Selected Poems of Luigi Pirandello

Selected Poems of Luigi Pirandello

by Luigi Pirandello, George Hochfield

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First English Translation of the Poetry of Luigi Pirandello.
Luigi Pirandello, an author best know for his plays, novels and short stories, was also a life-long poet. At the age of twenty-two, he published his first collection, "Mal giocondo" (1889, Troubled Joy), followed quickly by three further volumes, "Pasqua in Gea" (1891, Easter in Gea), "Elegie renane" (1895, Rhenish Elegies) and "Zampogna" (1901, Bagpipes). In 1912 he published his final volume of poetry, "Fuori di chiave" (Offkey), but he continued to publish poetry in literary journals and anthologies until his death in 1936.
In a literary career that spans the turning of the twentieth century, his poetry reflected many of the currents of his time: modernism and relativism, the tension between faith and science and the place of the individual in a world devoid of coherence. He writes movingly of nature -- silent, indifferent, unconscious, enduring -- as the very antithesis of chaotic human activity. He writes of life and death, children and coffee, of love, earth and dreams. His style might seem traditional -- more traditional than would be expected of an author whose work for theater surpassed mere innovation -- and while his forms might be conservative, his ideas matched the spirit of his age.
As the translator George Hochfield writes in his introduction, "These poems reveal a somber and sensitive man, the dramatist, who, when the play is over and the curtain is drawn, comes to the front of the stage and addresses the audience directly."
This dual-language edition presents for the first time in English translation a selection of work from the entire range of Pirandello's poetic output. George Hochfield offers a sensitive and wise interpretation of that poetry.

Appendices include a selection from "Arte e coscienza d'oggi" (1893, Art and Consciousness in Our Time) and from Pirandello's Biographical Letter of 1914.
Introduction, bibliography, chronology, first-line indices, notes and appendices.

Clicking on the English title of each poem will link to the Italian original, and vice versa.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940157071028
Publisher: Italica Press, Inc.
Publication date: 09/25/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Luigi Pirandello was born on June 28, 1867 in Kaos, near Agrigento in Sicily, where his father owned sulfur mines. He left Sicily to study in Rome and eventually completed a doctorate in linguistics at the University of Bonn in 1891 with a dissertation on the dialect of his home town. He initiated his writing career as a poet. In 1894 he married Antonietta Portulano, the daughter of one of his father's colleagues. The couple settled in Rome, where Pirandello became acquainted with other writers. He began to write short stories - eventually hundreds of them - and to adapt some of them for the stage.

In 1903 the failure of the family sulfur mines caused severe financial problems for Pirandello, his wife, and their three children Fausto, Stefano, and Lietta. Antonietta began to suffer from severe mental problems from which she never recovered, and she was eventually placed in an institution. Needing to work, Pirandello taught at the Magistero, or normal school. He published his first - still his best-known - novel, "The Late Mattia Pascal," in 1904 and an important theoretical essay, "On Humor," in 1908. His early plays such as "Sicilian Limes" and "Liolà" explore the Sicilian mentality and culture, contrasting it with those of the mainland. His period as a major dramatist began with "Right You Are (If You Think So)" in 1916 and culminated with his two greatest plays, "Six Characters in Search of an Author" (1921 and 1925) and "Henry IV" (1922), now both newly edited and translated by Martha Witt and Mary Ann Frese Witt and published by Italica Press.

A member of the Fascist Party as early as 1923, Pirandello hoped that Mussolini would support the Teatro d'Arte, which he began to direct in 1925, staging his own plays, some foreign plays, and the works of contemporary Italian dramatists, including Massimo Bontempelli. Il Duce, however, although expressing interest in his work, never gave financial support and the experimental company disbanded in 1928. Despite this disappointment and other disagreements with Mussolini, Pirandello remained a loyal fascist until his death.

Pirandello was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1934 for his "bold and brilliant renovation of the drama and the stage." His plays are still regarded as groundbreaking and a major influence on modernist and postmodernist theater. He died in Rome on December 10, 1936

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