Collection: Pier Paolo Pasolini

Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922–1975) was born in Bologna and spent a peripatetic childhood following his father, a soldier, from one posting to the next. During World War II, Pasolini lived with his mother in Friuli, moving with her to Rome in 1950 after being charged with “corruption of minors and obscene acts in public places.” It was in Rome, while working as a teacher at a private school, that Pasolini began to write Boys Alive (1955)—a novel that was hailed as a masterpiece by prominent Italian writers and condemned as pornographic by Marxist critics and the conservative judiciary of Milan. In the decades that followed, he published many more novels, books of poetry (in both Italian and Friulian), essays, and plays. He also became a screenwriter and filmmaker, collaborating with Federico Fellini on Le Notti di Cabiria (1957) and La Dolce Vita (1960) and directing The Gospel According to Saint Matthew (1964), The Hawks and the Sparrows (1966), and Theorem (1968), which Pasolini had first published as a novel earlier the same year. A figure of controversy due to his antiestablishment political views and homosexuality, he was brought to trial at least thirty-three times. He was brutally murdered under mysterious circumstances on the beach in Ostia, on the outskirts of Rome.

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