Three Percent points to an interesting essay on Alberto Moravia. [via Three Percent]
Although it was Jean-Luc Godard who adapted Moravia’s “Contempt” into a film and Bernardo Bertolucci who directed “The Conformist,” Moravia’s true spiritual kin are Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni. Their devastating portraits of upwardly mobile, desperately unhappy Italians captured an alienation, rootlessness and despair that seemed to rise with every percentage point of gross domestic product during Italy’s boom years in the 1950s and ’60s, as the feudal resignation of the past evolved into aestheticized existential ennui. Indeed, there is something of Marcello Mastroianni in Moravia’s protagonists: they present an endless series of self-loathing, conflicted men who aspire to make art or take some form of decisive action, but who instead are thwarted and trapped by their own lack of nerve; often, they analyze their own failings with great lucidity, creating elaborate psychological monuments to their own passivity.
The full essay is available at the New York Times. [via The New York Times]