31 March 2009

Kudos Deb and Brandon

Brandon suggested I read Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello after reading the play in Deb's modern lit course, and all I can is...awesome! I really enjoyed this satirical, twisting look at theatre and the nature of reality. The characters each have competing views of the reality of their drama, just as people in real life have differing views of the same event. The play-within-a-play staging sets up a self-referentiality that I found at once thought-provoking and hilarious. Even as I encountered the truth that actors can never be the character, only a representation of the character, I found myself pondering the existence of people who are not flesh and bone but words on a page. Emma Thompson will never be Elinor Dashwood. Mel Gibson will never be Hamlet (neither will Kenneth Brannagh). Daniel Radcliffe will never be Harry Potter. And I really don't know where I'm going with this... Just putting thoughts to page...er, screen.

I find myself drawn to one passage from the Father:

But only in order to know if you, as you really are now, see yourself as you once were with all the illusions that were yours then, with all the things both inside and outside of you as they seemed to you - as they were then indeed for you. Well, sir, if you think of all those illusions that mean nothing to you now, of all those things which don't even seem to you to exist any more, while once they were for you, don't you feel that...the very earth under your feet is sinking away from you when you reflect that in the same way this you as you feel it today - all this present reality of yours - is fated to seem a mere illusion to you tomorrow?

And it makes me want to ask what past realities no longer seem real to you?

Buy  |  Borrow  |  Accept  |  Avoid

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, his plays get you thinking on a lot of levels. Pirandello was being trippy and weird before it was cool to be trippy and weird!
    Henry IV is another good one. Who's mad? Who's sane? Who gets to say? (That's what the Hollywood movie poster tagline would be.)


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