Pier Paolo Pasolini

Performing Authorship

Gian Maria Annovi

Columbia University Press

Pier Paolo Pasolini

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Pub Date: February 2017

ISBN: 9780231180306

272 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $60.00£49.95

Pub Date: February 2017

ISBN: 9780231542708

272 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $59.99£49.95

Pier Paolo Pasolini

Performing Authorship

Gian Maria Annovi

Columbia University Press

Before his mysterious murder in 1975, Pier Paolo Pasolini had become famous—and infamous—not only for his groundbreaking films and literary works but also for his homosexuality and criticism of capitalism, colonialism, and Western materialism. In Pier Paolo Pasolini: Performing Authorship, Gian Maria Annovi revisits Pasolini's oeuvre to examine the author's performance as a way of assuming an antagonistic stance toward forms of artistic, social, and cultural oppression. Annovi connects Pasolini's notion of authorship to contemporary radical artistic practices and today's multimedia authorship.

Annovi considers the entire range of Pasolini's work, including his poetry, narrative and documentary film, dramatic writings, and painting, as well as his often scandalous essays on politics, art, literature, and theory. He interprets Pasolini's multimedia authorial performance as a masochistic act to elicit rejection, generate hostility, and highlight the contradictions that structure a repressive society. Annovi shows how questions of authorial self-representation and self-projection relate to the artist's effort to undermine the assumptions of his audience and criticize the conformist practices that the culture industry and mass society impose on the author. Pasolini reveals the critical potential of his spectacular celebrity by using the author's corporeal or vocal presence to address issues of sexuality and identity, and through his strategic self-fashioning in films, paintings, and photographic portraits he destabilizes the audience's assumptions about the author.
Gian Maria Annovi provides an original, insightful assessment of the theme of authorship, which lies at the core of Pasolini's poetics. Examining this issue from a series of different perspectives, and skilfully navigating through the ocean of Pasolini's literary and visual corpus, Annovi's book shows remarkable intellectual bravura...Pier Paolo Pasolini represents a new, vital phase in Pasolini studies. Armando Maggi, University of Chicago
Gian Maria Annovi's book brilliantly enlarges our understanding of Pasolini's urgency as a modern artist. With brio and erudition, Annovi argues that, by embracing different media throughout his career, including writing, film, theatre, and painting, Pasolini undertakes a deliberate, vibrant performance of authorship, resulting in a continuing presence that still haunts and provokes us today. Alessia Ricciardi, Northwestern University
Annovi's is the first book to assess Pier Paolo Pasolini's multidisciplinary production across a variety of media. Drawing on theories of authorship and authority, queer theory, and theories of spectacle and performance, the book probes Pasolini's creation of an ever-shifting, reactive and rebellious authorial persona. His is an attempt–Annovi persuasively shows–to undermine his audiences' assumptions about power, sharpening their critical ability to question the political and social status quo. This is a compelling, original, and fascinating work of scholarship. Lucia Re, University of California, Los Angeles
In this challenging book on one of Italy's greatest modern artists, Annovi's priority is to push the reception of Pasolini's work beyond dominant theoretical paradigms, and to recover the critical potential of the idea of creative authorship. Annovi's project is presented, in its theoretical ambitions, as nothing less than the death of the post-structuralist "death of the author" – and thus as an invitation to open Pasolini's heretical auteurism to new opportunities for aesthetic and ideological understanding. Patrick Rumble, University of Wisconsin
Through an impressive analysis of Pier Paolo Pasolini's engagement with different media and genres, from poetry to novels, from theatre to cinema, from photography to painting, Annovi's Performing Authorship reassesses the significance of the authorial presence in Pasolini's œuvre and offers an original and compelling take the political stance of his queer, unsettling, and provocative aesthetics. Manuele Gragnolati, Université Paris-Sorbonne
There are many first-rate critical books in many languages on Pasolini's writings and films, but Annovi's superbly clear and sophisticated treatment is without doubt among the best. S. C. Dillon, Bates College, Choice
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Death
1. Theater
2. Dante
3. Celebrity
4. Self-Portrait
5. Acting
6. Voice
Epilogue: Body
Notes
Bibliography
Index

About the Author

Gian Maria Annovi is assistant professor of French and Italian and gender studies at the University of Southern California.