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The Middle Ages in the Modern WorldTwenty-first century perspectives$
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Bettina Bildhauer and Chris Jones

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266144

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266144.001.0001

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Forging ‘Medieval’ Identities: Fortini’s Calendimaggio and Pasolini’s Trilogy of Life

Forging ‘Medieval’ Identities: Fortini’s Calendimaggio and Pasolini’s Trilogy of Life

Chapter:
(p.186) 10 Forging ‘Medieval’ Identities: Fortini’s Calendimaggio and Pasolini’s Trilogy of Life
Source:
The Middle Ages in the Modern World
Author(s):

Tommaso di Carpegna Falconieri

Lila Yawn

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266144.003.0011

This chapter examines two nodal points in the reception of the Middle Ages in Italy and of Italian medievalism in politics since the 1920s: the festival of Calendimaggio in Assisi – its founding under Fascism and present-day functions in keeping a social fabric and identity alive in a city in demographic freefall; and the sui generis communism of Paolo Pasolini’s Trilogy of Life, a colourful cinematic point of entry into the cultural politics of Italian Marxism and the militant Left in the 1960s and 1970s. Although distinct from one another and different in origin, the two cases intersect in their presentation of the Middle Ages as an ideal era of the popolo (common people; citizenry) and as a period whose revival offers a rallying point and potential salvation to populaces displaced from traditional contexts and thereby deprived of their cultures and identities.

Keywords:   Italy, Assisi, Paolo Pasolini, Calendimaggio, medievalism in politics, medieval festivals, identity, populace, Fascism, Marxism

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