Teacher: Today we’re talking about another famous writer, a Sicilian writer, Luigi Pirandello. Unlike Ugo Foscolo the young Luigi was very devoted to the Catholic Church thanks to the influence that a family maid had on him, who brought him closer to religious practices, but also inculcating superstitious beliefs in him. The church and the rites of religious confession allowed him to approach an experience of mysticism.
Salvatore: and I know he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1934.
Teacher : that’s right! We are talking about one of the most important playwrights of the twentieth century for his innovations in the theatre. Among his works stand out several short stories (in Italian and Sicilian) and about forty plays, the last of which is incomplete.
We can compare him to his contemporary, Gabriele D’Annunzio. Nicknamed the Vate (in the same way as Giosuè Carducci), that is “sacred poet, prophet”, he occupied a prominent position in Italian literature from about 1889 to 1910 and in political life from 1914 to 1924.
As a political figure, he had a significant influence on the events that would follow him. He was an Italian writer, poet, playwright, military, politician, journalist and patriot, a symbol of decadence and famous figure of the First World War, from 1924 awarded by King Vittorio Emanuele III with the title of Prince of Montenevoso.
Eleonora: but my favourite writer is Alessandro Manzoni, because he had the main merit of having laid the foundations for the modern novel and thus having sponsored the Italian linguistic unity.
Teacher: He is a great writer, that’s why we read I Promessi Sposi at school still today .
Emanuele: is it true that he had health and family problems?
T.: yes , it is! and these problems reduced him to a progressive existential isolation. Despite this isolation, Manzoni was in correspondence with the best French intellectual culture, with Goethe, Antonio Rosmini and with the British Romantic aesthetic novelisties, he was influenced by Walter Scott.
students: what great writers!