Pasolini between URSS and USA: The Italian Intellectual during the Cold War years

  • Francesco Chianese University of Naples L'Orientale DAAD - Freie Universitat of Berlin
Keywords: Pasolini, USSR, USA, ambivalence, intellectual engagement

Abstract

This article focuses on the modalities Pier Paolo Pasolini questioned the influence of the culture of the United States and of Soviet Union during the Cold War Years, in order to find a new model of Italian intellectual, and then refused the models proposed by both the countries. It analyses the production of the author concerning the period between 1965 and 1969.

It is demonstrated that in the works written the period considered and the following works that referred to that period, Pasolini embodied an ambivalent position, which can be referred to the “multistable figure” model theorized by Cristopher Holzhey (2010 and 2013). He held at the same time both the cultural models, and then denounced the failure of them both. The demonstration is carried out through a comparative reading of critical texts devoted to Cold War, to intellectual engagement, to ambivalence, to Pasolini’s work, and nonetheless Pasolini’s texts.

The result achieved is a demonstration of how, through his ambivalent position, Pasolini embodied the disorientation of the Italian intellectual, and of the country as a whole, during the period considered: an oscillation between the influence of the two cultural models during the 1960s that turned into the need to overcome them before the beginning of 1970s.

Author Biography

Francesco Chianese, University of Naples L'Orientale DAAD - Freie Universitat of Berlin

Francesco Chianese holds a MA in modern and contemporary Italian literature from the University of Naples Federico II, where he wrote a dissertation devoted to Pier Paolo Pasolini’s theatre. He achieved a PhD in comparative literature in 2015 from the University of Naples L’Orientale with a thesis on “Padri e figli nella tarda modernità: Pier Paolo Pasolini e Philip Roth, un’analisi comparata” (Fathers and Sons in the Literature of Late Modernity: Pier Paolo Pasolini and Philip Roth, a Comparative Analysis) under the supervision of Prof. Donatella Izzo (University of Naples L’Orientale) and Dr. Ruth Glynn (University of Bristol). He has currently been carrying out his research at the John F. Kennedy Institut of the Freie Universität of Berlin, thanks to a DAAD research grant. He presented to several national and international conferences on Don DeLillo, John Fante, Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Philip Roth, Walter Siti, on the TV series Gomorra and The Sopranos and on representations of the Italians in the US American and British contemporary culture. He published on Iperstoria; other contributes are forthcoming in the volumes Le attese and Italy Made in England, and on the journal Between. His research focuses on comparative studies, transnational studies, Italian Studies, American Studies, Italian American Studies, modern and postmodern Italian and American literature, gender studies, lacanian studies, and comics studies. At the moment, he is proposing a new research project on late modern family representations in the field of Italian American studies. He has been a member of Compalit since 2013.

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Published
2015-12-14
How to Cite
Chianese, F. (2015). Pasolini between URSS and USA: The Italian Intellectual during the Cold War years. Between, 5(10). https://doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/1699