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SHORT STORIES by Luigi Pirandello



Pub Date: Feb. 26th, 1959
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pirandello is best known in this country as a playwright. This collection of 22 short stories all but one appearing in English for the first time, has been written over a period of 22 years. The stories are divided into four sections: Sicilian Tales, Tales of Humor and Irony, of Frustration, of Anguish and Hope. The Sicilian Tales are stories intimately involved with nature and natural forces: in Who Pays the Piper a son, sharpening his knife with a vengeance, terrorizes his family, only to kill his stepmother's fat sow for a family feast; Fumes is beset with the dangers of sulphur mining; and A Mere Formality concerns the exploitation of men and land. The Tales of Humor offers Examination in which a fiancee, discovering that her intended has been dallying away his study time, breaks their engagement, freeing the ""student"" both of herself and the ""examination"". Tales of Fstration, Anguish and Hope provide situations of misunderstandings; curious love, as in Candelora, who loved a man who could only abide her as long as he remained indifferent to her; isolation, of the aged and the young; estrangements between loved ones. One theme remains constant: that individuation necessarily entails loss -- of communion, of understanding and that this is the unalterable human condition. One simply accepts it. A wide selection of Pirandello's less well-known work has been provided here by the translator, Lily Duplaix, and the result, while uneven, is of value.