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A Poetics of Resistance: Narrative and the Writings of Pier Paolo Pasolini examines the writings of the Italian poet, novelist, filmmaker, theorist, and dramaturg.
Since his murder in 1975 - and especially in the last eight years - Pasolini has been the object of growing critical attention, especially in the United States. For the most part, this new attention has been directed at Pasolini's cinema, the part of his multifarious cultural activity for which he is best known outside Italy. Pasolini, however, was extremely active in different areas of Italian cultural life. Before dedicating himself to cinema, he had made his name as a poet, novelist, and theorist of language and literature, and in the course of his career also achieved fame as a film theorist, dramaturg, and journalist. This book aims to redress this imbalance by directing critical attention to these relatively neglected areas of Pasolini studies. In particular, the book focuses on the question of narrative form that invests all of Pasolini's writings.
The book offers readers in-depth analyses of all Pasolini's novels, including for the first time in English a detailed analysis of Petrolio, which has received no critical attention outside Italy. The part of Pasolini's writing that has received the most critical attention has been his film theory. As well as offering a panorama of Italian, British, French, and American readings of these difficult essays, Ward argues that it is necessary to reconsider the role ascribed to what Pasolini calls "film," the process by which a narrative account of reality is put together.
Ward also offers detailed analyses of Pasolini's six verse tragedies.
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David Ward is associate professor in the Italian Department at Wellesley College.
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