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Pirandello's Theatre of Living Masks

Pirandello's Theatre of Living Masks: New Translations of Six Major Plays

Umberto Mariani
Alice Gladstone Mariani
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 304
  • Book Info
    Pirandello's Theatre of Living Masks
    Book Description:

    InPirandello's Theatre of Living Masks, Umberto Mariani and Alice Gladstone Mariani offer the first new edition in nearly sixty years of six of his major works.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9031-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-2)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 3-26)
    Umberto Mariani

    In virtually every major work of Pirandello’s maturity, like those in this collection, a fundamental ethical and psychological opposition recurs between those characters who reject the values and conditions to which their bourgeois society seeks to bind them – whom, for convenience, we will call ‘the Pirandellian characters’ – and those who embody the values of that society, its customs, its prejudices, its complacent self-assurance, its claim to superior knowledge and wisdom, whom we will call the bourgeois characters. This is the opposition through which the ‘Pirandellian’ characters reveal themselves to us. It is an opposition that also affects the...

  4. Liolà A Country Comedy 1916
    (pp. 27-68)

    (An area covered by a tin roof between the farmhouse, the storeroom, the stable, and the oil press shed of Zia Croce Azzara. In the background a view of the countryside, with clumps of prickly pears, almond, and Saracen olive trees. On the right, under the covered area, the door of the farmhouse, a rustic stone seat, and a monumental oven. On the left, the storeroom door, the window of the oil press shed, and another window with an iron grate. Rings attached to the walls to tie the animals to. It is September, almond-shelling time.

    Tuzza, Mita, Gesa, Carmina–...

  5. Right You Are, If You Think You Are (also known in English as It Is So, If You Think So) A Parable in Three Acts 1917
    (pp. 69-118)

    (The living room in the home of Counsel Agazzi. Main door to the rear, side doors to the right and left.)

    (As the curtain rises, Lamberto Laudisi, visibly irritated, is pacing the drawing room. Forty-ish, slender, elegant in an unobtrusive way, he is wearing a purple morning jacket with black lapels and cuffs.)

    Laudisi. So, he’s gone to take the matter up with the Prefect?

    Amalia (grey hair, in her mid-forties; her ostentatiously self-important manner is due to the position her husband occupies in society. She gives you to understand, however, that, were it completely up to her, she would...

  6. Six Characters in Search of an Author
    (pp. 119-167)

    N.B.The play has no act or scene divisions. The performance is interrupted first – without the curtain being lowered – when the Director and the major character withdraw to decide on the scenery and the Actors leave the stage; and a second time when the Scene Shifter drops the curtain by mistake.

    (The audience entering the theatre finds the curtain up, the stage as it would be during the day, without wings or scenery, almost dark, and empty, so as to have from the very beginning the impression of an unrehearsed play.

    Two sets of stairs, on the right...

  7. Henry IV
    (pp. 168-218)

    (A salon in the villa meticulously decorated to simulate the throne room of Henry IV in the imperial palace at Goslar. But in the midst of the antique furnishings two large modern oil portraits, life size, stand against the back wall [raised a little from the floor on a wooden shelf that runs the length of the wall, wide enough for people to sit on it as on a bench], one to the right and one to the left of the throne. The imperial throne and its low canopy stand against the wall, dividing the wooden shelf in two. The...

  8. Each in His Own Way
    (pp. 219-275)

    The performance of this play should begin in the street, or, more exactly, under the marquee of the theatre, with two or three shouting newsboys selling anEvening News,consisting of a single sheet made to look like an ‘extra’; in the centre of this, in large, very visible characters, the following ‘indiscretion’ in exemplary journalese appears:

    In theatre circles news has suddenly spread which is destined to provoke an enormous scandal. It is said that Pirandello has taken the topic for his new play,Each in His Own Way, to be performed tonight at the ……………… Theatre, from the...

  9. The Mountain Giants A Myth
    (pp. 276-324)

    (A villa called ‘La Scalogna,’ where Cotrone lives with his Scalognati.

    Almost in the centre of the stage, on a little rise, is a tall cypress reduced in its old age to a mere trunk, like a pole. At its top a tuft of lights, like a brush.

    The plaster of the villa is a faded red. On the right only the entrance is visible; the four steps leading to it are set between two projecting small round porches, with balustrades and pillars supporting their domed roofs. The door is old and still retains some traces of its original green....

  10. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 325-335)