coromandal


the people who said no
January 4, 2016, 10:00 pm
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Pasolini had a lot of enemies because, as he explained to a journalist just before his violent death, he based his life on refusal – which he said had to be total -: of political ideology, power, inequality, institutions, etc. Probably he died at the hands of one enemy or another; his murder was never solved. His refusal of power was a cry for life in a milieu of death; his cries made significant change but the milieu is too powerful and he was snuffed out.

On the last day of his life, Pasolini was asked by a journalist why he fought battles against “so many things, institutions, persuasions, people, and powers.” Rejection, Pasolini replied, is the shaping force of society. “The saints, the hermits, the intellectuals… the ones that shaped history, are the people who said no. This refusal should not be small or sensible but large and total.” From all these refusals, we know what Pasolini stood against—political ideologies of all kinds, the complacency inherent in the established social order, the corruption of the institutions of church and state. If Pasolini could be said to have stood for anything it was for the struggles of Italy’s working class—both the rural peasants and those barracked in the urban slums at the edges of Italian cities—whose humanity he evoked with great eloquence and nuance. But it is his refusals that animate his legacy with an incandescent rage, a passionate and profound fury that did not, as Zigaina suggests, cry out for death—but for just the opposite.

The Passion of Pasolini by Nathaniel Rich

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