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Pirandello (1867-1936) is the founding architect of twentieth-century drama, brilliantly innovatory in his forms and themes, and in the combined energy, imagination and visual colours of his theatre.This volume of plays, translated from the Italian by Mark Musa, opens with Six Characters in Search of an Author, Pirandello's most popular and controversial work in which six Pirandello (1867-1936) is the founding architect of twentieth-century drama, brilliantly innovatory in his forms and themes, and in the combined energy, imagination and visual colours of his theatre.This volume of plays, translated from the Italian by Mark Musa, opens with Six Characters in Search of an Author, Pirandello's most popular and controversial work in which six characters invade the stage and demand to be included in the play. The tragedy Henry IV dramatizes the lucid madness of a man who may be King. In So It Is (If You Think So) the townspeople exercise a morbid curiosity attempting to discover 'the truth' about the Ponza family. Each of these plays can lay claim to being Pirandello's masterpiece, and in exploring the nature of human personality each one stretches the resources of drama to their limits.


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Pirandello (1867-1936) is the founding architect of twentieth-century drama, brilliantly innovatory in his forms and themes, and in the combined energy, imagination and visual colours of his theatre.This volume of plays, translated from the Italian by Mark Musa, opens with Six Characters in Search of an Author, Pirandello's most popular and controversial work in which six Pirandello (1867-1936) is the founding architect of twentieth-century drama, brilliantly innovatory in his forms and themes, and in the combined energy, imagination and visual colours of his theatre.This volume of plays, translated from the Italian by Mark Musa, opens with Six Characters in Search of an Author, Pirandello's most popular and controversial work in which six characters invade the stage and demand to be included in the play. The tragedy Henry IV dramatizes the lucid madness of a man who may be King. In So It Is (If You Think So) the townspeople exercise a morbid curiosity attempting to discover 'the truth' about the Ponza family. Each of these plays can lay claim to being Pirandello's masterpiece, and in exploring the nature of human personality each one stretches the resources of drama to their limits.

30 review for Six Characters in Search of an Author and Other Plays

  1. 5 out of 5

    Barry Pierce

    In this collection of three of Pirandello's plays, including his most famous work Six Characters in Search of an Author, a common question threads itself through each: what is real and what is fiction? In Six Characters in Search of an Author, a family of 'characters' invade the rehearsal of a play and demand to find an author. 'One is born to life in many forms,' the father says 'as a tree, or a stone, as water, a butterfly... or as human. And one can also be born as a character.' These characte In this collection of three of Pirandello's plays, including his most famous work Six Characters in Search of an Author, a common question threads itself through each: what is real and what is fiction? In Six Characters in Search of an Author, a family of 'characters' invade the rehearsal of a play and demand to find an author. 'One is born to life in many forms,' the father says 'as a tree, or a stone, as water, a butterfly... or as human. And one can also be born as a character.' These characters are stuck without a text. The whole play is a musing on what is real and what isn't, and to some extent the role of the author, AND begs the philosophical question of what happens to characters outside of their author's text? There's a lot going on. I feel I need a good lecture series on the whole thing. But it is enjoyable if you're into the whole Theatre of the Absurd stuff. My favourite play in the collection was the second play, Henry IV. It involves a man who receives a head injury and believes himself to be Henry IV (the German one, not the French one or the English one). So, all his family and friends dress up as characters from the era of Henry IV, decorate his house to look like a palace, and all play along with his fantasy. Doctor after doctor visits him but nobody can cure him. I found Henry IV to be a more competent musing on 'characters'. Each character in this play is playing another character for the amusement of the supposed King Henry. They're all acting a play within a play. It is also a meditation on madness and begs the question, who is really mad? Henry IV or the people who play along with his fantasy? This was a really stellar play. The final play is an odd drama. So It Is (If You Think So) involves two characters who try to claim that the other is insane, due to the particulars of a marriage. Then all the other characters spend the rest of the play trying to figure out which one is actually sane and telling the truth and which is lying and insane. It's something of a farce-cum-detective play about, once again, madness and people believing their own lies. (I've a feeling Pirandello has a thing about madness and the nature of fiction eh?) So It Is (If You Think So) is the weakest of the bunch but is still a fine play. Overall this collection is a nice little compendium of probably Pirandello's best-known works. I feel I could probably hold my own in a conversation about Pirandello now (which will probably never happen but *just in case*).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Praj

