June 28, 2009

Luigi Pirandello

Luigi Pirandello
Luigi Pirandello was born on June 28, 1867 in Caos, a small hamlet in Girgenti (now Agrigento), Sicily. He studied Philology in Rome and Bonn, and published his doctoral thesis, Sounds and Developments of Sounds in the Dialect of Girgenti, in 1891. He was a prolific writer best remembered for his plays, the most famous of which was, Six Characters in Search of an Author. The dramatist also produced poems, novels and numerous short stories, often expressing tragedy and disillusionment inspired by his own personal experiences. In 1934 Pirandello was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. The literary giant passed away in Rome on December 10, 1936.

"Oh why...I asked myself desperately,...does mankind toil so to make the apparatus of the living more and more complicated? Why this clatter of machines? And what will man do when machines do everything for him? Will he then realize that what is called progress has nothing to do with happiness? Even if we admire all the inventions that science sincerely believes will enrich our lives (instead they make it poorer, because their price is so high), what joy do they bring us, after all?" – Luigi Pirandello, The Late Mattia Pascal [Il fu Mattia Pascal, 1904], p. 102-103, New York Review Books, 2005. 
"The real cause of all our sufferings, of this sadness of ours—do you know what it is? Democracy, my dear man. Yes, democracy; that is, the government of the majority. Because when power is in the hands of a single man, this man knows he is one and must make many happy; but when the many govern, they think only of making themselves happy, and the result is the most absurd and hateful of tyrannies. Of course! Why do you think I suffer? I'm suffering because of this tyranny masked as freedom..." – Luigi Pirandello, The Late Mattia Pascal [Il fu Mattia Pascal, 1904], p. 121-122, New York Review Books, 2005.