A Body of Nostalgia

Armando Maggi

in The Resurrection of the Body

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780226501345
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226501369 | DOI:
A Body of Nostalgia

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Literary Theory and Cultural Studies


Show Summary Details


This chapter analyzes Pasolini's film Saint Paul. The film is a double biography, of Paul the apostle and of Pasolini the artist. Moreover, Pasolini contends that Paul is a divided figure, a figure of internal oppositions. Paul is both a priest, the founder of a repressive institution (the Church), and a prophet who announces the apocalyptic end of that institution. For Pasolini, analogical is also the apostle and the poet's view of time and the sacred. In Pasolini's interpretation, the apostle lived in a historical era split between the past of Jesus' sacred time, and the present dominated by a longing for that original manifestation of the sacred. Pasolini also believes that in our present times Paul's statements have lost their sacredness because modernity cannot understand the longing that characterized the apostle's message. To yearn for the sacred today means to yearn for something that does not exist. Pasolini's longing for the sacred is defined as nostalgic in that nostalgia is the rejection of the present in favor of a past that the subject has never experienced and will never experience.

Keywords: Pier Paolo Pasolini; Saint Paul; biography; apostle; modernity

Chapter.  38605 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.