    They say I was born in June. The day, the year somehow ceases to exist. I live with my mother. She stares at the wall, singing songs unnoticing my existence in the house. Is this how being an orphan feels like? I used to work at Madame Pace’s dress shop. Only it wasn’t a dress shop. It was a whore house where I used to entertain clients throughout the night. My mother was unaware of my earnings, but as if it mattered. Then, one day I fell in love. In fact, I fell in love with his eyes. The same They say I was born in June. The day, the year somehow ceases to exist. I live with my mother. She stares at the wall, singing songs unnoticing my existence in the house. Is this how being an orphan feels like? I used to work at Madame Pace’s dress shop. Only it wasn’t a dress shop. It was a whore house where I used to entertain clients throughout the night. My mother was unaware of my earnings, but as if it mattered. Then, one day I fell in love. In fact, I fell in love with his eyes. The same brown affectionate eyes that I own. They were so memorable, they were mine. I could see myself in them. My eyes on this strange face, mesmerizing yet daunting. He was my client, elderly yet so affectionate. Months went by, but he never visited me again. I looked for him but no avail. They say, he shot himself out of guilt. He was my biological father. The shame of seducing his own blood ate him up after finding my truth. So, as I lay in a pool of blood, the cold metal burning against my sinful hands, I pierce the sharp edge into the warm blob of flesh. I killed my baby. I killed my brother. I practically cease to exist now. Shame and numbness has weighed my soul into nothingness. The man once my mother had left my father for took her away. So, here I come to you with an unfilled life and an unfinished story pleading you to bring an authored conclusion. “You imbecile”, yelled the stage-manager. “You expect me to believe this garbage and let my actors perform your absurdity". “Yes”, I affirm, “The settings should be realistic and the truth should be told in its unaltered form.” “I am an unrealized character sir”, I humbly say, “I need you to finish my story and bring it to life”. The stage manager now enraged walks away hurling obscenities and muttering, “Acting is our business here. Truth up to a certain point, but no further”; as he looks at me with a sardonic smile. Pirandello illuminates the ‘Theatre of Absurd’ genre in this bizarre performance. A form of drama that emphasizes the absurdity of human existence by employing disjointed, repetitious and meaningless dialogue, purposeless and confusing situations and plots that lack realistic or logical development. Purely in its theatrical form he depicts a tale of six characters in search of an author who is able not only to complete their fragmentary story but to perform their ingenuous legitimacy. A story which is not a story after all. Through the numerous arguments between the six characters and the stage manager about portrayal of reality in its unaltered state to the audiences marks the debate of life reality v/s stage reality. The sense of illusion what is illustrated to be a reality on performance stage is far from the factual forms. The plethora of reality television that demarcates an entire generation outlook mutates the genuineness of its characters. How real are the nuances of these actors who state publicly that their respected shows are not scripted but spontaneous? The movies that state ‘based on a true story’, how far do they enact the truth or is pragmatism edited to normalization of absurdity. Pirandello stresses on the theatre being an illusion of reality where actors masquerade real emotions through rehearsals and mutability. A brilliant existentialism perception of individuals being characters all through their life portraying roles that their born into and the normality of emotions attached to their specific roles. Who are we? The roles that we are born into or the tangible roles we want to play.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy

