Not far from the splendour of tourist Rome are the slum suburbs. Here immigrants from village and countryside, lured to the capital by promises of work, gather and make a painful accommodation with the modern world. A new generation emerges, full of unreal hopes, wily and resourceful, brutal and vulnerable. A Violent Life, first published in Italy in 1959, is the story of that generation. Written by the renowned film maker, poet, polemicist and novelist Pier Paolo Pasolini, A Violent Life is an uncanny fictional chronicle of the author's death foretold.
It is the story of Tommaso Puzzilli, a street hood and survivor, one of the ragazzi di vita born of the shantytown and resorting to crime and prostitution to get what he wants. When a flood ravages the slums, he becomes an unexpected hero.
Pasolini is a legend whose brutal murder at the hand of one of the ragazzi di vita remains a major unsolved mystery.
From Publishers Weekly
This 1958 novel by the Italian filmmaker Pasolini (1922-1975), long out of print in English, is an excellent reminder of his role as a bridge between the brutal naturalism of the neo-realists and a more fantastic style. The book chronicles the life and death of Tommaso, a street kid who is equally comfortable running with the Fascists, the Communists and just plain thieves. Pasolini tells his story in a series of connected episodes, each of which could stand alone as a short story. Tommaso's milieu is the filthy slums outside Rome; his occupation is whatever comes to hand to make a few bucks, until a stretch in prison convinces him to go straight--more or less. On either side of the political spectrum or just outside the law, his life is a compelling testimony to the strange and powerful solidarity of the utterly dispossessed, so much so that in the book's final chapter, Tommaso gives his life to save other slum-dwellers in a flood. In Pasolini's hands, this material is relentless in its grim honesty, avoiding sentimentality at all costs. Particularly effective are a nightmarish, almost hallucinatory chapter set in a TB hospital and the final episode. Often unpleasant, and somewhat repetitive in its scatological language, this novel may not be to all tastes, but as an avatar of Pasolini's later film world, it is essential reading.
- Publisher : Pantheon (October 27, 1992)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0679735054
- ISBN-13 : 978-0679735052
- Item Weight : 1 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.25 x 1 x 8 inches
All copies are used but guaranteed in excellent condition.