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Guernica Editions, 2003
ePub (eBook)
ISBN13: 9781550714241
Translated from the Italian
$9.95 Canada, $9.95 US

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Naked brilliantly illustrates the theatricalist mode Pirandello invented for dramatizing multiple points of view simultaneously. As characters unwittingly echo each other, we come to see them as aspects of one controlling consciousness, the playwright's. For ultimately, metaphysically, Pirandello's deep subject is the creative process, his characters' as well as his own.An outer, physical world of objective events thus surrounds an inner, subjective one of feelings and perceptions to form an incipient play-within-play - another of Pirandello's legacies to twentieth century theater. Typically provocative, at once comic and tragic, Pirandello's Naked (Vestire gli ignudi) uncovers the machinery of guilt, deceit, and betrayal underlying the motives of five people. The heroine is a young governess who has been reduced to despair by a series of misfortunes. Dismissed from service when the baby in her care fell from a terrace to its death; abandoned by her prospective husband and penniless; she turns to prostitution but fails at this too and poisons herself. She nevertheless does not die -- and the action turns farcical, resembling a contemporary media event. She invents a romantic tale about her history which appears in a newspaper and generates more than casual interest in four men: the newspaper reporter; a best-selling writer who rescues her; her faithless lover; and her former employer; all of whom pursue her, demanding she account for her lies. As she feels hounded beyond endurance, her situation grows increasingly dark. The unexpected ending shocks the audience into new awareness about the consequences of fantasy and illusion in our daily lives. Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1934.

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