Pier Paolo Pasolini

Pier Paolo Pasolini 14 May 06

Section: pasolini

Categories: Mention

Pronunciation: Pier Paolo Pasolini

Pier Paolo Pasolini


(Molte grazie a Rosa)

Pasolini letter on the death of his younger brother Guido

Dearest Luciano,
The misfortune which has stricken my mother and myself is like an endlessly giant, fearful mountain that we were compelled to climb, and the farther away we try to get from this mountain, the larger and more terrifying it looms above the horizon. I cannot write about it without crying, and all my confused thoughts surge to the surface like my tears…

You remember Guido’s enthusiasm, and the following sentence hammers in my head daily and throughout the day: He could not survive his enthusiasm. This young man was of such a generosity, of such courage, of such an innocence, that it can barely be believed…

My mother is here and is preparing something in the kitchen, and it requires all my strength not to let her see me crying. Guido, you have to understand, who for twenty years was always near me, who slept in the same room with me, ate at the same table…

I can say, Luciano, that he chose death, that he wanted death, from the very first day of our slavery. On the tenth of September 1943 he and some of his friends repeatedly risked their lives in an effort to steal weapons from the German air base in Casarsa; just as in the entire autumn of 1944…

Throughout the spring during the curfew they distributed propaganda fliers and painted slogans on the walls…

And you, Luciano, will remember our arrest, at which I was charged with being responsible for the propaganda — in reality it was Guido. From that point on we were constantly and more intensively kept under surveillance. We often went to Versuta to sleep; Guido had long since resolved to go to the mountains. At the end of May 1944 he headed off and there was no chance of persuading him to remain in Versuta, to hide there, as I finally did for a year. I helped him with his departure one morning, very early… he finally arrived in Pielungo where he joined Osoppo’s company. That was the beginning of his legendary undertakings about which I know so little. His letters were sparse and dark. At that time there were very few patriots in the Karner Mountains; Guido’s squad consisted of six or seven men who had to pretend to be an entire company… for some months there were increasing problems with a group of traitors who betrayed the liberation and sold themselves to Tito’s forces; the Osoppo followers in this area, led by Bolla and to which Guido also belonged, refused to capitulate to the Yugoslavian communists’ demands and join the ranks of our enemy, Tito. That was the situation in November 1944; and the situation became increasingly tense, until one day some members of Garibaldi’s brigades from Bolla showed up and requested to join Osoppo’s followers after having allegedly escaped a raid. Then, suddenly, they dropped their disguises and shot Bolla, gauging out his eyes, and then massacring Enea; all the others: the poor young men, 16 or 17 of them, they captured them and shot them, one after the other, all of them. That all happened on the Almen near Musi. On that day my brother was with Roberto and some others in Musi, they wanted to go to Bolla to give him some letters; there they heard the shots, saw someone who was trying to flee who called to them that they should also flee, turn around and leave, that there was nothing more they could do now. The others were persuaded to leave — with the exception of my brother and Roberto; they wanted to see what they could do, whether they could somehow help the poor young men. But they were powerless against the hundred or more traitors. After a few days they were all brutally murdered. The funeral for their exhumed bodies took place some months later, after the Liberation, with a great ceremony, in Udine. Today Guido lies in the cemetery in Casarsa.

(The above is my translation from the German version of the letter as published in the book Pasolini by Otto Schweitzer, rororo Verlag. The apparent ellipses, which may just be pauses in the original, were in the German version, and I changed some of them into paragraphs to improve readability.)

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