Giancarlo Tucci-Berube Humanities and Social Science
In the realm of poetry, lyric, as a noun, signifies a category of poetic form, as an adjective, abstract subjectivity. The Italian poet, screenwriter, film director, and essayist-critic Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975) takes up these definitions of lyric and through a diversity of mediums expands them beyond poetry, and beyond mere signification: articulating a possible critical consciousness of the concept itself. Pasolinis poetry and films are conceived through a lyric style or form that actively connects sensuality, rigorous thought, intellectual and political critique, experience of contradictionand in terms of the relation of the individual to societyan individually accessed sense of collectivity and the potential meanings of political and ethical commitment. Through meticulous formal consideration, Pasolini imbues the relationships stated above upon the lyric subjectivity of his work to critique and reimagine the rapidly changing and increasingly disjointed world he confronted and create an art which aids in constructing alternative ways of imagining society. My project will consider Pasolinis major work of poetry, Le Ceneri di Gramsci (Gramscis Ashes, 1957), as well as two of the films he wrote and directed, Mamma Roma (1962) and La Rabbia (Anger, 1963), and his critical essays on art, literature, politics, and society, in their original Italian language. Among the questions my project will take up: how does individual experience in Pasolini encounter the social collective? How does Pasolinian lyric specifically relate to Italian identity? In what ways does Pasolini employ poetic sensuality to help us comprehend our subjectivity? How does lyric form allow us additional insight into history? What is the relationship between political commitment and lyric subjectivity?