    The theater of Luigi Pirandello relentlessly begs the question, within a theatrical context, of what is realistic and what is fictional drama. An appropriate, recent example of Pirandello's influence at work is Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, NY, a film in which the main character Caden's attempt to make a theatre about "everything" results in a sort of solipsistic confusion about what he is actually experiencing and what is merely an acted out rendition of his past (or present for that matter). K The theater of Luigi Pirandello relentlessly begs the question, within a theatrical context, of what is realistic and what is fictional drama. An appropriate, recent example of Pirandello's influence at work is Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, NY, a film in which the main character Caden's attempt to make a theatre about "everything" results in a sort of solipsistic confusion about what he is actually experiencing and what is merely an acted out rendition of his past (or present for that matter). Kaufman, who does have a slight background in the theatre himself, took this theme and reinvigorated what was an already innovative idea. This of course makes for a very theoretical type of theater. And Pirandello, once he has laid out his main concept, spends much of the time within his plays musing on exactly what makes staged performance, theater. Take Six Characters in Search of an Author for example. A theater group is putting on Pirandello's own play, Ille Gioco del Parti (the Game of Roles). The play is interrupted by a quarreling family of six. The father of the family explains that they are in search of someone to finish their story. After explaining their background and current conflict, he pleads with the director of the play to complete this real-life drama. Pirandello tactfully juxtaposes the actors doing the Pirandello play, and the characters who almost seem to invade the theater with their dramatic reality. So the question that keeps coming up here is, well, to put it frankly; what is reality? Pirandello was part of a theater movement called anti-illusionism, or theatricalism. This movement rejected realism in favor of dreamlike symbolism. It shows too. Despite the fact that the father's character defends his family's actual situation and how steeped in reality it is, Pirandello is still trying to make the point that this is yet another layer of some sort of theatrical drama. The odd thing about this play is that the actual situation and history of the family seems irrelevant after a point. It is rather the questions about theater that Pirandello poses that makes Six Characters in Search of an Author such an engaging play. The other two plays in this Penguin edition, Henry IV and So It Is (If You Think So) are concerned with the same basic questions. Although in these plays there is a more solid emphasis on how madness can play an important role in determining what is real and what is imagined or fictionalized. Henry IV is all about a man who is diagnosed by his family as insane, in light of which an historically based fiction is created to appease his delusions. The question here is, is he actually mad, or is he the one placating his family's madness? So It Is (If You Think So) assesses the reliability of personal testimony as truth. One family, the Agazzi's, are obsessed with the mysterious lives of another family, the Ponza's. Regardless of the source of truth about the Ponza's living situation, the Agazzi's would never be content. Once again, this is Pirandello questioning the reliability of language as well as personal testimony. Pirandello's epistemology is so utterly pessimistic and distrustful that his plays can be a bit long-winded. Despite the playful brilliance of this content, his trademark, endless meta-questioning tends to overwhelm most of the dramatic elements. It's almost unfortunate in a way because it seems as if some of his plays could actually be written as theoretical essays on theater rather than actual plays. Still, Six Characters in Search of an Author is a delightful piece of modernist theater, and was an incredibly innovative play for its time.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alan

    A great work, perhaps the best play of the 20thC. And a standard for great art: Think you've written really well? Did the audience fight for 20 minutes at the end, divided between hostility and admiration? That's what happened 10 Maggio '21, Teatro Valle di Roma. (Interesting that around then Italy won a gold medal in the 1920 Antwerp Olympics, but the Belgian band did not know the new Italian national anthem: they played O Sole Mio--and all the stands sang along. Unfortunately, the writer Capur A great work, perhaps the best play of the 20thC. And a standard for great art: Think you've written really well? Did the audience fight for 20 minutes at the end, divided between hostility and admiration? That's what happened 10 Maggio '21, Teatro Valle di Roma. (Interesting that around then Italy won a gold medal in the 1920 Antwerp Olympics, but the Belgian band did not know the new Italian national anthem: they played O Sole Mio--and all the stands sang along. Unfortunately, the writer Capurro [?] had died a couple years earlier.) The first reviewer said the issues of art vs life, and the nature of play-writing and performance are universal. It is also, of course, metadramatic, with the Son asseverating, "I am an undeveloped character." The Capocomico (not really a "producer," but head of the troupe) treats the real lives of the people they stage as if they're invented--which brutalizes the "real" people. Illusion, the question that ends it. Is death acted? Now, may I add, Giordano Bruno's one comedy, Candelaio, is also metadramatic--in 1582! In the last scene the Latin teacher, just beaten as he did his students, is asked to look at the audience, "Doesn't it seem you're on stage?" Yes, it does. "At what point in the drama would you like to be?" The End! "Then hold up the Plaudite sign."

