Luigi Pirandello, who passed away on December 10, 1936, is often considered to be one of the forerunners of the Theatre of the Absurd. A dramatist, author and poet, he was the recipient of the 1934 Nobel Prize in Literature but gave the medal to the Fascist government to be melted down for the Abyssinia Campaign.
On the writer’s 93rd death anniversary, here’s looking at 5 works by him one must read.
An Italian stage play written by Pirandello, it is about a middle-aged single father who has three young boys by different mother. The play tries to portray Liolà as an ideal father.
Six Characters in Search of an Author (1921)
Perhaps Pirandello’s most well-known work, the absurdist metatheatrical play blurs the lines between the director, actor and characters as six strange people arrive at a rehearsal and reveal that they are unfinished characters in search of an author to finish their story.
Each In His Own Way (1924)
The play revolves around the scandal of the artist Giorgio Salvi’s suicide on the eve of his marriage. The artist committed suicide when he discovered that his fiancée, the actress Delia Morello, had begun a short-lived affair with Salvi’s brother-in-law Michele Rocca. The play begins in media res.
The Turn (1902)
The novel sees the protagonist Marcantonio Ravi planning to give to give his beautiful daughter, Stellina, in marriage to the elderly but hugely wealthy Don Diego Alcozèr. He believes that following the elderly man’s death, a younger more suitable husband can be found for his daughter.
The Late Mattia Pascal (1904)
The novel is one of Pirandello’s first treatment on the theme of identity. The protagonist realises that he has been wrongfully declared dead, and decides to start over in a new life, only to discover that his new life is as bad as his old. He returns to his old life only to find everyone has moved on and he is left to live on as the ghost of the man he was.
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