The Scandal of Self-ContradictionPasolini’s Multistable Subjectivities, Geographies, TraditionsVienna: Turia + Kant, 2012
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Cite as: Astrid Deuber-Mankowsky, ‘Cinematographic Aesthetics as Subversion of Moral Reason in Pasolini’s Medea’, in The Scandal of Self-Contradiction: Pasolini’s Multistable Subjectivities, Geographies, Traditions, ed. by Luca Di Blasi, Manuele Gragnolati, and Christoph F. E. Holzhey, Cultural Inquiry, 6 (Vienna: Turia + Kant, 2012), pp. 255–66 <>
Earlier citation: Identical except for DOI prefix 10.25620

Cinematographic Aesthetics as Subversion of Moral Reason in Pasolini’s MedeaAstrid Deuber-Mankowsky

Keywords: Pasolini, Pier Paolo – Medea; motion pictures; Callas, Maria; Greek myths; Kant, Immanuel – The Critique of Practical Reason; Dionysus; The Dionysian; Nietzsche, Friedrich; cinematography



As the film theorist Janet L. Borgerson claims, there is something awry in our historical memory of Medea. This is precisely the point of departure for Pasolini’s film: he does not create an opposition between the world of patriarchal reason, embodied by Jason, and the matriarchal, irrational, archaic, and magical world personified by Medea. On the contrary, he shows that this opposition is itself the product of a historical conception.


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