Almost all humans in this globe have a different set of mind and every mind in different from the other in not only the capacity but also in content thus creating the possibility of enormous, never ending storehouse of creations. But still it is a fact that only few in this world has got the ability to express the thoughts nicely by the way of words and create the magic in writing. Luigi Pirandello was one among those writers who was awarded the Noble prize in literature in 1934.
Pirandello was born on 28th June, 1867 into a middle class family in a village named Caos, a suburb in Girgenti (now Agrigento) a town in southern Sicily. This place of his birth was one of the factors which influenced his writings in the later dates. His father Stefano was once carried fortune as an owner of a sulphur mines which was later washed away by the floods. His mother Caterina Ricci Gramitto was also from a well to do background but most interestingly both of them were strongly anti- Bourbonic and participated actively in the struggle for unification and democracy. In fact Stefano was the member of the famous adventure of the Thousands and later following Garibaldi all the way to the battle of Aspromonte. After the unification the strong sense of idealism quickly transformed into a bitter sense of betrayal and resentment which eventually got transferred into Luigi and which could be evident in his novel The Old and The Young and many more creation of poems and essays. The climate of disillusion developed the character of young Luigi in the sense of disproportion between ideals and reality which one can feel in the essay on humorism, L’Umorismo. Luigi’s elementary education was at home but his fascination was towards myths, fables and legents more than any academic notes. He was enrolled in a technical school but was soon shifted in the studies of humanities at the ginnasio at his own interest. The Luigi family soon moved to Palermo, the capital of Sicily in 1880 where he completed his high school. This was the place where Luigi developed his persona and started reading like mad. He started writing his first poem and as they say that for every creation there is some inspiration, he was no exception at all. He fell in love with his cousin Lina. The writer was passing through an immense environment of mental change as he was getting more close to his mother than his father. The attachment could well be felt in his works after her death by the novella Colloqui con I personnagi. Initially his love towards his cousin was not taken that seriously but later was a matter of serious concern for the family of Lina who insisted Luigi to leave studies and concentrate more on the family business of mining. It was because of such request that o 1886 Luigi went to visit the sulphur mines of Porto Empedocle and stayed with his father for some time. This proved like a blessing for Luigi as this experience of the mines added flavors and colors to his later creations like IL Fumo, Ciaula Scopre la luna. After coming back he postponed his marriage and registered in the University of Palermo in both law and letters. The University of Palermo was the epicenter of the vast movement which eventually led to the Fasci Siciliani. The era was quite important and although Luigi was not actively involved in the movement but he was great friends of people like Francesco De Luca and Enrico La Loggia.
Luigi in search of better knowledge in the department of letters moved to Rome in the year 1887 but to his much disappointment he couldn’t find what he expected from the great city. His manifestation of desperation came out in the form of his first collection of poems Mal Giocondo in 1889. Things changed not in his favour and Luigi has to leave Rome because of a conflict with a Latin professor. His next destination was Bonn, where he stayed for two wonderfull years of cultural interaction. This was the time when he read a lot of German
literature and began translating Roman Elegies of Goethe, composed the Elegie Boreali and did many other works. In 1891 however he received the Doctorate under the able guidance of Professor Foerster in glottology with a dissertation on the dialect of Agrigento entitled Sounds and development of sounds in the speech of Girgenti. His return to Sicily was for a brief period when his planned marriage with his cousin was called off Luigi again moved to Rome where he was much influenced by his writer-journalist friend circle which includes Ugo Fleres, Guistino Ferri, Luigi Capuana etc. But it was Capuana who inspired the writer of narrative writing and te result was the creation of Marta Ajala in 1893 which was published in the year 1901 under the title l’Esclusa. 1894 was the year of publication of Luigi’s first collection of short stories in the name of Amori senza Amore. This year he also married to Antonietta portulano who was shy kind of girl from a good family of Agrigentine origin. This marriage was offcourse following his father’s suggestions. His married life and the discussions in his intellect ad literary circle was in perfect harmony and proceeded with perfect tranquility and blessed him three sons. Meanwhile in the year 1895 Luigi published the first part of the Dialogi tra il Gran me e il Piccolo me in La Critica and La Tavola Rotonda. Life was changing for Luigi and he was better getting more and more involved in literature. In 1897 the Istituto Superiore di Magistero di Roma offered him a position to teach Italian language which he accepted humbly. In the same year he published some more part of his famous Dialoghi. They say that when you desire for something and got the right temperament, sky is the limit. The next venture of Luigi in the sky of literature was the foundation of the weekly Ariel in collaboration with Italo Falbo and Ugo Fleres in the year 1898. This was a platform for his one act play L’Epilogo and many more novellas. This period of Luigi’s life was flooding with productivity as he created many of great works in Marzocco. In fact in 1901 he published his collection of poems titled Zampogna and the next year the premier series of Beffe Della Morte e della Vita and his novel Il Turno.
Life became worst soon in the year 1903 by the flooding of sulphur mines in Aragona where Luigi’s father invested money of both the families. This news had such a tremendous effect on Antonietta that she lost her mental balance. Luigi was broken in such situation but the writer inside him kept in alive and made him to write one of his finest creations titled Il Fu Mattia Pascal. The success of this novel was tremendous and it was published in German in 1905 which eventually led him to publish more works like collection of novellas Erma Bifronte in 1906 and a volume of essay titled Arte e Scienza in 1908. Year after Pirandello published the first part of the I Vecchi e I Giovanni and when it came out in 1913 he send the first copy to his parents. But a remarkable development in the year 1909 was Luigi’s association with the prestigious journal Corriere della Sera where he published his novellas Mondo di Carta, La Giara, Non e una cosa seria and Pensaci Giacomina. 1911 saw another of Pirandello’s creation Suo marito. The world was also changing and as Italy entered the first world war Luigi’s son Stefano was taken as prisoners by the Austrians for he volunteered for the Italian army. The writer published yet another collection of novellas in the year 1917 in the name of E domani Lunedi. Meanwhile many a Luigi’s creations were staged and was getting popular among the audience. The better news however was the return of his son soon after the war. The home was not getting better for Pirandello as the situations was getting worst and in 1919 he was left with no other alternative other than sending his wife to mental asylum. This decision was harsh for Luigi as it meant separation from his wife for whom he was attracted very much. But as they say that for every comedy there’s a malice hidden – 1920 saw bunch of comedies like Tutto per Bene, Come prima meglio di prima and La Signora Morli. In 1921 the Compagnia di Dario Niccomedi was staged at the valle di Roma which turned out to be a failure, to an extend that the author who was present with his daughter has to run through a side exit. The same when played in Milan was a great success. His involvement with the stage drama took a productive turn when he joined the Teatro d’Arte di Roma in the year 1925 as an artistic director. With his contribution and correct conception of the character the Pirandellian repertoire was getting more popular in Europe. The last and one of the most significant novels was published in episodes in the magazines Fiera Letteraria titled Uno, Nessuno e Centomilla. 1929 Luigi Pirandello was nominated as the Academic of Italy. The global prestige and honour came in the year 1934 when he was honored with the Noble Prize for literature, the first Italian author to be awarded. But as mortal as he, the genius cannot live for ages and in 10th December 1936 Luigi Pirandello died alone in his home at Via Bosio, Rome.
The art of the great writer was a result of a profound historical and cultural disappointment. He was not only a great novelist but also a short story writer and one of the most renowned playwriter of the 20th century. Altogether he wrote 43 plays, 7 novels, 232 short stories and four hundred pages of collected poetry. The wound was always fresh in the writer’s soul and the melancholy in his life in terms of his wife and family extracted the literary nectar from him and spread across the globe.