Friday, January 11, 2008

Six Characters in Search of an Author

Author: Luigi Pirandello

Quote: The drama is in us, and we are the drama.

Why you should read this book: An earnest exercise in meta-theater, this play follows the drama of six characters, whose personalities and crises are well-drawn, but whose author has declined to write their story, possibly due to its scandalous and depressing nature. After bursting in on the rehearsal of a theater company, they demand that their pain and suffering be played on the stage, but cannot swallow the translation of their personal reality through the conventions of the theater. The interplay between characters and actors works to illustrate the futility of expressing truth on stage while demonstrating the author's frustration in attempting to transcend the limits of his medium.

Why you shouldn't read this book: Did you ever wish you could go back in time and somehow prevent Roland Barthes's conception? Have you never been able to grasp the significance of the play-within-a-play in Hamlet? Even once, have you contemplated homicide after watching a David Lynch film? If you answer yes to any of these questions, this might not be the play for you.

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