 1
  • Part I - Pasolini's Public Work 9
  • 1 - The Contours of a Career 12
  • 2 - Projects in Journalism 23
  • 3 - Vocations 75
  • Part II - Poetry: A Movement of Forms 85
  • 4 - 'Who is Me': The Impulse to Autobiography 90
  • 5 - 'Pura Luce': a Vision of History 114
  • 6 - 'Un Folle Identificarsi': Figuring the Self 138
  • 7 - Mio Corpo Insepolto': The Body and the Father 161
  • 8 - Poetry into Cinema 184
  • Part III - Cinema: Tracking the Subject 187
  • 9 - Authority and Inscription 191
  • 10 - Style and Technique 205
  • II - Genesis and Intertextuality 219
  • 12 - Metaphor 228
  • 13 - Being and Film--Time 240
  • 14 - Spectatorship 251
  • Part IV - Unfinished Endings 265
  • 15 - Petrolio: Self and Form 267
  • Bibliography 293
  • Index 313
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