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By Susan Bassnett-McGuire (auth.)
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Communication between the Characters and the Director proves to be impossible. The Father tries to explain the contrast between the life of a Character, fixed in 'unchangeable reality' and the life of someone like the Director whose reality is part of a fluid process that time can alter and distort, but the Director cannot understand. He keeps insisting on the importance of the rules of theatre, refusing to consider anything that cannot be explained in his terms. Throughout the play he is concerned with rehearsing, firstly with his Actors and then, after the arrival of the Characters, with their story.
Dario Niccodemi quotes hirn as saying: When I direct, the actors must study their parts and learn them by heart. They must study carefully, at horne, on their own, in silence and meditation. And when they come on stage, they must not be actors any longer , they must be the characters in the play they are acting. That way they will have a reality in their own right that is absolute, not relative, it won't be the false truth of the stage but the positive, undeniable truth of life. 7 And Pirandello is recorded as having fined two of his actors on one occasion for having 'acted in the way they did last night' after having undergone so much work.
In the final scene, the stage directions refer specifically to this power, 45 Luigi Pirandello when the Stepdaughter. calls her Mother 'as though pulling her forward by some magie power'. The Characters themselves in their masks and costumes clash with the Actors and these clashes are a constant reminder of the contrast between the 'magieal' world of the theatre and the world outside its boundaries. Most crucial of all scenes in this respect is the one where Madame Pace is 'summoned up' in section 11.
Luigi Pirandello by Susan Bassnett-McGuire (auth.)