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Power and Subjectivity in the Late Work of Roland Barthes and Pier Paolo Pasolini


Viola Brisolin

Roland Barthes and Pier Paolo Pasolini were two of the most eclectic cultural personalities of the past century, as elusive as they were influential. Despite the glaring differences between them, they also shared a number of preoccupations, obsessions and creative approaches. Certain themes recur insistently in the works of both men: the pervasiveness of power and the violence inherent in the modernising process; the possibility of freedom and subjective autonomy; and the role of creative practices in a society configured as a desert of alienation. Despite this common ground, no systematic attempt at reading the two authors together has been made before now. This book explores this uncharted territory by comparing these two intellectual figures, focusing in particular on the similarities and productive tensions that emerge in their late works. Psychoanalysis plays a key role in the articulation of this comparison.


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Acknowledgements -vii


Acknowledgements The research leading to this book would not have been possible without a grant from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council and a Marie Curie fellowship awarded by the Centre for European Studies at University College London (UCL) and funded by the European Commission. Grants from the UCL Graduate School Conference Fund and from the European Commission also enabled me to present parts of this work at various confer- ences. I am grateful to these institutions for of fering financial assistance and to UCL for providing an outstanding research environment. My deepest gratitude goes to Timothy Mathews and Florian Mussgnug for their constant encouragement, creative advice and inspiration. Their gen- erous guidance has been absolutely vital to the research leading to this book. I am grateful to Stephanie Bird for of fering some key insights in the early stages of this project; and to Michael Moriarty and Robert Gordon for their perceptive comments during my PhD viva. Parts of this book have benefited from the acute remarks of a few anonymous readers. It goes without saying that I am solely responsible for any mistakes. Finally, my special thanks go to Mikael Hoarau, for his boundless dedication and generosity. Early parts of Chapters 1 and 3 have already appeared in the journal Italian Studies and in the edited volume Revolutions: Reframed-Revisited- Revised. My gratitude goes to Maney and Peter Lang for according permis- sion to reprint. I wish to thank Éditions du Seuil for permission to reproduce excerpts from...

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