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gertrude & Victoria

    A farce! Six Characters in Search of an Author is a remarkable invention of genius by the Italian Nobel laureate, Luigi Pirandello, which mixes the real with the verisimilar, where a drama is acted out within a drama. In this work he explores the ambiguous nature of reality and truth. This drama is in two acts, which can be read in around ninety minutes. A director and a company of actors are in preparation for their rehearsal. Then six people or characters - a father and his family - who have al A farce! Six Characters in Search of an Author is a remarkable invention of genius by the Italian Nobel laureate, Luigi Pirandello, which mixes the real with the verisimilar, where a drama is acted out within a drama. In this work he explores the ambiguous nature of reality and truth. This drama is in two acts, which can be read in around ninety minutes. A director and a company of actors are in preparation for their rehearsal. Then six people or characters - a father and his family - who have already made their way into the hall, interrupt them. They say they are in search of an author and intrude on to the stage. Incredulous and reluctant as the director is, not to mention the actors, the six characters are allowed to state their case piece by piece. The director thinks they are a crazy bunch of fools, but never has a chance to have them thrown out. Eventually he is persuaded by this family of characters and taken to their story. Subsequently he readies his actors to attempt it. But the six insist that they be allowed to act out their own story, instead of the company of professional actors, since they are already familiar with the story. The whole series seems preposterous and that is one point of the drama that Pirandello brings to light. Here Pirandello mixes reality and art, with the appearance of reality imitating art, but it is actually art's imitation of reality. Or is it? This farcical sketch of man's fallibility in distinguishing one from the other is well worth the initial confusion that ensues upon reading the first pages.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rhys

    A book containing three plays by the original master of metafictional theatre. Six Characters in Search of an Author is a famous work. It's about the contrast between having form and being form. It's a difficult and tricky play and one that is quite devastating in its emotional, psychological and ontological implications. The second play in this book Henry IV is about the sincerity of madness and the validity of the supposedly sane world. Nothing is quite what it seems as a character plays a real A book containing three plays by the original master of metafictional theatre. Six Characters in Search of an Author is a famous work. It's about the contrast between having form and being form. It's a difficult and tricky play and one that is quite devastating in its emotional, psychological and ontological implications. The second play in this book Henry IV is about the sincerity of madness and the validity of the supposedly sane world. Nothing is quite what it seems as a character plays a real man who turns himself into a character who may or may not really believe that he is that character. The third and final play in the volume is the remarkable So it is (If you think so) which despite dating from an earlier time than the previous two plays is no less profound in its examination of life, truth and knowledge. The theme of this work is how we can never really know anything definite about anyone because we are all multi-faceted beings who show only one facet at a time. Pirandello is certainly one of my favourite playwrights.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jon Deal

    Pirandello is awesome. Clever, witty and marvelous. Somewhere in the world there is a picture of me next to his statue in Agrigento, Sicily, Italy. I'd like to have that picture back. I was skinny and had hair back then. Anyway, can't recommend Pirandello enough.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Pyjov

    Masterpiece. HILARIOUS masterpiece.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bobby Thym

    I read this play years ago, and I recently put it on my reading list because it such an influential play of the 20th century. The play sets the stage for future absurdist plays of the 1950’s and forces my students to engage with a meta-theatrical work. I’m not sure I like this term “meta-“ anymore because I think that since writing was invented, literature has contained elements and structures that force the reader to realize he is engaging with artifice.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ray LaManna

    This is a classic of absurdist theater written in 1921... while a manager is directing another Pirandello play six characters show up without an author and only a sketchy plot. It's a bit disconcerting...BUT it makes us think about the difference between reality the unreality of drama. This is considered one of the greatest plays of the 20th century.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Isabelle

    So glad a friend found me this book of plays! Intelligent farces with curious characters, full of personality and wit. 'So It Is', the last play stands out as the extremes of curiousity of strangers - town gossip gone wild.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tom Lee

    Provocative plays that dwell on the nature of reality, the fictions we create for ourselves and the tenuousness of sanity.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tso William

