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

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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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List of Abbreviations -ix

Extract

Abbreviations Works by Roland Barthes OC I–V Œuvres complètes, ed. by Éric Marty, 5 vols (Paris: Seuil, 2002). Works by Pier Paolo Pasolini T Teatro, ed. by Walter Siti and Silvia de Laude (Milan: Mondadori, 2001). RR I–II Romanzi e racconti, ed. by Walter Siti and Silvia De Laude, 2 vols (Milan: Mondadori, 1998). SLA I–II Saggi sulla letteratura e sull’arte, ed. by Walter Siti and Silvia De Laude, 2 vols (Milan: Mondadori, 1999). SPS Saggi sulla politica e la società, ed. by Walter Siti and Silvia De Laude (Milan: Mondadori, 1999). PC I–II Per il cinema, ed. by Walter Siti and Franco Zabagli, 2 vols (Milan: Mondadori, 2001). TP I–II Tutte le poesie, ed. by Walter Siti, 2 vols (Milan: Mondadori, 2003). In each chapter, when a work by Barthes or Pasolini is cited for the first time, the title is given in full, followed by the first date of publication, the abbrevi- ated title of the collection in which it is contained and the page number, e.g., Roland Barthes, Mythologies (1957), OC I, p. 862. If a reference is made to a specific essay, poem or play whose original date of publication is dif ferent from that of the volume in which it subsequently appeared, the first date of publication is given after the title of the work in question, thus: ‘Perché siamo tutti borghesi’ (1968) in Empirismo eretico (1972), SLA I, 1651–8. In subsequent references only the title of the...

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