Pasolini Roma

  15 April > 20 July 2014


curated by Gianni Borgna, Jordi Balló, Alain Bergala


Pier Paolo Pasolini biography


Pier Paolo Pasolini was born in Bologna on the fifth of March 1922 to Carlo Alberto Pasolini, lieutenant of the Italian Army and from a wealthy family of Ravenna, and Susanna Colussi, an elementary teacher at Casarsa della Delizia in Friuli. For all his infancy and adolescence, Pasolini must constantly adapt to new environments due to the frequent transferals of this father in various northern Italian cities: Bologna, Parma, back to Bologna, Belluno, Conegliano, Sacile, Idria, again in Sacile, Cremona, Reggio Emilia and Bologna.

In 1925 his brother Guido was born in Belluno. At the age of seven, Pasolini writes his first versus at Sacile. He frequents high school at Reggio Emilia. And completes his primary education at Bologna. In 1938 his literature teacher at the Liceo Galvani, Antonio Rinaldi, reads Rimbaud in class. He enrolls at the Literature College of the University of Bologna and frequents the courses of Roberto Longhi (under wohm, Pier Paolo wished to graduate).

From November 1942 to May 1943 he writes for the magazine «Il Setaccio» [The Sieve]. This magazine contained designs, watercolors and publicated writers like Mario Ricci, Fabio Mauri, Giovanna Bemporad, Luciano Serra and Sergio Telmon.

Poesie a Casarsa is released in June 1942 by publisher Libreria Antiquaria, owned by Mario Landi. This volume, composed in Friulan language, is edited at Posolini's expense at twenty years of age. He continues to study at Bologna until 1942 when forced to return to Casarsa. Back at Casarsa, Pasolini composes poetry in both dialect and Italian.

In early Semptember Pasolini joins the army in Livorno. On the eighth of September he disserts service and takes refuge in Friuli.

His brother, Guido, reaches on the Osoppo-Friuli brigade on mount Carnia in June of 1944. Here presumably on the tenth of February, 1945, Guido and his company were murdered by communist under the command of Tito. The family is not notified of the death until much later. Frequent bombings of Casarsa's railway intersection make the city an increasingly more dangerous place to live. Pier Paolo and Susanna decided to distance themselves from the train station and relocate in Versuta. Together they organize a small private school where Susanna educates elementary children an Pier Paolo hold lessons, free of charge, to students who cannot travel to Pordenone or Udine to attend school. In February of 1945, with the help of Riccardo Castellani, Cesare Borbotto, Ovidio Colussi, Rico De Rocco and his cousin Nico Naldini, Pasolini Found the "Academiuta di lenga furlana". The same year his father is released from prison in Africa and returns to Italy in poor health. Presenting his thesis on Giovanni Pascoli: Antologia della lirica pascoliana (Introduzione e commenti), Pasolini graduates with honors from the University of Bologna in November of 1945.

In 1945 Pasolini joins the PCI (Italian Communist Party). Between 1947 and 1949 he teaches in Valvascone, a small town located near Casarsa. He spreads murali, political information in dialect and Italian for the communist party of San Giovanni in Casarsa. An accusation of corruption of youth and indecent public behavior launches heated arguments at Casarsa. Not only is the poet suspended from teaching but also expelled by the PCI on the grounds of moral and political indignity.

In Friuli the atmosphere has become too restrictive and in early January 1950 Pier Paolo and his mother move to Rome. They first resided at Costaguti Plaza and then at Portico d'Ottavia. Later Pasolini moves to Ponte Mammolo, a location near the prison Rebibbia.

For this occasion Carlo Alberto joins the family in 1951. Shortly after arriving in Rome, Pasolini begins to accumulate writing material for Ragazzi di vita [The Ragazzi]. In 1951 he meets Sergio Citti and creates not only a close friendship but also a professional relationship. In the end of 1952 a ponderous study of dialect in 19th century poetry is released. This work obtains unanimous consent from E. Montale, E. Falqui, G. Vicari, F. Fortini and G. Bellonci. His first novel, Ragazzi di vita, was published in 1955. The work had a great success.

Le ceneri di Gramsci [Gramsci's Ashes], with Sandro Penna's Poesie, edited in 1957, receive the Viareggio ex aequo award.

Together with Sergio Citti, the writer collaborates the Roman dialogues for Federico Fellini's film Le notti di Cabiria. In December 1958 Pier Paolo's father and punctual secretary, Carlo Alberto Pasolini, passes away.

In 1959 Pasolini publishes Una vita violenta [A Violent Life].

Between 1960 and 1961 he premiers as a director and screenwriter with Accattone [The Scrounger].

His collection, La religione contro il mio tempo [The Religion of My Time], receives the Chianciano award in 1961.

Pasolini begins writing Il sogno di una cosa [A dream of Something] fourteen years ago while living in Casarsa. In 1962 the romance was released by editor Garzanti. The work describes the land and people of Friuli.

In 1963, for certain scenes contained in La ricotta [Cream Cheese] the writer is brought to trail for perhaps the most clamorous of his many accusations. At first he is found guilty but later charges are dropped on the grounds of amnesty.

The same year Pasolini changes residence and moves to Eur, a prestigious Roman quarter.

Between 1961 and 1964 his poetic "pasoliniana" emerges and is gathered in the volume Poesia in forma di rosa [Poem in the Shape of a Rose].

In 1965, in occasion of the Pesaro Festival, discussion takes place over the use of language in cinema. Debates are presented by semiologists and scholars, from Italy and abroad (among whom, Roland Barthes). Pasolini presents an ample relation on "Cinema and poetry". Empirismo eretico [Heretical Empiricism], publicated in 1972 contains many of his studies on language and cinema.

In March 1966 Pasolini is confined to bed as the results of a hemorrhaged ulcer. While recovering he writes six tragedies in verse and the first draft for Teorema.

Pasolini makes his first trip the United States in October 1966 in occasion of the New York Festival, where the films Accattone and Uccellacci e Uccellini [Hawks and Sparrows] are being hosted. While working in Italy on a film project about Saint Paul, Pasolini, influenced by his experience in America, consideres transfereing the film setting from Rome to New York. This project was never terminated.

In March 1968, after the battle of Valle Giulia between university students and police, Pasolini writes a pamphlet in verse, destinated for the magazine «Nuovi Argomenti» in which he sympathesizes with the police, identified as the "children of the poor". The publication  of this pamphlet was modified by «L'Espresso».

A writing intitled, Manifesto per un nuovo teatro [Manifest for a New Teather], comes out in the January-March number of «Nuovi Argomenti». Pasolini defines the new teather " a takes of word" and in November at Turin the poet makes his first presentation as director of his tragedy, Orgia.

In 1971 he creates with the extreme- left followers on the Lotta Continua association the documentary 12 Dicembre.

Trasumanar e organizzar [Transhumanize and Organize], is the last book edited by Pier Paolo. In 1975 a volume containing two series of Friulan poetry, La meglio gioventù [The Best of Youth] (previously published) and Seconda forma de "La meglio gioventu", written in 1974.

In January 1973 has began collaborating with the «Corriere della Sera». This collaboration was considered scandalous because Pasolini attacked the church and positions of power.

In 1975 Pasolini consigns to editor Einaudi a work, defined by himself a "document", intitled La Divina Mimesis.

The night between the first and second of November Pier Paolo Pasolini is brutally murdered on the beach at Ostia, near Rome.