front cover of Her Husband
Her Husband
Luigi Pirandello
Duke University Press, 2000
One of the twentieth century’s greatest literary artists and winner of the Nobel prize in 1934, Luigi Pirandello wrote the novel Her Husband in 1911, before he produced any of the well-known plays with which his name is most often associated today. Her Husband—translated here for the first time into English—is a profoundly entertaining work, by turns funny, bitingly satirical, and tinged with anguish. As important as any of the other works in Pirandello’s oeuvre, it portrays the complexities of male/female relations in the context of a newly emerging, small but vocal Italian feminist movement.
Evoking in vivid detail the literary world in Rome at the turn of the century, Her Husband tells the story of Silvia Roncella, a talented young female writer, and her husband Giustino Boggiolo. The novel opens with their arrival in Rome after having left their provincial southern Italian hometown following the success of Silvia’s first novel, the rather humorously titled House of Dwarves. As his wife’s self-appointed (and self-important) promoter, protector, counselor, and manager, Giustino becomes the primary target of Pirandello’s satire. But the couple’s relationship—and their dual career—is also complicated by a lively supporting cast of characters, including literary bohemians with avant-garde pretensions and would-be aristocratic esthetes who are all too aware of the newly acquired power of journalists and the publishing establishment to make or break their careers. Having based many of the characters—including Silvia and Giustino—on actual literary acquaintances of his, Pirandello reacted to the novel’s controversial reception by not allowing it to be reprinted after the first printing sold out. Not until after his death were copies again made available in Italy.
Readers will find Her Husband eerily evocative of the present in myriad ways—not the least of which is contemporary society’s ongoing transformation wrought by the changing roles of men and women, wives and husbands.


front cover of The Outcast
The Outcast
A Novel
Luigi Pirandello
Rutgers University Press, 2023
A young wife in a nineteenth-century Sicilian village, Marta is deeply in love with her husband Rocco and pregnant with his child. But when Rocco discovers a letter written to Marta by a would-be suitor, he falsely accuses her of infidelity and banishes her from their home. Soon the whole village turns against the supposed adulteress, setting in motion a series of tragic events that culminates in the loss of Marta’s family home and business, as well as the deaths of her father and newborn child. Plunged into poverty and treated as a social leper, with practically nothing else to lose, Marta is determined to claw her way back into a society bent on excluding her. 
The Outcast is an early masterwork from Nobel Prize–winning Italian author Luigi Pirandello that combines elements of Zolaesque naturalism with emerging modernist aesthetics. This fresh English translation, the first in nearly one hundred years, showcases Pirandello’s deft play with language and his use of irony.

This book was translated thanks to a grant awarded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

front cover of Plays
Luigi Pirandello
Northwestern University Press, 1998

“How has the art of theater managed to survive at all into the era of modernism and the era of what is currently, however ineptly, called postmodernism?” asks preeminent theater scholar Eric Bentley. “Through the work of [Luigi] Pirandello, I should think, more than any other single individual.”  

Bentley’s English versions of four of Pirandello’s most celebrated plays—collected here for the first time—capture the playwright’s voice with remarkable perception. He has provided texts that are the standard for American productions, sensitive both to what is uniquely “Sicilian” in Pirandello’s language and to the rigors of the American stage.  

Along with Pirandello’s better-known works, Six Characters in Search of an AuthorEmperor Henry, and Right You Are, this edition includes the widely performed The Man with the Flower in His Mouth, unavailable in any other collection.  


front cover of Shoot!
The Notebooks of Serafino Gubbio, Cinematograph Operator
Luigi Pirandello
University of Chicago Press, 2005
Originally published in Italian in 1915, Shoot! is one of the first novels to take as its subject the heady world of early motion pictures. Based on the absurdist journals of fictional Italian camera operator Serafino Gubbio, Shoot! documents the infancy of film in Europe—complete with proto-divas, laughable production schedules, and cost-cutting measures with priceless effects-—and offers a glimpse of the modern world through the camera's lens.

Shoot!, presented here in its 1927 English translation, is a classic example of Nobel Prize-winning Sicilian playwright Luigi Pirandello's (1867-1936) literary talent and genius for blurring the line between art and reality. From the film studio Kosmograph, Pirandello's Gubbio steadily winds the crank of his camera by day and scribbles with his pen by night, revealing the world both mundane and melodramatic that unfolds in front of his camera. Through Gubbio's narrative—saturated with fantasy and folly—Pirandello grapples with the philosophical implications of modernity. Like much of Pirandello's work, Shoot! parodies human weaknesses, drawing attention to the themes of isolation and madness as emerging tendencies in the modern world. 

Enhanced by new critical commentaries, Shoot! is an entertaining caricature, capturing early twentieth-century Italian filmmaking and revealing its truths as only a parody can.

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