|About the Book|
Excerpt:No apology is necessary for offering to American readers a play which critics, with singular unanimity, have called one of the most original productions seen on the modern stage. In less than a years time, Six Characters in Search of anMoreExcerpt:No apology is necessary for offering to American readers a play which critics, with singular unanimity, have called one of the most original productions seen on the modern stage. In less than a years time, Six Characters in Search of an Author has won a distinguished place in the dramatic literature of the Western world, attracting audiences and engaging intellects far removed from the particular influences which made of it a seasons sensation in Italy.Yet the word original is not enough, unless we embrace under that characterization qualities far richer than those normally credited to the trick play. The Six Characters is something more than an unusually ingenious variation of the play within a play. It is something more than a new twist given to the dream character made familiar by the contemporary Italian grotesques. It is a dramatization of the artistic process itself, in relation to the problem of reality and unreality, which has engaged Pirandello in one way or another for more than twenty years.I venture to insist upon this point as against those observers who have tried to see in the Six Characters an ironical satire of the commercial drama, as we know it today, mixed, more or less artificially, with a rather obvious philosophy of neo-idealism. No such mixture exists. The blend is organic. The object of Pirandellos bitter irony is not the stage-manager, nor the theatrical producer, nor even the dramatic critic: it is the dramatist- it is the artist- it is, in the end, life itself.I suppose the human soul presents no mysteries to those who have been thoroughly grounded in the science of Freud. But in spite of psycho-analysis a few Hamlets still survive. Pirandello is one of them.