‘The singularity and importance of [Pier Paolo Pasolini’s] artistry lies largely in the protean, multimedial quality of his vision,’ Stephen Sartarelli rightly reminds us in this bilingual edition of Pasolini’s poetry. Nonetheless, to an Anglophone world Pasolini (1922–75) is best known as the rebellious and audacious director of such films as The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964), Teorema (1968), and Arabian Nights (1974), not to mention his posthumous and highly controversial Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1976). Yet this is but one part of the output of a most important cultural figure of postwar Italy and indeed of a prescient public intellectual who denounced as ‘anthropological genocide’ the homogenisation and commodification of Western cultural tradition.
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