Pier Paolo Pasolini

Paulo Pasta, Untitled, 2005, monotype front, 78,5 x 54 cm


In conditions of late capitalism and under the homologating shadow of “Wokismo” neoliberal, perhaps the best way to claim Pasolini whether not to celebrate its centenary

Konstantinos Kavafis wrote, in 1911, the poem Che Fece… Il Gran Rifiuto, whose title was taken from a verse in the third corner of the Inferno from Dante:

The day, the hour, arrives for some
How to say the big Yes
Or the big No. Soon appears who
Will say Yes, by saying it adding

Your own certainty and your own esteem.
Those who refuse do not regret it. Would say
Again No, if required. will pay
The No, the just No, for life.

The poem perfectly describes the central characteristic of the life and work of Pier Paolo Pasolini, one of the greatest intellectuals of the 5th century, born on March 1922, 2 and died on November 1975, 53, aged XNUMX, in the hydroscale from Ostia, on the outskirts of Rome. According to the official version, murdered by a prostitute.

Pier Paolo Pasolini was a professor, journalist, poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, translator, screenwriter, director, critic and film theorist, embodying a kind of “total intellectual” like few before or after him.

He was, like few others before or after him, the great artist of the “No". He said “No” to fascism (at a time when this was not easy and did not pay off). likes on networks). Communist and Catholic, he said “No” to the Party and the Church (idem). Writer, he said no to fashions, cliques, snobbery.

Cursed, he never accepted the position of official “damned”. A filmmaker, he said “No” to Hollywood and to the very idea of ​​entertainment: “Cinema is a form of knowledge.”  A terrible child of the revolution, refused to become, like so many, enfant gate of the bourgeoisie.

Marxist, he claimed the lumpenproletariat and those who “cannot be represented”. Revolutionary, he said “No” to the easy post-68 revolutionism. He had the courage to call papa's children children of papa, and children of the people to police officers coming from the sub-proletariat of southern Italy, children of laborers despised and sometimes killed by the “revolutionary” sons of judges, engineers and lawyers.

Homosexual, he never accepted to be treated with condescension, as a “pet” of the gossip pages or B sections. had to be either tragic victims or carnival madmen.

Laico, an inseparable friend of feminists like Oriana Fallaci, has never been forgiven for expressing his philosophical reservations about abortion.

Living in “progressive times”, he claimed, without becoming a reactionary or a romantic, the legacy of peasant, pre-industrial, Italian culture, investing against the cultural industry, consumerism and the “homologation” promoted by late capitalism.

Literate and cosmopolitan, born in learned Bologna, he wrote his poems in the arid Friulian dialect, learned in his childhood at his maternal grandmother's house in Casarsa della Delizia.

Recently, the American writer Maya Angelou was honored with the imprint of her effigy on a twenty-five cent coin, to celebrate the many unwary people who greeted the “recognition” here.

Recognition, perhaps. For neither of "recovery" one can speak, since the writings of the "poet laureate" of the Bill Clinton administration have never threatened anyone: they reek of uplifting literature for girls, like Pollyanna e Pollyanna Girl (Harold Bloom describes her as an “inspirational, self-help writer”) and have the face of "homologated and homologated neoliberal progressivism, the official ideology of the North American political discourse, in which the “differences" they are hypostatized and transformed into “identities”, which in turn are transformed into “lifestyles”, or rather, consumption patterns. No recognition would be more natural, in a culture where literally everything turns into money.

Pasolini was irredeemable. As perhaps it was, in the US, just one James Baldwin. Like a Jean Genet, a Rainer Werner Fassbinder, an Eduard Limonov. Inedible, indigestible, inassimilable. Intimately hated even by those who claimed to admire him.

Like the saints and the madmen, who confront us with every word, every gesture, every "No”, with our own pettiness, our compromises and our mediocrity. Like Jenny, good for spanking, good for spitting, good for throwing shit, damn it.

Unlike that of Celestine V, which Dante credits to "baseness" or cowardice, Pasolini's resignation was always an act of courage, perhaps even temerity. Of masochism. Or holiness. And unlike Dante himself, and his teacher and guide Virgil, the first of the poet laureates, Pier Paolo Pasolini never claimed any laurels, any honors.

On the Day of the Dead in 1975, at the hydrobase of Ostia, at the mouth of the Tiber, on the outskirts of Rome, Pier Paolo Pasolini said his last “No".

In conditions of late capitalism and under the homologous shadow of neoliberal “wokism”, perhaps the best way to vindicate (and “revenge”, as the etymology opportunely suggests) Pier Paolo Pasolini is not to celebrate his centenary. Do not mint coins with his effigy. Don't reduce it to logo, brand, meme, hyping.

Perhaps just repeating the words of Sofia de Mello Breyner Andresen, written three years before the death of Pier Paolo Pasolini, and five after that other apostle of the great refusal, Che Guevara:

Against you has risen the prudence of the intelligent and the boldness of the fools
The indecision of the complicated and primarism
Of those who confuse revolution with revenge
From poster to poster your image hovers in consumer society
How the Christ in blood hovers in the orderly estrangement of the churches
in front of your face
The teenager meditates at night in his room
When you seek to emerge from a world that rots.

PS This text was written on the eve of the centenary of the birth of Pier Paolo Pasolini, in March 2022.

Jose Eduardo Fernandes Giraudo is a diplomat. author of Poetics of memory: a reading of Toni Morrison (ed. UFRGS).

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