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Born in Sicily, Pirandello attended the universities of Palermo, Rome, and Bonn. He obtained his doctorate in philology with a thesis on the dialect of his native town, Agrigento before settling in Rome to teach and write. In 1894, he married a Sicilian girl, Antonietta Portulano, who bore him three children before she went mad and afterwards provided the inspiration for many of his stories and plays. In all, Pirandello wrote 6 novels, some 250 short stories, and about 50 plays. It was a novel, Il fu Mattia Pascal (1904), that first brought him fame. Only in 1920, when he was past 50, did he turn seriously to playwriting. His first stage success had been a comedy, Liola (1917), written in the Agrigento dialect. It took its theme, if not its mood, from the Mandragola of Machiavelli (see Vols. 3 and 4). In 1921, Pirandello presented his most famous play Six Characters in Search of an Author. Here he seeks to confuse his spectators, who are forced into a paradox of reality and illusion when six "characters" search out the actors of a theatrical troupe to play out their inexorable story. The play exemplifies the Pirandellian conflict between art, which is unchanging and constant, and life, which is a continuous succession of mutations. Pirandello deliberately destroyed the traditional boundaries between audience and spectacle, reflecting the relativity and subjectivity of human existence. The play's unconventional format, which resulted in a riot, established Pirandello as Europe's leading avant-garde dramatist. The main body of Pirandello's plays falls into three overlapping categories, the first exploring the nature of the theater, the second the complexities of personality in the etymological or dramatic sense of the term, and the third rising to dramatic representation of the categorical imperatives of social, religious, and artistic community. Besides the world-famous Six Characters in Search of an Author (1918), his best plays in the three categories include Each in His Own Way (1924), It Is So (If You Think So) (1917), Henry IV (1922), The New Colony (1925), Lazarus, As You Desire Me (1930), and The Mountain Giants (1937), written after he had been awarded the Nobel Prize in 1934 and left incomplete. Pirandello is the forerunner of much modern theater and literature; among the figures who owe their roots to the innovations of Pirandello are Bertolt Brecht, Jean Genet, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Samuel Beckett (see Vol. 1). (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from The Late Mattia Pascal
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The Late Mattia Pascal 1,731 copies, 23 reviews
Six Characters in Search of an Author 1,326 copies, 29 reviews
One, No One, and One Hundred Thousand 1,063 copies, 21 reviews
Naked Masks: Five Plays 585 copies, 3 reviews
Henry IV 172 copies, 5 reviews
Poems of the Great War, 1914-1918 133 copies, 3 reviews
The Outcast 128 copies, 3 reviews
The Turn 127 copies, 2 reviews
Tutti i romanzi 112 copies, 2 reviews
L'umorismo 109 copies, 1 review
Tonight We Improvise 81 copies, 1 review
Short stories 74 copies
I vecchi e i giovani 73 copies, 2 reviews
La giara 73 copies
Il viaggio 73 copies, 1 review
Novelle 54 copies, 4 reviews
Three plays 54 copies, 1 review
Maschere nude 50 copies
Una giornata 45 copies
Liolà 43 copies, 1 review
L'uomo solo 42 copies
Her Husband 41 copies
Candelora (Author) 41 copies
La vita nuda 37 copies
Pirandello's One-Act Plays (Author) 37 copies
In silenzio 35 copies
Van de neus naar de hemel (Author) 35 copies
Donna Mimma 34 copies
Il vecchio Dio 27 copies
De zwarte sjaal 26 copies
Alle drie novellen voor een jaar (Author) 21 copies, 1 review
Kaos : verhalen 21 copies
La mosca 19 copies
Lazzaro - Come tu mi vuoi (Author) 19 copies
Three plays 16 copies
Three plays 15 copies
De medailles 12 copies
Ultime novelle 11 copies
La rallegrata 10 copies
La patente 10 copies
Maschere nude 9 copies
Stories 9 copies, 1 review
Cento novelle 9 copies
L'amica delle mogli 8 copies, 1 review
No One Knows How 7 copies, 1 review
Opere 7 copies
Eau amère 6 copies
Teatro 6 copies, 1 review
Ensayos 6 copies
Horse in the Moon 6 copies, 1 review
Krukan 6 copies
Vieille Sicile 6 copies, 2 reviews
Dalle novelle al teatro 5 copies, 1 review
I romanzi 5 copies
Théâtre I 4 copies
Novelle per un anno [vol. 2] 3 copies, 1 review
Teatro 3 copies
To Find Oneself (Trovarsi) 3 copies, 1 review
Il teatro 3 copies
Le novelle 3 copies
Színművek 3 copies
O turno 2 copies
The Wreath 2 copies
Der Rauch. 2 copies
De lijfrente 2 copies
Nouvelles 2 copies
Masques nus 2 copies
cuentos 2 copies
Cece 2 copies
Le livret rouge 2 copies, 1 review
Tercetos 2 copies
Novelle per un anno [vol. 1] 2 copies, 1 review
Pirandello 1 copy
Exclusa 1 copy
TEATRO 1 copy
Ma non una cosa seria 1 copy, 1 review
P'esy. 1 copy
TEATRO 3 1 copy
Λιόλα 1 copy
War 1 copy
Sa verite 1 copy
A Excluida 1 copy
La prova 1 copy
Italia (Contributor) 1 copy
Saggi 1 copy
El turno 1 copy
Le seigneur de la nef 1 copy, 1 review
Best Short Stories of the Modern Age (Contributor, some editions) 313 copies, 4 reviews
A World of Great Stories 236 copies, 4 reviews
The World's Greatest Short Stories (Contributor) 220 copies
Masterpieces of the Drama (Contributor) 166 copies, 2 reviews
Black Water 2: More Tales of the Fantastic (Contributor) 141 copies, 3 reviews
Great Modern European Short Stories (Contributor) 105 copies, 1 review
One Act: Eleven Short Plays of the Modern Theater (Contributor) 89 copies, 1 review
The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories (Contributor) 73 copies, 2 reviews
Contemporary Drama: 15 Plays (Contributor) 67 copies, 1 review
Great Stories by Nobel Prize Winners (Contributor) 58 copies, 1 review
Great Italian Short Stories (Contributor) 42 copies, 1 review
Modern and Contemporary Drama (Contributor) 41 copies, 1 review
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Short biography
Luigi Pirandello, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1934, wrote many works dealing with themes of disillusionment, isolation, and madness, and is considered a forerunner of the Theater of the Absurd style.

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