Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Divine Mimesis (1975–) [ES, EN]

31 July 2016, dusan

“Written between 1963 and 1967, The Divine Mimesis, Pasolini’s imitation of the early cantos of the Inferno, offers a searing critique of Italian society and the intelligentsia of the 1960s. It is also a self-critique by the author of The Ashes of Gramsci (1957) who saw the civic world evoked by that book fading absolutely from view. By the mid-1960s, Pasolini theorized, the Italian language had sacrificed its connotative expressiveness for the sake of a denuded technological language of pure communication. In this context, he projects a ‘rewrite’ of Dante’s Commedia in which two historical embodiments of Pasolini himself occupy the roles of the pilgrim and guide in their underworld journey.

Densely layered with poetic and philological allusions, and illuminated by a parallel text of photographs that juxtapose the world of the Italian literati to the simple reality of rural Italian life, this narrative was curtailed by Pasolini several years before he sent it to his publisher, a few months prior to his murder in 1975. Yet, many of Pasolini’s projects took the provisional form of “Notes toward…” an eventual work, such as Sopralluoghi in Palestina (Location Scouting in Palestine), Appunti per una Oresteiade africana (Notes for an African Oresteia), and Appunti per un film sull’India (Notes for a Film on India). The Divine Mimesis has a kinship to these filmic works as Pasolini himself ruled it ‘complete’ though still in a partial form.

Written at a turning point in his life when he was wrestling with his poetic ‘demons,’ the true center of gravity of Pasolini’s Dantean project is the potential of poetry to teach and probe, ethically and aesthetically, in reality. “I wanted to make something seething and magmatic,” Pasolini declared, “even if in prose.”

In this first English translation of Pasolini’s La divina mimesis, Italianist Thomas E. Peterson offers historical, linguistic, and cultural analyses that aim to expand the discourse about an enigmatic author considered by many to be the greatest Italian poet after Montale.”

First published as La divina mimesis, Einaudi, Turin, 1975.

English edition
Translated by Thomas Erling Peterson
Publisher Double Dance Press, Berkeley, 1980
139 pages
HT Ken, via c0st1c

Review: Thomas Sanfilip (Literary Yard 2016).
Commentary: Manuele Gragnolati (2012).

Publisher (2014 EN edition)
WorldCat (EN)

La divina mímesis (Spanish, trans. Julia Adinolfi, 1976)
The Divine Mimesis (English, trans. Thomas Erling Peterson, 1980, 4 MB)
Introduction to 2014 edition of EN translation

Michael Taussig: Mimesis and Alterity: A Particular History of the Senses (1993)

13 September 2012, dusan

In his most ambitious and accomplished work to date, Michael Taussig undertakes a history of mimesis, the practice of imitation, and its relation to alterity, the opposition of Self and Other. Drawing upon such diverse sources as theories of Benjamin, Adorno and Horckheimer, research on the Cuna Indians, and theories of colonialism and postcolonialism, Taussig shows that the history of mimesis is deeply tied to colonialism, and more specifically, to the colonial trade’s construction of “savages.” With analysis that is vigorous, unorthodox, and often breathtaking, Taussig’s cross-cultural discussion of mimesis deepens our understanding of the relationship between ethnography, racism and society.

Publisher Routledge, New York/London, 1993
ISBN 0415906873, 9780415906876
320 pages

publisher
google books

PDF

Aristotle: Poetics (c347-335 BCE–)

24 September 2014, dusan

Aristotle’s Poetics is the earliest surviving work of dramatic theory and the first extant philosophical treatise to focus on literary theory.

The Monoskop wiki hosts passages from the Poetics selected to highlight the ambiguity of the terms central to theory of art and literature, particularly poiêsis, mimêsis and technê (in two Greek versions and three English translations), and an annotated source bibliography of editions and translations of this work into various languages.

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