Pasolini on de Sade: An Interview during the Filming of ‘Salò or the 120 Days of Sodom’

  by Gideon Bachmann It is reputed that Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade, spent only 37 days, writing from seven to ten every evening, in composing his masterpiece, the unsurpassed 120 Days of Sodom, the first psychopathia sexualis ever written, and preserved only in fragmentary form. More than half of what has been left are just lists of perversions, lacking that deep sociological and political insight which characterizes most of the Marquis’s other work, and which assured him his ranking place in prerevolutionary French literature. Nobody has ever used a de Sade book as material for a film. It is therefore all…

Roland Barthes | Sade – Pasolini

  SALÒ does not please fascists. On another side, since Sade has become for some of us a kind of precious patrimony, many cry out: Sade has nothing to do with fascism! Finally, the remainder, neither fascist nor Sadean, have an immutable and convenient doctrine that finds Sade boring. Pasolini’s film therefore can win no one’s adherence. However, quite obviously, it hits us somewhere. Where? In SALÒ, what touches is the letter. Pasolini has shot his scenes to the letter, the way that they had been described (I do not say “written”) by Sade; hence these scenes have the sad, frozen and rigorous beauty…

Harun Farocki | Peter Weiss On Display (The Aesthetics of Resistance)

  We were visiting Peter Weiss in Stockholm on 17th and 18th June 1979. We talked about his work on the book The Aesthetics of Resistance. Two volumes have already been published and P.W. is currently on the third. He has been working on it for over ten years and not one sentence is unfounded. Weiss has performed an unbelievable amount of research, studied the lives of people serving as models down to the tiniest detail, and attaches great importance to visiting the scenes of the action. The film gives an impression of his work. Harun Farocki, 1979     Harun Farocki:…

Pier Paolo Pasolini | A Desperate Vitality

  I (Draft, in a cursus in present-day jargon, of what has just transpired: Fiumicino, the old castle, and a first real idea of death.) As in a film by Godard: alone in a car speeding down the motorways of Latin neo-capitalism — returning from the airport — [where Moravia stayed behind, a pure soul with his bags] alone, “racing his Alfa Romeo“ in sunlight so heavenly it cannot be put into rhymes not elegiac — the finest sun we’ve had all year — as in a film by Godard: under a sun bleeding motionless unique, the canal of the…

Athena Farrokhzad | White Blight

    My family arrived here in a Marxist tradition   My mother immediately filled the house with Santa knick-knacks Weighed the pros and cons of the plastic Christmas tree as if the problem were hers   During the day she distinguished between long and short vowels as if the sounds that came out of her mouth could wash the olive oil from her skin   My mother let bleach run through her syntax On the other side of punctuation her syllables became whiter than a winter in Norrland   My mother built us a future consisting of quantity of…

Athena Farrokhzad | A Letter to Europe

    A Letter to Europe   Europe, I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing. Europe, 260 Euro and 76 cents January, 2018. I can’t stand my own mind. Europe, when will you end the human war? Go fuck yourself with your Christ complex. I don’t feel good, don’t bother me. I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind. Europe, when will you retire? When will you take off your clothes? When will you look at yourself through the grave? When will you be worthy of your millions of guest workers? Europe, why are your libraries…

Danielle Collobert | It Then

      I met Danielle Collobert in a cafe on the boulevard Saint-Germain in March or April 1958, at which time she was not yet eighteen. We immediately spoke of the essentials: writing, death. Theses two things—or is it one single thing—seemed to occupy her exclusively and with such rigor that one felt from the outset she would proceed in this single and unique direction, that no one could divert her or deceive her as to its end. At most, out of love for her, one could hope, idiotically of course, that sooner or later she would lose track, that her…