Narrative of, about, and for troubled times: struggles for the good and beautiful and Pier Paulo Pasolini’s Salò
Conference or workshop item
Beighton, C. 2020. Narrative of, about, and for troubled times: struggles for the good and beautiful and Pier Paulo Pasolini’s Salò .
This paper highlights the contribution to narrative theory and our own struggles for the good and beautiful in Pier Paulo Pasolini’s 1975 film, Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma). I first introduce Salò by drawing narrative links between the three time periods it illustrates (1945, 1975 and 2020) to exemplify the special role played by cinema in contemporary narrative and social theory and its relationship with activism. I then focus on Salò’s engagement with troubled visions of the good and the beautiful: primo, I show how it exemplifies the metaphorical structure of narrative through its systematic deployment of synecdoche and metonymy; secundo, I show how Salò responds to the essential distinction between beauty and taste and its imbrication with the sublime as distinctive criterion of the former; and tertio, I relate Salò to my own struggles as a developing academic with a troubled and troubling interest in these three domains. Salò’s value, I argue, lies in its exposure of the automatic nature of consciousness, providing a lens through which to better understand why times trouble us when time itself does not.
|Keywords||Narrative; Pasolini; cinema; fascism; consumption|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||20 Feb 2020|
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