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Biographie: Luigi Pirandello

  Luigi Pirandello

The novel Il fu Mattia Pascal is very challenging from a linguistic point of view. Possible you must read it several times with the translation before hearing it. If you understand it hearing your italian is very good and in a short time your active skills (speaking / writing will be as good as your passive skills (hearing / reading). From a literal point of view it is a little bit morre complicated and the novel doesn' t really belong to the kind of literature which the author of this lines would consider his favourits. We read in hundred of comments that the novel is about identity, about the impossibility to know something and the impossibility to control the future. That may be but concerning all these issues the author of these line has at least ten novels in mind which treats these issues more profoundly and sometimes even with concrete, stimulating answers. We could even formulate it more clearly. The loss of identity of the protagonist is illustrated through purely formal aspects, because he doesn' t exist for the public order. Because he is officially dead he cannot marry, can' t rent a room, can' t go to the police and so on. That' s trivial. We can write another novel to illustrate the crises of identity illustrating the problem by a protagonist who lost his passport. The figure Mattia Pascal would be good as a part of a spy novel but to illustrate the existencial conditions of human beings it is trivial. None of the issues which normally are connected with identity, for exemple the famous calling of the oracle of Delphi "know yourself" to which Marcel Proust gives an answer or the other one, discussed in the novel of Robert Musil in "A man without characteristics", whether a man without characteristics consist of characteristics without man are discussed. It may be true that the future is unpredictable but concerning Mattia Pascal it would have been perfectly predictible if he were a little bit more intelligent or not so awfully stupid. And yes, we can discuss about the possibilities of cognition but it is not really interesting to read a lot of platitude about it.

May be from a literarily point of view the novel is not very interesting but in any case it is good to learn italian at a very high level. If there is anybody outside who like the novel it is still better. If you find it depressing to read such a sad story several times, then you can read Pinocchio, the little puppet made of wood with the heart at the right place, although he does not every time what he should do.