In Danger: A Pasolini Anthology
Author: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Publisher: City Lights (2010)
Translated from the Italian by many hands.
Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922–75) was a major cultural figure in post–WWII Italy, well known as a poet, novelist, communist intellectual, and filmmaker. In Danger is the first anthology in English devoted to his political and literary essays, and includes a generous selection of his poetry. Against the backdrop of post-war Italy, and continuing through the mid-'70s, Pasolini's writings provide a fascinating portrait of a Europe in which fascists and communists violently clashed for power and journalists ran great risks. The controversial and openly gay Pasolini was murdered at fifty-three; In Danger includes his final interview, conducted hours before his death, as well as the cryptic litany "What Is This Coup? I Know," which many suspect motivated his murder. Here also are Pasolini's essays on cultural topics like hippies and Zen Buddhism, literary discussions of writers like Italo Calvino, Marianne Moore, and Constantine Cavafy, and even a 1967 interview between Pasolini and Ezra Pound concerning Pound's relationship to the contemporary Italian avant-garde. The poetry ranges from early works written in the Friulan dialect through his later lyric blasts against fascism.