    Six Characters in Search of an Actor is a highly original play by the Italian playwright Luigi Pirandello. The play starts with six characters coming to the stage, claiming that they were invented by the author but were rejected by him. They demanded the Manager to stage their drama. A confusing family tragedy enfolds between and among the six characters (the father, mother, step-daughter, son, boy, child). It is therefore a play about a play within a play and theatre within a theatre. The chara Six Characters in Search of an Actor is a highly original play by the Italian playwright Luigi Pirandello. The play starts with six characters coming to the stage, claiming that they were invented by the author but were rejected by him. They demanded the Manager to stage their drama. A confusing family tragedy enfolds between and among the six characters (the father, mother, step-daughter, son, boy, child). It is therefore a play about a play within a play and theatre within a theatre. The characters moans that the actors can never represent them because the characters are more than real than the actors. Actors act because the characters are in the book. What if, as it is now in the play, the characters themselves come to live on the stage? Do we need actors anymore? Fresh from reading Stanislavski's Actor Prepares, these questions interest me. On actors' role, Stanislavski said, 'At such times a creative artist feels his own life in the life of his part and the life of his part identical with his personal life. This identification results in a miraculous metamorphosis.' Actor makes a character to come to live through his imagination and emotional memory. He contributes his own creative inputs to make a metamorphosis, implying that the character is no longer the author's sole ownership but is rather transformed by the actor. However if the characters themselves were on the stage, the actors would have been superfluous. As the Father repeatedly said, the actors could never represent them, no matter how skillful their actings were. At heart, the issue is reality. Paradoxically the characters are more real than the actors insofar the characters are fixed and timeless in a book while actors and people in general are merely illusions by their daily changing. However if reality were defined as physical certainty, then individuals had the physical bodies of which the characters were lacking. Luigi Pirandello is credited as the precursor of absurdism, existentialism and post-modernism. I haven't read his other plays but this play alone is enough to peep into his complex brain.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gregorio

    The three plays in this collection are interesting because they are more about the concept over characterizing any characters, although the last play So it is (If you think so) is the most interested in its individual characters. Six Characters in Search of an Author is the most interesting concept, and the toughest to pull off, but Pirandello pulls it off rather well. The plays probably needs to be seen over being read (as all plays, but especially this one) as the words do not really create a The three plays in this collection are interesting because they are more about the concept over characterizing any characters, although the last play So it is (If you think so) is the most interested in its individual characters. Six Characters in Search of an Author is the most interesting concept, and the toughest to pull off, but Pirandello pulls it off rather well. The plays probably needs to be seen over being read (as all plays, but especially this one) as the words do not really create a climax as the images do. On the dialogue of all three plays, it is often a little dry, but that may be due to the translation. So it is (If you think so) has the best dialogue of all three, as the dialogue matches the characters quite well, but the first two plays' dialogue seems to lay on the side of the poetic over what people would say, although this is more justified in Henry IV. And speaking of Henry IV, that is probably the best play of the bunch. Although the characters aren't as fleshed out as So it is (If you think so), the play is the most interesting, and has the best character (Henry IV) in all of his plays, mostly because of his philosophy, and his uncertain madness, which is the theme of the play. The theme of uncertainty is the focal point of all three plays, as well as the complications of relativity, and the idea of the personna always being in movement, that is, that one is always changes how they act around different people, and for each person they are almost someone else, so the question Pirandello likes to bring up is can you say that you are you if you are always changing? Can you be defined? As a playwright who enjoys writing about this topic, and thinking about it, it is quite rewarding, but if you have thought about the subject in depth before Pirandello only lays down the basics of the theories. Overall, grand plays.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    I performed in "Six Characters..." and read "So it is (If you think so)" in college. The performing experience was brutal, a mixture of the awkwardness of the script and an ill-conceived production that lacked focus and meaning and even sense. The faint memory of "So it is" led me to pick up this collection again--a play that I remembered featuring gossipy neighbors and a purported story that changed every time a new character had their say completely convincing everyone that their perspective w I performed in "Six Characters..." and read "So it is (If you think so)" in college. The performing experience was brutal, a mixture of the awkwardness of the script and an ill-conceived production that lacked focus and meaning and even sense. The faint memory of "So it is" led me to pick up this collection again--a play that I remembered featuring gossipy neighbors and a purported story that changed every time a new character had their say completely convincing everyone that their perspective was the truth, only to have another character enter and convince everyone the complete opposite in the next scene. It was a good bit of writing wizardry, and I enjoyed reviewing it a second time and would like to see it performed one day. Having recently seen, "THe Skin I Live In," I impulsively made parallels. Both feature stories that are high drama -- soap operatic -- in a realistic style. The real pleasure though was the third play that I had never read called Henry IV about a man who was presumably mad and thought he was the historic Henry IV (of the 11th century?) whose nephew has as a consequence built a throne room for him and employed men to be his subjects simply to assuage his fantasies. A great play with great passages for the Henry IV characters. It touches on all the Pirandello themes, insanity, truth and illusion, acting and reality, but with a very surprising and interesting and dense script.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sajan

