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The Wrong Door

The Wrong Door: The Complete Plays of Natalia Ginzburg

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  • Book Info
    The Wrong Door
    Book Description:

    Bringing together the eleven plays Ginzburg wrote between 1965 and the months before her death, this volume directs attention to Ginzburg's unique talent as a dramatist.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8968-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. ‘Lett er to Visconti from Natalia Ginzburg’
    (pp. viii-ix)
    Peg Boyers
  5. Ti ho tradotto per allegria: The Commedie of Natalia Ginzburg
    (pp. x-xix)
  6. Preface: Ti ho sposato per allegria
    (pp. xx-xxiv)
    Natalia Ginzburg
  7. Note
    (pp. xxv-2)
    Natalia Ginzburg
  8. I Married You to Cheer Myself Up A Play In Three Acts
    (pp. 3-56)



    Giuliana, Pietro's wife

    Vittoria, a maid

    Pietro's Mother

    Ginestra, Pietro's sister

    The first production of this play occurred in February 1965 at Santa Vitt oria d’Alba, under the direction of Luciano Salce and with the following performers: Adriana Asti, Renzo Montagnani, Itala Marchesini, Gabriella Giorgelli, and Rita Guerrini. The scenery and costumes were by Luca Sabatelli.


    [A middle-class apartment in Rome, late morning.]²

    PIETRO: My hat, where’s my hat?

    GIULIANA: You have a hat?

    PIETRO: I used to. Now I can’t find it.

    GIULIANA: I don’t remember any hat.

    PIETRO : May be you can’t remember. I haven’t...

  9. The Advertisement A Play in Three Acts
    (pp. 57-95)








    [An aprtment in the Trastevere District, Rome.]

    A bell rings. Teresa opens the door. Elena enters.

    TERESA: Good afternoon.

    ELENA: Good afternoon. I called this morning. I’ve come because of the advertisement in theMessaggero. My name is Elena Tesei.

    TERESA: Which advertisement? I placed three.

    ELENA: The room.

    TERESA: Ah, the room. You need a room. Then I’ll show you the room. It has a western exposure. It gets the full sun all afternoon. You can see St Peter’s. Make yourself comfortable for a moment. Would you like a cup of coffee?...

  10. Strawberry and Cream A Play In Three Acts
    (pp. 96-121)



    Tosca, a maid


    Letizia, Flaminia's sister

    Cesare, Flaminia's husband

    The action unfolds in the modern day, in a villa in the Tuscan country-side, not far from Rome.


    The doorbell rings. Tosca opens the door. In the doorway is Barbara, with a suitcase. She is wearing a black leather jacket and blue jeans.

    BARBARA: Good morning.

    TOSCA: We’re not buying anything.

    BAR BARA: But I’m no t selling anything. I wanted to speak with the attorney.

    TOSCA: The attorney isn’t here. He’s out. And his wife has gone into town to do the shopping. Who might you be?...

  11. The Secretary A Play In Three Acts
    (pp. 122-167)



    Nino, Sofia's brother

    Titina, Nino's wife


    Perfetta, a maid


    The action takes place in a country house on the outskirts of Rome.


    SOFIA: Hello, Luisa? Hi, Luisa. I’m coming to Rome tomorrow to have lunch with you. Don’t make me tripe. I know you love it, but I don’t. And, please, no kidneys either, if you don’t mind. Kidneys remind me of my husband. It was the very last meal I made for him before I left. They don’t cost much in England. I slept so badly last night! There was a tremendous wind. And the...

  12. A Town by the Sea A Play In Three Acts
    (pp. 168-198)






    The words 'All the wild boars said yes' are the first lines of a poem written not by me, but by a person called Andrea Levi. He wrote the poem when he was a child. N.G.


    [The main room of a slightly rundown, badly furnished summer cottage in a town near Ancona, an important port city on Italy's Adriatic coast.]

    MARCO: Okay. Here we are. All set. Not too bad, eh? It’s a pretty big place. Clean. More or less clean. There’s a little dust. You can’t see all that much from the window....

  13. The Wrong Door A Play In Three Acts
    (pp. 199-245)








    [A country house outside Rome, 1968.]

    Giorgio and Raniero are in a room, playing chess. The telephone rings. Stefano enters and goes to the phone.

    STEFANO: Hello? Who is it? Oh, Signora Carafa. Good morning. You’re up, I see. No, nothing new, nothing special. Your daughter is still sleeping. We had a pretty quiet night. All things considered, Angelica slept fairly well. No, Signora Carafa, don’t come today. The weather’s terrible. You should stay inside on the couch where it’s warm, with your embroidery. Sure, excellent, make another pillow. With a tiger's...

  14. Dialogue A Play In One Act
    (pp. 246-269)




    Concetta (offstage)


    [The interior of a small apartment in Rome.]


    MARTA: What?

    FRANCESCO: Wasn’t there something you wanted to tell me?

    MARTA: I don’t feel like it anymore.

    FRANCESCO: Talk. I’m listening.

    MARTA: Quiet. The baby’s crying.

    FRANCESCO: No. It’s a cat in the courtyard.

    MARTA: What time do you have?

    FRANCESCO: I don’t have the time. I left my watch in the bathroom. The bathtub is full of clothes that need to be washed. If some poor devil wants to take a bath, what’s he supposed to do?...

  15. The Wig
    (pp. 270-277)

    [A room in a roadside hotel north of Rome.]

    A woman is seated on the bed. She picks up the telephone receiver.

    Hello? Signorina, I would like to make a call to Milan – 80 18 96. I had also asked for a soft-boiled egg. They brought me my tea, but not the egg. The tea was like water. Yes, signorina. It doesn’t matter. No, my husband doesn’t drink tea; he’ll have a caffe latte later on. Now, if you would connect me with Milan. Hmm? The number I just said. Oh God, now I can’t find it. 80 18 96....

  16. The Armchair A Play In Two Acts
    (pp. 278-295)






    [An apartment in Rome, late afternoon.]

    A room. Ada is seated at a table, cleaning artichokes. Matteo enters with a briefcase. They kiss.

    ADA: Hi. I didn’t expect you so soon. I didn’t think you’d be getting here until this evening.

    MATTEO: I came as soon as it was over. I was fed up with it. It was raining. The hotel was damp. Not a cheerful place, Montecatini, in the fall.

    ADA: What was it you were doing in Montecatini? I don’t remember.

    MATTEO: You never remember anything. That damned conference was there.


  17. The Interview A Play In Three Acts
    (pp. 296-332)





    Signora Olimpia

    This play unfolds in a house in the Tuscan countryside. It begins in the year 1978 and ends in the modern day.


    MARCO: Good morning.

    ILARIA: Good morning, sir. And who might you be?

    MARCO: I’m Marco Rozzi. I’m fromAries.

    ILARIA: I’m from Libra.

    MARCO:Ariesis a weekly magazine. It’s a weekly that my friend and I are doing. It’s not my astrological sign,Aries. My sign is something else.

    ILARIA: Are you looking for someone?

    MARCO: I’m looking for Gianni Tiraboschi. I talked to him on the...

  18. The Cormorant
    (pp. 333-336)




    FIORELLA: Hi, there. I’m not interrupting, am I? I was just passing by and I thought I’d come up.

    DARIO: Bad idea. You know I work in the morning. I’ve got an article to finish and my nerves are shot. But yeah, come on in, have a seat. Take the couch.

    FIORELLA: Oh, yeah, I really like this couch. It’s so soft! When I was living here, I spent entire days on this couch. How long has it been since I left? A year? At least, I’d say. It was April, I think. You’d been hitting me...