Teorema: a literary and cinematographic parable

  • Paolo Orrù University of Cagliari
  • Maura Bonfiglio University of Cagliari
Keywords: Pasolini, Teorema, Adaptation, Novel, Movie


Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Teorema stands out as an example of originality and complexity, due, above all, to its genesis and to the “double” intersemiotic translation which has been carried out. In fact, the peculiarity of this work (conceived as a drama in 1966, but soon abandoned in favor of this dual version) is its concurrent development in two parallel ways: the cinematic one and the literary one. Two different languages and two visions of the same object as well.

The adopted forms intertwine and mix together, thus constituting a whole. Although they keep their structural and organic autonomy, the examination of both is fundamental to fully understand the author’s theorem.

Pasolini, by means of narrative form, tried to give life not only to a story, but rather to an event, a parable, an exemplum. In short he wanted to depict a miracle. The author himself, also, claimed the impossibility to handle in a realistic and mimetic way a novel centered on a middle class/bourgeois reality.

Our goal is to demonstrate how the author forces cinematographic and literary conventions with the aim of describing a peculiar allegory of the Italian society; in doing this we focused primarily on the analysis of characteristic features pertaining to the different codes used.



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Author Biographies

Paolo Orrù, University of Cagliari
Department of Philology, Literature, Linguistics
PhD. Student (Linguistics)
Maura Bonfiglio, University of Cagliari
Department of Philology, Literature, Linguistics
PhD. Student (Italian Literature)


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How to Cite
Orrù, P., & Bonfiglio, M. (2012). Teorema: a literary and cinematographic parable. Between, 2(4). https://doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/647