The thunder after the lightning: Language and Pasolini's medievalist poetics

Louise D'Arcens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pier Paolo Pasolini's I racconti di Canterbury / The Canterbury Tales (1972) develops a medievalist poetics that combines the director's idea of an expressive 'cinema of poetry' with his valuing of spoken language in film. The film's medievalist poetic is articulated in Pasolini's practices of linguistic modernization and translation, and in his use of dubbing as a tool of historical distantiation. His use of dialect in both English and Italian versions of the film reflects his theories about language as an instrument of, or challenge to, hegemonic culture. Pasolini is ultimately ambivalent about Chaucer as a herald of bourgeois culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-199
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


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