    Reality is not real but constructed. From this constructed standpoint, which is called reality, conformity and anomaly become easily distinguishable. Conformity is aligned with sanity and anomalies are indicative of madness. For instance, donning military uniform to attend classes might be thought of as an act of madness on account of the violation of social norms. Nevertheless, anomalies are not acts of insanity but marks different taste and perception of an anomalous individual. Henry 4, in th Reality is not real but constructed. From this constructed standpoint, which is called reality, conformity and anomaly become easily distinguishable. Conformity is aligned with sanity and anomalies are indicative of madness. For instance, donning military uniform to attend classes might be thought of as an act of madness on account of the violation of social norms. Nevertheless, anomalies are not acts of insanity but marks different taste and perception of an anomalous individual. Henry 4, in this play, is a character who plays the role of a 11th Century German king. He takes his role so seriously that he, seemingly, forgets his own identity. He walks around in his castle with a lantern while his make-believe attendants and counsellors use electric bulbs as soon as he is out of sight. The masquerade appeals to reader's notice and points out at the ubiquitous role-performing carried out by almost all individuals, though in oblivion. It is, in order to keep up with conformity, incumbent upon every one to perform various roles from time to time. A man is, most often, required to play the role of a son, husband, father, brother, friend, 'good' citizen. This act of role-performing leaves no room for originality. All performers are clowns, or at least that's what the protagonist is trying to get across. The question is of a choice now : should we play clowns or madmen?

  17. 5 out of 5

    Akemi

    Interesting idea of making Actors the characters and a separate set of Characters within the play, and I suppose it was new in the 1920's, but meh. I like the idea of exploring levels of truth- what's more real, life or art? But at the same time, the plot is a bit gimmicky. There are some powerful moments, but not many. I dunno, perhaps a little too intellectual and not emotional enough for me, along with a lack of impressive language. Then again, it is translated, so that doesn't really help. FA Interesting idea of making Actors the characters and a separate set of Characters within the play, and I suppose it was new in the 1920's, but meh. I like the idea of exploring levels of truth- what's more real, life or art? But at the same time, the plot is a bit gimmicky. There are some powerful moments, but not many. I dunno, perhaps a little too intellectual and not emotional enough for me, along with a lack of impressive language. Then again, it is translated, so that doesn't really help. FATHER: You have created living beings- more alive than those that breathe and wear clothes! Less real, perhaps; but more true! FATHER: But that's the whole root of the evil. Words. Each of us has, inside him, a world of things- to everyone, his world of things. And how can we understand each other, sir, if, in the words I speak, I put the sense and value of things as they are inside me, whereas the man who hears them inevitably receives them in the sense and with the value they have for him, the sense and value of the world inside him? We think we can understand each other but we never do. DIRECTOR: Oh, come on, you must have done some acting! FATHER: No, no, sir, only as every man acts the part assigned to him- by himself or others- in this life.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Schuff

