I have just finished 2 courses in Italian literature and theatre and wanted to share my most recent discoveries.
Luigi Pirandello (1867–1936) was born in Sicily and wrote short stories, novels and plays. His works are very available in translation and I was truly surprised that I had never encountered his work in any of my past English courses.
First, his plays. The two I most recommend are Cosí è (se vi pare) [Right you are (If you think you are)] and Sei personaggi in cerca d’autore [Six characters in search of an author]. Cosí è is very funny with an engaging underlying mystery. Sei personaggi is a riveting dramatic story. I couldn’t stop turning the pages. Both deal with deeper philosophical issues, but you don’t have to delve into them to enjoy the stories.
What I’m most excited about is his novel Il fu Mattia Pascal [The Late Mattia Pascal] which is a tremendous novel. I can’t say enough good about it. The narrative is engaging and keeps you moving along at a fast pace. It is not that long of a read either.
Try something new this Summer!
Next on my Pirandello list: Uno, nessuno, e centomila [One, none, and a hundred thousand].