Luigi Pirandello

Topics: The Late Mattia Pascal, Novel, Luigi Pirandello Pages: 15 (5948 words) Published: September 10, 2013
Luigi Pirandello (Italian: [luˈiːdʒi piranˈdɛllo]; 28 June 1867 – 10 December 1936) was an Italian dramatist, novelist, poet and short story writer. Awarded the 1934 Nobel Prize in Literature for his "bold and brilliant renovation of the drama and the stage". Pirandello's works include novels, hundreds of short stories, and about 40 plays, some of which are written in Sicilian. Pirandello's tragic farces are often seen as forerunners for Theatre of the Absurd. Contents [hide]

1 Early life
2 Higher education
3 Marriage
4 Family disaster
5 First World War
6 Italy under the Fascists
7 Pirandello's novels
8 List of works
9 Books of poetry
10 References
11 Further reading
12 External links
Early life[edit source | editbeta]

Pirandello was born into an upper-class family in a village with the curious name of Kaos (Chaos), a poor suburb of Girgenti (Agrigento, a town in southern Sicily). His father, Stefano, belonged to a wealthy family involved in the sulphur industry and his mother, Caterina Ricci Gramitto, was also of a well-to-do background, descending from a family of the bourgeois professional class of Agrigento. Both families, the Pirandellos and the Ricci Gramittos, were ferociously anti-Bourbon and actively participated in the struggle for unification and democracy ("Il Risorgimento"). Stefano participated in the famous Expedition of the Thousand, later following Garibaldi all the way to the battle of Aspromonte and Caterina, who had hardly reached the age of thirteen, was forced to accompany her father to Malta, where he had been sent into exile by the Bourbon monarchy. But the open participation in the Garibaldian cause and the strong sense of idealism of those early years were quickly transformed, above all in Caterina, into an angry and bitter disappointment with the new reality created by the unification. Pirandello would eventually assimilate this sense of betrayal and resentment and express it in several of his poems and in his novel The Old and the Young. It is also probable that this climate of disillusion inculcated in the young Luigi the sense of disproportion between ideals and reality which is recognizable in his essay on humorism (L'Umorismo). Pirandello received his elementary education at home but was much more fascinated by the fables and legends, somewhere between popular and magic, that his elderly servant Maria Stella used to recount to him than by anything scholastic or academic. By the age of twelve he had already written his first tragedy. At the insistence of his father, he was registered at a technical school but eventually switched to the study of the humanities at the ginnasio, something which had always attracted him. In 1880, the Pirandello family moved to Palermo. It was here, in the capital of Sicily, that Luigi completed his high school education. He also began reading omnivorously, focusing, above all, on 19th century Italian poets such as Giosuè Carducci and Arturo Graf. He then started writing his first poems and fell in love with his cousin Lina. During this period the first signs of serious contrast between Luigi and his father also began to develop; Luigi had discovered some notes revealing the existence of Stefano's extramarital relations. As a reaction to the ever increasing distrust and disharmony that Luigi was developing toward his father, a man of a robust physique and crude manners, his attachment to his mother would continue growing to the point of profound veneration. This later expressed itself, after her death, in the moving pages of the novella Colloqui con i personaggi in 1915. His romantic feelings for his cousin, initially looked upon with disfavour, were suddenly taken very seriously by Lina's family. They demanded that Luigi abandon his studies and dedicate himself to the sulphur business so that he could immediately marry her. In 1886, during a vacation from school, Luigi went to visit the sulphur mines of Porto Empedocle and started working with...
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