    I had heard about the play Six Characters...and was interested in reading it but didn't really want to spend money buying yet another book. When I got a Kindle, I found this version and happily downloaded it. I found these plays to be very thought-provoking about the nature of reality and identity. Indeed, as the Nobel Prize site says: [http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prize...] "Pirandello is always preoccupied with the problem of identity. The self exists to him only in relation to others; it I had heard about the play Six Characters...and was interested in reading it but didn't really want to spend money buying yet another book. When I got a Kindle, I found this version and happily downloaded it. I found these plays to be very thought-provoking about the nature of reality and identity. Indeed, as the Nobel Prize site says: [http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prize...] "Pirandello is always preoccupied with the problem of identity. The self exists to him only in relation to others; it consists of changing facets that hide an inscrutable abyss. .... His characters attempt to fulfill their self-seeking roles and are defeated by life itself which, always changing, enables them to see their perversity. This is Pirandello's humour, an irony which arises from the contradictions inherent in life." Sounds dull, doesn't it? They aren't. His plays are filled with "real" flesh-and-blood people that you have meet before. Enjoy!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Garrett Zecker

    Six Characters In Search of an Author is a critical examination of the limits of authorship and translation of an idea and story when breathing life into your characters. There is ultimately no way for an author to approach correctly and adequately extending a character and their life through the scope of a dialogue-only production, and the end result is only a surface interpretation that can easily be reinterpreted by a director to be nothing like the original intentions. As a play that came at Six Characters In Search of an Author is a critical examination of the limits of authorship and translation of an idea and story when breathing life into your characters. There is ultimately no way for an author to approach correctly and adequately extending a character and their life through the scope of a dialogue-only production, and the end result is only a surface interpretation that can easily be reinterpreted by a director to be nothing like the original intentions. As a play that came at the height of the realist movement, this text reflects almost an anti-realism - the fact that there is really no way that an author or director could ever create realism or a realist drama simply because theater itself is meant to be an illusion. Fascinating reflection on the futility of realism in theater.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vildan Arıcan

    That is totally awesome, which is actually hard to say when u face a modernist work. the first step is to be taken is the comprehensibility shunnin on ur cells. like many other modernist text, here we face a framed narrator( dunno whether I am able to call it like that due to the genre "drama"). what really strikes me that the most notable thing for a play to have a plausible audience, however, here we encounter some actors and actress as audience, and the characters are not born from the pages That is totally awesome, which is actually hard to say when u face a modernist work. the first step is to be taken is the comprehensibility shunnin on ur cells. like many other modernist text, here we face a framed narrator( dunno whether I am able to call it like that due to the genre "drama"). what really strikes me that the most notable thing for a play to have a plausible audience, however, here we encounter some actors and actress as audience, and the characters are not born from the pages of a book, but they are all alive tryin to struggle for their work to be true and real which is only possible if they act not the actors... seekin for an author, do they need one? I dont think so...do u think that can refer the meta-narratives of the modern epoch to which people want to link theirselves so that life would turn into somethin bearable....

