Author: Luigi Pirandello
Year I read it: 2012
One sentence summary: In one of the most famous modernist plays, Pirandello explores characters with personality and a story - but no author to give them meaning.
Interesting fact: It's categorized as an "absurdist metatheatrical" play.
Three reasons to read it:
- This really epitomizes modernism's search for what would provide meaning.
- There is a really interesting argument about which is more eternal - the artist or what he creates. He also explores the creative process: are characters and stories discovered by the author, or woven in his imagination?
- It's very meta - it's a play about staging a play that gets interrupted by characters from another play.
- Some adult content. Reader discretion is advised. [He's an Italian Modernist... what do you expect?]
“Life is full of strange absurdities, which, strangely enough, do not even need to appear plausible, since they are true.”
“When a character is born, he acquires at once such an independence, even of his own author, that he can be imagined by everybody even in many other situations where the author never dreamed of placing him; and so he acquires for himself a meaning which the author never thought of giving him.”
[On the character] "He will never die. The one who will die is the man, the writer, the instrument of the creation. The creation never dies."