Sign In
Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Tragic Figure in Italian Literature
Save to wishlist

Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Tragic Figure in Italian Literature

Picture of Illaria Mallozzi
Updated: 7 November 2016
Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975) was a poet, philosopher, novelist, film and theatre director. He was also an extraordinary Italian intellectual, as his social engagement and political prophecies still have a strong significance in today’s Italy.
 Pier Paolo Pasolini

He has been often described as a tragic figure. This can be explained because of his profound interest in classics, because of his political ideas, and because of his terrible and inexplicable murder, which occurred in November 1975 in a squalid area of Rome. Although he was one of the most impressive Italian thinkers and artists, during his life he was often isolated and contested not only for his homosexuality, but for his politically radical positions. His friend and novelist, Alberto Moravia, considered Pasolini a crucial figure of Italian culture; his poetry is in fact the expression of both Italy’s traditions and contradictions.


As a novelist he wrote about the rough realities of the Roman peripheries. On the other hand, his films offer a variety of themes, starting from Greek classics and The Thousand and One Nights, through Boccaccio’s Decameron and Chaucer’s tales, to his brilliant and painful adaptation of de Sade’s The 120 Days of Sodom. His cinematic masterpiece is certainly his neo-realistic and poetic interpretation of the life of Jesus. In addition, Pasolini’s African journeys allowed him to conceptualise the profound literary and historical similarities between African and European countries, which eventually he described in his book,The Savage Father.


Watch a documentary of Pier Paolo Pasolini below:

By Ilaria Mallozz


Image courtesy: Utente:Giac83/WikiCommons