Professor Antonello (PhD Stanford U) is one of the most active and established scholars of twentieth and twenty-first century Italian literature, culture, and intellectual history. He has worked and works on the relationship between literature and science, Futurism and the Avant-Garde, Italian cinema, Postmodern Italian culture, as well as on philosophy and epistemology.
He has written or edited many books, amongst them, Imagining Terrorism: The Rhetoric and Representation of Political Violence in Italy 1969-2009. Co-edited with A. O’Leary (Oxford: Legenda, 2009); Gianni Vattimo and René Girard, Christianity, Truth, and Weakening Faith: A Dialogue (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010); Contro il materialismo. Le ‘due culture’ in Italia: bilancio di un secolo (Turin: Aragno, 2012); and Dimenticare Pasolini. Intellettuali e impegno nell’Italia contemporanea (Milan: Mimesis, 2012), which is, in good part,
at the core of this conversation.
2022 marks the centenary of Pasolini’s birth. Pasolini is one of those few transnational authors who probably needs no anniversary to be revived, academically or intellectually. His intellectual depth and clarity, his social and political acumen, his innovative, challenging, and visionary artistic production have been and still are a reference point for Italian culture, and not only.
Nonetheless, Pasolini’s aesthetic thoughts, precisely because of his intellectually prophetic role, have been, at times, misconstrued. Professor Antonello talks about Pasolini’s approach to the issues of modernity, his ideas about consumerism, political corruption, the power of media, the loss of innocence, the collapse of rural life and the advent of urbanization. He also discusses Pasolini’s complex and multifaceted artistic inheritance, including his love for oxymoron and paradox as a representation of life, as well as some of the misinterpretations and misunderstandings caused by his intellectual provocations and aesthetic intentions.