Italian Studies Research Seminar Series | Pier Paolo Pasolini and the Transhistorical Nature of Tragedy
Pier Paolo Pasolini and the Transhistorical Nature of Tragedy
Paolo Zoboli’s seminal book La rinascita della tragedia. Le versioni della tragedia greca da D’Annunzio a Pasolini (2005) first drew attention to the reception of Greek tragedy in Italy with a specific focus on translation. Targeting a chronological span of sixty years (1900-1960), the study highlighted an ever-increasing number of translations of Greek tragedy, identifying a peak in the 30s. In light of remarkable numbers Zoboli argued for a rebirth of the genre in 20th century Italy, assigning a key role to translation. Zoboli’s work also underlined the lack of a study discussing poetic translations of Greek tragedy and their role in such a debate. Among the many figures who engaged with poetic translation of Greek Tragedy, Zoboli considers Pier Paolo Pasolini’s translation of Aeschylus’ Oresteia as a turning point. The translation was commissioned by Vittorio Gassman and Luciano Lucignani, and was staged in 1960 in Syracuse prompting a new phase in INDA (Istituto Nazionale del Dramma Antico) marked by the collaborations of poets and theatre directors. In this paper, I analyse Pasolini’s engagement with Aeschylus’ Oresteia and explore the creative influence the translation practice from Greek tragedy had on his opus and poetics.
About the speaker
Caterina Paoli received her MPhil and PhD from the University of Oxford working on Classical Reception in the Italian Novecento. After finishing her doctorate, she was the MHRA Research Scholar in European Languages at the University of Warwick (2019-2020). She has published on Giovanna Bemporad, Paolo Volponi and Giovanni Giudici. Together with Professor Nicola Gardini she worked for the creation of the “Fondo Giovanna Bemporad” at Centro Apice in Milan where Bemporad’s papers and personal library are now archived. She is currently working on her first research monograph titled Poet-Translators and Greek Tragedy in 20th-Century Italian Literature (Bloomsbury Studies in Classical Reception, 2022).
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