Stories from the City of God by Pier Paolo Pasolini

Stories from the City of God

Stories from the City of God: Sketches and Chronicles of Rome by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Walter Siti (editor)
English | 2019 | General Fiction/Classics | ePUB |1.1 Mb

Stories from the City of God :Now in paperback, a collection of the legendary filmmaker’s short fiction and nonfiction from 1950 to 1966, in which we see the machinations of the creative mind in post-World War II Rome.

In a portrait of the city at once poignant and intimate, we find artistic witness to the customs, dialect, squalor, and beauty of the ancient imperial capital that has succumbed to modern warfare, marginalization, and mass culture. The sketches portray the impoverished masses that Pasolini calls “the sub-proletariat,” those who live under Third World conditions and for whom simple pleasures, such as a blue sweater in a storefront window, are completely out of reach.

Pasolini’s art develops throughout the works collected here, from his early lyricism to tragicomic outlines for screenplays, and finally to the maturation of his Neo-realism in eight chronicles on the shantytowns of Rome. The pieces in this collection were all published in Italian journals and newspapers, and then later edited by Walter Siti in the original Italian edition.

“Let me talk for a moment about the reason we chose the title Stories of the City of God. This title can be found in one of Pasolini’s manuscripts dating from sometime in the mid-fifties. This manuscript contains a list of possible titles for his Roman works. Beyond the obvious Augustinian connotations, Voci nella Città di Dio—Voices from the City of God—is the title of a book by Danilo Dolci, which Pasolini reviewed in 1951. The notion of identifying Rome with the phrase “city of God” is perhaps inspired by the fact that 1950 was a Jubilee year, and is expressed not only in the list of possible titles but also in his wish (expressed in “The Periphery of My Mind”) to give this title to his third Roman novel, which he never wrote. Once this project was abandoned, the phrase reappeared in the second chapter of the first section of A Violent Life, which is entitled “Night in the City of God.”

In two cases (“The Drink,” and “The Passion of the Lupin-Seller”) we have published the earliest version of the text, because a later version written ten years later seems more calculated. The author augmented the number of phrases in dialect, muting the immediacy and freshness of the story.

The stories contained in this volume were all checked against typescripts, and certain sections that had been eliminated at publication were reintroduced; subtitles added at publication were also eliminated.

The author’s inconsistent transcriptions of dialect were also respected.

At the bottom of each piece we have indicated where that piece was first published (or, in the case of unpublished pieces, the folder of the Archive in which it was kept).”


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