Luigi Pirandello

Luigi Pirandello

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Luigi Pirandello, (born June 28, 1867, Agrigento, Sicily, Italy—died Dec. 10, 1936, Rome), was an Italian playwright, novelist, and short-story writer, winner of the 1934 Nobel Prize for Literature. With his invention of the “theatre within the theatre” in the play Sei personaggi in cerca d’autore (1921; Six Characters in Search of an Author), he became an important innovator in modern drama. Pirandello wrote over 50 plays. The production of Six Characters in Paris in 1923 made Pirandello widely known, and his work became one of the central influences on the French theatre. French drama from the existentialistic pessimism of Jean Anouilh and Jean-Paul Sartre to the absurdist comedy of Eugène Ionesco and Samuel Beckett is tinged with “Pirandellianism.” His influence can also be detected in the drama of other countries, even in the religious verse dramas of T.S. Eliot.