Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello - Book Review

Six Characters in Search of an Author

Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello - Book Review

Insanity at its most whimsical moments. “Six Characters in search of an author” is a strange and unique play by Luigi Pirandello, a Sicilian writer with a Nobel Prize to his name.

It takes some concentration to keep up with the philosophical and satirical nature of this text.

Six “Characters” walk into a theatre house where a director and his actors are rehearsing for a play. These characters identify themselves as a father, a mother, their 22-year-old son, the mother’s daughter, an adolescent son, and a young child (a girl).

The six of them baffle the director as they try to explain who they are. They claim to be characters abandoned by their author who didn’t find them or their stories of any positive effect or philosophical meaning to the public.

So they were stranded in the middle of their drama, forced to roam around looking for an author to help them realize their existential purpose; to live their parts on stage.

The director entertains the strange thought and tries to be their long-sought heroic author, but then they come to the debate of who would perform these roles, the characters or the actors.

The acting company gives it a shot but the characters are not satisfied, they insist that only they could play the parts because they are the characters, and they continue to deliver their monologues telling their tragic drama.

The characters eventually never get to play their roles on stage and the director, as well as his actors, are angry and disappointed at having wasted a whole day on that fruitless attempt.

Pirandello’s brilliant philosophical play circles around the concept that characters, or any perceived art, once expressed by their author become independent, the author can no longer control how his characters are perceived or interpreted.

Although it is such a short read, this book proves quite difficult to read with the back and forth between the “characters”, the actors, and the directors, as well as the confusion of keeping up with stage places. This one of a kind play is thought-provoking, artistic, and a perfect candidate for a theatrical production.

Book Details

Title: Six Characters in Search of an Author
Format: Paperback
Author: Luigi Pirandello
Language : English
Publisher : Dover Publications
ISBN: 0486299929

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