10 November


Pirandello's Home

Via Antonio Bosio 13b (second floor) in Rome was Luigi Pirandello’s last address. He died here in 1936 at the age of 69.

Pirandello’s wife, Maria Antonietta Portulano, had a patrimony that enabled the couple to leave Sicily and move to Rome so Pirandello could pursue his career as a writer. But when Maria Antonietta’s  patrimony was lost thanks to bad investments, she became mentally destabilized.  From 1919 until her death at the age of 88 in 1959, Maria Antonietta lived in a clinic on via Nomentana.

His wife’s madness inspired Pirandello’s interest in Freud. And in masks.

In 1925, Pirandello signed the Manifesto of Intellectual Fascists believing Mussolini was someone capable of reorganizing a chaotic and unorganized country. Pirandello also became a fascist for economic reasons.  But Mussolini continued to favor D’Annunzio and Grazia Deledda irritating Pirandello to the point that he took his party card and publically ripped it to shreds. Nevertheless, a few years later Pirandello donated his Nobel Prize medal to Oro alla Patria, an initiative to help  pay for the Abyssinia Campaign (the annexation of Ethiopia by Italy). Mussolini asked the Italians to donate anything they had made of  gold. A ring made of iron was given to those donating their wedding rings.

Around the time Pirandello, with Mussolini’s help, formed his Teatro d’Arte in Rome, he met the actress Marta Abba. He was 59 and she was only 24. Bewitched, Pirandello offered her a role in Massimo Bontempelli’s Nostra Dea. And so they could have some privacy, Pirandello built Villa Fiorita, a Tuscan hideaway at Lido di Camiore. Marta, like D’Annunzio, was decadent and capricious. And a great muse. For awhile.

The couple cracked and Marta went to the U.S. where she married a millionaire. But Marta, addressing him as Caro Maestro, continued to write Pirandello until the day he died.

 

drawing

Related: the complete text of The Two Lives of Mattia Pascal online + Le due vite di Mattia Pascal – parte 1 youtube + As You Desire Me is a 1932 American pre-Code film adaptation of the play by Pirandello …Greta singing + Parla di Nephelai…post in Italian about Maria Antonietta Portulano + Pirandello web + Marta Abba talking about Pirandello yutube

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