Twentieth-century Italian Drama: An Anthology : the First Fifty Years
by Jane House and Antonio Attisani
Columbia University Press, 1995; pp. 1-622 (vol. 1)
Modern Italian drama ranks among the most important and influential in the western world, yet it has long been inaccessible to English-language readers. Finally, an anthology is available of the best and the brightest in Italian theater, including never-before-translated work by Luigi Pirandello, Pier Maria Rosso di San Secondo, Massimo Bontempelli, Italo Svevo, Eduardo De Filippo, and Alberto Savinio.
This volume of Twentieth-Century Italian Drama covers the period spanning from the end of the nineteenth century to that immediately following World War II, displaying the rich breadth of Italian theater in the modern age, from the comedic legacy carried on by such writers as Eduardo De Filippo to the delicate tragedy of playwrights like Federigo Tozzi.
Guided by Italian theater critic Antonio Attisani’s authoritative introduction, readers will discover the fascinating world of Italian literature: the aesthetic-mystical movement, futurism, teatro grottesco, magical realism, the Catholic strain of drama, and cabaret and variety theater. Twentieth-Century Italian Drama sheds new light on the period of Italian history marked by the reign of Mussolini’s fascist regime, offering unprecedented cultural perspective on the changes this wrought on the dramatic productions of the day.
Included are seven full-length plays, five one-act plays, one variety sketch, and three futurist sintesi (sketches). Brief introductions preceding each play contextualize the piece within the various movements in Italian theater, and biographies of the editors and translators appear at the end of the volume. An extensive bibliography offers many suggestions for further reading in English.
Here, actors and directors will find stage-ready versions of the finest Italian dramatic works. Other readers interested in Italian literature, comparative literature, theater, and the humanities will also appreciate the opportunity to read this important body of work. Twentieth-Century Italian Drama provides unique insight into the profound influence of the Italian theater on the dramatic productions of other nations, and puts into perspective the broader spectrum of European drama.