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PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art 29.1 (2007) 139-152

Affabulazione (SELECTIONS)
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Translated by Thomas Simpson

Episode I (Complete)

Aaaaaaah! No . . . I want to touch your knees . . .
Behind the knee . . . your tendons!
Ahhhh . . . In the garden . . .
Where are you going . . . boy, my FATHER!
The train station down there, the station . . . Aaaaaah,
I have his feet, little three-year old feet.
Play, boy, big boy!
What's your face? Let me see your face!
He's gone!
He left!
I want to follow him, mommy . . . He's gone . . .
Where'd he go . . . I can't
be without him . . . Mommy, mommy, aaaaah!
What is it? What do you hear? Wake up!
Come on, wake up!
Ooooh, you opened your eyes!
What did you hear? You were talking in your sleep. I told you,
you shouldn't come out here right away, into the garden
just after eating. You're white,
you're digesting badly. What were you dreaming?
I don't know.
My stomach is tight, my nerves
are all shaken, as though a bubble
rising from the soft parts of my body
burst against my skullbones. I'm flying!
I'm light as a reed, I'm flying!
I have no bones—or they're empty.
Am I having a heart attack? Is this how it starts? [End Page 139]
Oh now now, it's just bad digestion.
The sun made you sick . . .
it's still humid from yesterday, from the rain.
What were you dreaming?
I don't know, I told you, I don't know.
You were talking about boys playing . . .
and you were calling your mother and father . . .
Wait—you were talking about a train station . . .
and about gardens, that's right, gardens . . .
where there was a boy . . .
Why are you yelling? I've never seen you
behave this way! . . .
I understood something . . . but I don't know what.
But, but . . . I want
to remember . . .
Wait, first I'll go get you some coffee.
(She exits.)
Everything begins now with this dream.
But it's a dream I don't remember.
Rather, everything begins all over again—if ever anything
began, before, in my life . . . now
this must be something new . . .
I'm still halfway down in the dark
my hands still shaking.
I re-emerge, and what do I see?
The garden of my villa on the lake.
There, the mountains, hatefully familiar
to my proprietary gaze: there, the factories,
toward Milan—handsome, silent factories
tidy as lawns: and it's a Sunday afternoon.
Who notices these things?
A new man born from that dream? . . .
I'm no longer only myself. What attached itself to me?
Something I already was or I still have to become?
Suddenly they're so new, all these things around!
It's as though it rained while I slept . . .
one of those rains that changes the season . . .
from the last of a sad spring to the heart of summer . . . [End Page 140]
Sleeping, I wasn't present, and
now I've fallen here, into my own house, this house
in the heart of summer, among strangers.
The blood in my head forces me to gaze
like a prophet toward that deep future summer.
I wonder, how can such a stable old situation
change so suddenly? The old remains within the new
for a little, naturally,
making both new and old seem incredible.
And me, living this character
Here I am for a while, detached, contemplative.
But I still don't know what's going on!
Therefore, it can't truly hurt me.
The only thing that hurts
is this object stuck in me from head
to heart, like cold iron rammed through my body.
How do you feel? Better?

Episode IV (Partial Scene)

Yes! Yes!
There's the empty garden,
he'll appear down there soon.
Why do I love him so?
If it weren't for...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 139-152
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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