Pirandello, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, is a little known to most English readers. Too few of his plays and stories have been translated. This hook, therefore, serves the double purpose of introducing the Italian genius through a summary of all his dramatic work and interpreting his accomplishments fron an artistic viewpoint.
As a background for his criticism, the Domenico Vittorini shows first how Pirandello's compassionate pessimism and tragic mockery resulted from his own tortured existence and in what way his art is relates to Italian literary tradition and contemporary thought. Proceeding chronologically, Pirandello's growth is traced from the elementary naturalism of his early writing, through his more reflective plays, to the crowning achievements of later years in which dramatic situations are approached from a highly intellectualized point of view.