  21. 5 out of 5

    Greg Fanoe

    Nobel Prize Project Year: 1934 Winner: Luigi Pirandello Review: I thought all these plays were good, Henry IV was probably my favorite. They all explore similar themes of the nature of truth. I dunno, I enjoyed them but they lacked the impact they probably had 90 years ago when they were written. To be honest, these may have worked better as philosophical essays than as dramas, there's just not much here that excites me. Verdict: 80 years after his win, Luigi Pirandello is still widely read and love Nobel Prize Project Year: 1934 Winner: Luigi Pirandello Review: I thought all these plays were good, Henry IV was probably my favorite. They all explore similar themes of the nature of truth. I dunno, I enjoyed them but they lacked the impact they probably had 90 years ago when they were written. To be honest, these may have worked better as philosophical essays than as dramas, there's just not much here that excites me. Verdict: 80 years after his win, Luigi Pirandello is still widely read and loved, certainly not true of all of the Nobel winners of that era. He was highly influential and reading him and those who he inspired makes it tough to take realistic theater seriously. Even though I didn't love these I don't have any real issue with the win. On the other hand, he was a noted fascist who melted down his Nobel medal for use in the Abyssinia campaign. So screw him.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    This was for my World Lit class, but how intriguing the concept that characters immortalized in a story are more real than the actors portraying them! The Father acts as the voice of the writer, protesting against an interpretation of his character, of the abandonment of his author's creation. The use of masks in this play is fascinating. Under-developed, perhaps, or serving as a contrast to the animate faces of the actors? Or to depict the frozen emotions employed as caricatures for the charact This was for my World Lit class, but how intriguing the concept that characters immortalized in a story are more real than the actors portraying them! The Father acts as the voice of the writer, protesting against an interpretation of his character, of the abandonment of his author's creation. The use of masks in this play is fascinating. Under-developed, perhaps, or serving as a contrast to the animate faces of the actors? Or to depict the frozen emotions employed as caricatures for the characters? I am curious to know the original story Pirandello had intended for these characters before he transferred them to this play.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    So good! Pirandello ushers in the Absurdist movement and existential pessimism with these plays, in which meta-theater and a series of dramatic inversions spiral around and around until the plays' characters (and the audience as well) are not sure what is real and what is invention. The VERY dark comedy Six Characters in Search of an Author was my favorite--I loved the multiple layers of meta-theater and the way Pirandello completely eliminates the "fourth wall." Left me with so many questions i So good! Pirandello ushers in the Absurdist movement and existential pessimism with these plays, in which meta-theater and a series of dramatic inversions spiral around and around until the plays' characters (and the audience as well) are not sure what is real and what is invention. The VERY dark comedy Six Characters in Search of an Author was my favorite--I loved the multiple layers of meta-theater and the way Pirandello completely eliminates the "fourth wall." Left me with so many questions in the best possible way.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Of all the plays that I've read, and I've read quite a few, this is by far, my most favorite. It is not an easy competition: I have a deep seated love and loyalty for Tennessee Williams, but this piece of work is just too good to compare to any other. It goes beyond your basic dramatic plot, and really makes one think about the characters of a story. What happens when the story doesn't end, when the writer succumbs to writer's block or just abandons the composition? If you have never read this o Of all the plays that I've read, and I've read quite a few, this is by far, my most favorite. It is not an easy competition: I have a deep seated love and loyalty for Tennessee Williams, but this piece of work is just too good to compare to any other. It goes beyond your basic dramatic plot, and really makes one think about the characters of a story. What happens when the story doesn't end, when the writer succumbs to writer's block or just abandons the composition? If you have never read this original work of art, I highly recommend it. It will blow your mind!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joyzi

    It's the type of play wherein you were actually forced to read it and then you read it and then you gave up and then you just ask your classmates what's all about and then even they don't wanna read it and then you just have to use the last resort and that's to google it. And hey I've found Goodreads because of it. So maybe even if I really don't read it at least it has been a blessing in disguise. ^^

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sandi

    Regardless of the earlier time period, this is as postmodern a work as Auster. Throughout, the author is winking at the audience and it’s rather fun to see. If it were longer, this may have gotten tiresome. It’s not a particular mind-bender, but forces the reader to construct the ‘play’ in his mind, as what goes on onstage is “rehearsal.” It reminds me of an un-funny and more existential “Noises Off.”

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Six Characters in Search of an Author annoyed me so much at first! It's a hard play to grasp at the beginning, but it starts to make sense and it's a unique play with an odd dynamic. Pirandello did a great job with the writing, he obviously knew what he was going for and it came out clear in the ending.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Superbly crafted scripts that reveal more of the audiences' prejudices and expectations than they do of the protagonists, all three plays in this collection somehow manage to leave the fourth wall intact whilst creeping out into the foyer for a sneaky snifter and leaving you alone with the existential dilemma.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Graeme Hinde

    I try to read plays sometimes because I feel like I should, but frankly I don't often enjoy it. This translation (Edward Storer, mid fifties) seemed stilted, but perhaps that was in the original. It's a clever idea, I guess, but I'm not really sure what Pirandello's point is. Something about the difference between characters and real people? I don't care.

  30. 5 out of 5

    dejah_thoris

    Rating and review is just for "Six Characters in Search of an Author", which I read this morning. I believe I must re-read it sometime this week to get its full depth but I wish I had found it years ago. Maybe it's because I'm wrestling with my own existence right now, but it really spoke to me. I underlined several passages in my old paperback copy.

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