Abstract: The essay examines the relationship between subject/object, body, and language in Appunti per un’Orestiade Africana through an element often overlooked by critics, in which the contradictory nature of the work resides: the voice. The different forms the voice takes on—a Pasolini’s recitative monologue on silent images; the tragic song of Yvonne Murray and Archie Savage; the word of the African students in the Sapienza classroom, but also that denied to the protagonists of most of the shots in Uganda and Tanzania—are the expression of a half-way paradox, just like the appunto, between sensitive and ephemeral, orality and adherence to the written text, between the illusion of presence and the separation from the body. The analysis focuses on three aspects related to this mutable nature of the voice: the authorial identity, split between the condition of being both the one who controls the representation and an object among objects; the utopia of a different language, related to the concept of the voice as a physical means and poetic filter of the subject matter; the hermeneutical and political role of the spectator, stimulated by the dissociation between voice and images. This allows us to highlight the (self-)reflexive nature of the Appunti, making explicit their paradoxical purpose, as well as its voices: the search for a process of meaning that is both impersonal and subjective, concrete and metaphorical, immediate and indecipherable, rooted in an open coexistence of materials, styles, ideologies.
Keywords: Pier Paolo Pasolini, Aeschylus, Orestiade africana, appunto, voice, paradox.