Luigi Pirandello was born on June 28th, 1867 in a villa called “Caos” in Agrigento (Sicily), in a middle-classed family. His family owned some sulphur mines and was ferociously anti-Bourbonic and actively participated in the struggle for unification and democracy (known as “Il Risorgimento”). He starts his studies first in Palermo, then moves to Rome, but leaves due to disagreements with the University President, and finisehes his studies at the University of Bonn. Bonn is where he graduates in Filology in 1891, and by then he had already written several poems like “Mal Giocondo” (1889) and “Pasqua di Gea” (1891).
In 1892, Pirandello decides to reside in Rome, where he lives on a monthly check sent by his father. In the literary arena of the Italian Capital he meets Luigi Capuana, whom directs him towards the narrative way. That’s when he started his first short stories and novel, which came out in 1901 “L’esclusa”. In 1894 he marries. following his father’s suggestion, he married a shy, withdrawn girl of a good family of Agrigentine origin educated by the nuns of San Vincenzo: Antonietta Portulano. The first years of matrimony brought on in him a new fervour for his studies and writings: his encounters with his friends and the discussions on art continued more vivacious and stimulating than ever, while his family life, despite the complete incomprehension of his wife with respect to the artistic vocation of her husband, proceeded relatively tranquilly with the birth of three sons, Stefano, Rosalia and Fausto.
In 1903 there was a flooding in one of the sulphur mines which causes great distress for the Pirandello family, his father loses everything including Luigi Pirandello’s wife’s dote. After this tragedy, Antonietta, Pirandello’s wife will suffer from Paranoia for the rest of her life. All his attempts to convince her that reality is different are going to be all in vain, she eventually be put in a home in 1919. At this point Luigi Pirandello decides to give private lessons and intensifies his collaborations with newspapers to round up his salary.
In 1904 “Il fu Mattia Pascal” was published in chapters in the “New Anthology” and it was such a success that one of the most proficient editors of the times, Emilio Treves decides to work with Priandello’s pieces. In 1909 he starts collaborating with the “Corriere della Sera” where his
short stories will appear as well as the first part of his novel “I vecchi e i giovani”. Finally in 1916 he starts his theatrical career (that will cause a series of debates in Italy and abroad).
During the war years he writes some of his most famous works: “Pensaci Giacomino!” “Cosi e’ (se vi pare)” and “il piacere dell’onesta'”. In 1918 the first volume called “Maschere nude” comes out which include a lot of his theatrical pieces. In 1920, the Pirandellian Theatre with plays such as “Tutto per bene e Come prima, meglio di prima” (Everything is good, like before better than before), becomes a success, and just a year later he finds international acclaim with his great work “Sei personaagi in cerca di Autore” (6 characters in search of an author). After this success, he starts writing from hotels of the biggest theatrical districts both in Europe and America. In these same years, some of his plays are transformed into movies.
In 1922 the first volume of “Novelle per un anno” comes out, and his theatrical production continues with “Enrico IV” (Henry the IV) in 1922, “L’uomo dal fiore in bocca in 1923 and “Ciascuno a suo modo in 1924. In that same year he becomes member of the fascist party and obtains financial support.
Pirandello was nominated Academic of Italy in 1928 and in 1934 he awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. In 1936 he gets sick with pneumonia and dies at his home on December 10th of the same year.