By Viola Brisolin
Roland Barthes and Pier Paolo Pasolini have been of the main eclectic cultural personalities of the previous century, as elusive as they have been influential. regardless of the evident ameliorations among them, additionally they shared a couple of preoccupations, obsessions and inventive techniques. sure subject matters recur insistently within the works of either males: the pervasiveness of energy and the violence inherent within the modernising strategy; the opportunity of freedom and subjective autonomy; and the position of artistic practices in a society configured as a barren region of alienation. regardless of this universal floor, no systematic try out at interpreting the 2 authors jointly has been made prior to now. This booklet explores this uncharted territory via evaluating those highbrow figures, focusing specifically at the similarities and efficient tensions that emerge of their overdue works. Psychoanalysis performs a key position within the articulation of this comparability.
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Additional resources for Power and Subjectivity in the Late Work of Roland Barthes and Pier Paolo Pasolini (European Connections)
On Power, History and Mourning 37 tragedy is dominated by his global curse. 52 Pylades, caught between the impossibility of sharing the ‘political purity’53 of the army of revolutionaries and the discovery that Reason is always allied with power, can only choose to leave his political ‘monument’ unfinished: failure is perhaps the only way to atone for the pursuit of victory. Orestes had warned him: ‘Non lo sai, proprio tu, che bisogna essere, sempre | degli sconfitti? ’54 By contrast, Rimbaud becomes in La divina mimesis the figure where the contradictions ensuing from the refusal to come to terms with one’s own heritage – be it baptism, modalities of socialisation, or intellectual and financial hubris – are laid bare.
Per un giovane di oggi […] è molto più dif ficile guardare la borghesia oggettivamente attraverso un’altra classe sociale. Perché la borghesia sta trionfando, sta rendendo borghesi gli operai, da una parte, e i contadini ex-coloniali dall’altra. Insomma, attraverso il neocapitalismo, la borghesia sta diventando la condizione umana. Chi è nato in questa entropia non può in nessun modo, metafisicamente, esserne fuori. È finita. 33 Here Pasolini’s paradoxical position consists in seeking to reproduce a condition of detachment from bourgeois power via an alliance with workers and peasants (‘operai’ and ‘contadini’) precisely because these classes are about to be swallowed up by consumerist power and become part of a global ‘bourgeois entropy’.
The films of the Trilogia della vita seek to revive the myth of lost communities, of a pre-modern life and eros not yet co-opted by power, or at least this is how Pasolini sought to present them. These are a last-ditch ef fort to contest the degradation of the present by resuscitating an idealised past. Incidentally, they turned out to be the most easily co-optable of Pasolini’s films: their commercial success was immense and they even spawned a number of soft-core pornographic imitations. 72 Disillusionment is retrospective and af fects memory; it brings about a re-writing of the past.