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Preview — The Late Mattia Pascal by Luigi Pirandello
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The Late Mattia Pascal
The Late Mattia Pascal is a 1904 novel by Luigi Pirandello. It is one of his best-known works and was his first major treatment of the theme of the mask. The protagonist, Mattia Pascal, finds that his promising youth has, through misfortune or misdeed, dissolved into a dreary dead-end job and a miserable marriage.
His inheritance and the woman he loved are stolen from him by the same man, his eventual wife and mother-in-law badger him ...more
The narrator here (that would be Mattia Pascal) is something of a wazzock, a risi ...more
Central questions of Pirandello’s novel are “Who am I” and “What is freedom”.
One of the few things, in fact about the only thing I was sure of was
my name: Mattia Pascal.
The last time I read Pirandello I was in high school, and I think I read some plays that I have to re-read because I don’t remember them very well. This is his most-famous novel that has some autobiographical features and is exploring themes of identity, self, freedom, and death that were the most obvious and prominent, spiced ...more
Have you ever thought about going to a place where nobody knows you and starting a new life as an entirely new person?
Luigi Pirandello makes Mattia Pascal live out this fantasy. Great misery has befallen Mattia Pascal and there is no silver lining in sight. Unable to think of anything else to do, he runs away leaving everyone and everything behind. A few days later on his way back home, he discovers that while he was away a dead body was mistaken for his and he has been declared dead in his town ...more
The Late Mattia Pascal is undoubtedly a milestone in world literature. Why did I re-read a book from 1904 in 2020? For various reasons: the first is that a work like this must be read several times in lif ...more
I had a little trouble finishing this book due to the somewhat dated mess of the whole affair, but worth a visit. ...more
Right in the first few pages the author tells us this is the story of a man who “died twice." Our hero, or anti-hero, is going nowhere in late 1800’s Italy. He earns a pittance as the librarian in backwater Italian town. He lives with screaming kids, a wife who has lost interest in him and a viscous mother-in-law who hates him. One day while out of town, he learns from newspapers that the decomposed body of a suicide victim down by the watermill in his home town was mistaken for him. He is free! ...more
Mattia Pascal was a man born to endure adversities in every walk of life. He was a dutiful son who saw his family affluence ruined by a benefactor after his father’s death and his mother’s existence fading into rueful shadows. He was a concerned husband and a doting father even in the thorniest situations that brought demoralizing repercussions in his marital life. The only thing Mattia was ever sure about in his burdensome life was his name-Mattia Pascal. It was his solita ...more
Mattia Pascal, in contrast, doesn’t die b ...more
A classic, timeless novel (that I probably should have read in high school...).
On my edition there's a post-scriptum from Pirandello in which he reports of a real case he found in a newspaper, 20 years after publishing his ...more
I liked the idea of the story: a man is constrained and defined in the same time by the society he lives is, the name he wears, and cannot live freely without a past. It made me think of all the new beginnings I often wish for, the memories and experiences I ch ...more
While many of Pirandello's observations still resonate today, the plot and humor do sometimes rely heavily on the cultural expectations of 1930's Italy. I feel that the main themes and plot points could have been conveyed in half the length; as with Kafka, the blurb and first few chapters are t ...more
When Mattia Pascal, a husband and librarian living in an Italian village, escapes his difficult family and flees to Monte Carlo, he soon learns his village believes he has passed away which then gives him an opportunuty to remain away and re-invent both his identity and his life:
"Here I was alone, more wholly alone than I could ever hope to be again on this earth; free from every present bond and obligation, a new man, my own master absolutely, with no past to drag along ...more
Pascal is mistakenly declared dead, and he takes advantage by abandoning his life for a new one. Much later, when others discover his actions, everyone approves. Why return when the opportunity exists to leave?
Every existence is a prison. To leave one life means to take up another, and taking up this other life means taking up its shackles. Pascal tries to avoid commitments and requirements, but the avoidance of commitment shackles him as well.
The Late Mattia Pascal could be read as a deeply con...more
História de um homem vivo, ainda que duas vezes morto, que acredita ter sido acometido por grande sorte quando é confundido com um suicida e se vê completamente livre das amarras e mesquinharias que lhe traziam desgraça, mas logo descobre que fugir da própria essência é tarefa bastante complexa. Tem lá suas doses de humor, discussão filosófica e política, reverência a história da literatura italiana, e no meio de tudo isso é um grande (talvez o maior) exemplo da genialidade de Lui ...more
He was awarded the 1934 Nobel Prize in Literature for "his almost magical power to turn psychological analysis into good theatre.
Pirandello's works include novels, hundreds of short stories, and about 40 plays, some of whic ...more