Tribes without Rulers: Studies in African Segmentary Systems by John Middleton, David Tait

By John Middleton, David Tait

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2 Mothers La più grande attrazione di ognuno di noi è verso il Passato, perché è l’unica cosa che conosciamo e amiamo veramente. Tanto che confondiamo con esso la vita. È il ventre di nostra madre la nostra meta. Pasolini, ‘Pilade,’ Teatro, 314 [The greatest attraction of each one of us is towards the Past, because it is the only thing that we truly know and love. So much so that we confuse it with life. Our ultimate goal is our mother’s womb. ] Given the central role that his own mother played throughout his life, it comes as no surprise that mothers are a primary female character type in many of Pasolini’s films.

13] The world taught you it. So your beauty became the world’s. [15] Of the frightening old world and of the frightening future world only beauty remained, and you, you brought it with you like an obedient smile. Obedience requires too many swallowed tears, giving oneself to others, too many cheerful looks that ask for pity! So you took away your beauty. It disappeared like a golden dust. [23] Of the stupid ancient world and of the ferocious future world a beauty remained that was not embarrassed to allude to the small breasts of the younger sister, to the small belly so readily nude.

This thoughtprovoking question is followed by pictures of ‘Norma Jean Baker,’ the early, ‘prehistoric’ or pre-Hollywood girl, through which Pasolini sought retrospectively to recover her innocence, first by showing her as a teen playing with farm animals, and then by showing her around the age of three. So, posed here between shots of the European Realist painting and the early Marilyn, Pasolini’s questions posit that the star’s life indicated a path of opposition and resistance, if only in the personal domain.

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