Pirandello's Love Letters to Marta Abba

 
 
Princeton University Press
  • erschienen am 14. März 2017
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  • 434 Seiten
 
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978-1-4008-8728-6 (ISBN)
 

In February 1925, the 58-year-old world-famous playwright Luigi Pirandello met Marta Abba, an unknown, beautiful actress less than half his age, and fell in love with her. She was to become, until his death in December 1936, not only his confidante but also his inspiring muse and artistic collaborator, helping him in his plans to reform Italian theater under the Fascist regime. Pirandello's love for the young actress was neither a literary infatuation nor a form of fatherly affection, but rather an unfulfilled, desperate passion that secretly consumed him during the last decade of his life. Bitterly disillusioned by the conditions of the theatrical world in Italy, Pirandello and Abba shared a dream of going abroad to earn their fortune and returning to Italy with the means to establish a national theater dedicated to high artistic standards. In March 1929, when Marta finally yielded to family pressure and left Pirandello alone in Berlin to revive her Italian stage career and to end rumors over their involvement, he endured a devastating heartbreak and fell into a life-threatening depression--more profound and long-lasting than any of his biographers have yet imagined. The hundreds of letters Pirandello wrote to Abba during these years are the only source that reveals the true story of his relentless torment. Selected, translated, and introduced here for the first time in any language, these powerful and moving documents reward the reader with the unique experience of living in intimacy with a profound poet of human pain. Here Pirandello encourages his beloved in her difficult career as actor/manager, rejoices in her triumphs, and desperately implores her to return to him. The letters are filled with glimpses of this major artistic personality at some of his most distinctive moments--such as the award of the Nobel Prize, his meetings with Mussolini, and Marta's long-dreamed-of success on Broadway--but they remain foremost an authentic confession of a Pirandello, without the mask of his art, telling the story of his real-life tragedy. In 1986, two years before she died, Marta Abba authorized the publication of the present correspondence so that the world might understand how deeply Pirandello had suffered. This English-language volume contains a selection of 164 letters from the complete edition of 552, which Princeton University Press will publish in cooperation with Mondadori, in the original Italian, in 1995.

Originally published in 1994.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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978-1-4008-8728-6 (9781400887286)
weitere Ausgaben werden ermittelt
Luigi Pirandello Edited and translated by Benito Ortolani
INTRODUCTION xiii
EDITOR'S REMARKS xxiii
CHRONOLOGY xxvii
The Short Note of 1925 3
250207 Marta Will Play Nostra Dea by Bontempelli 4
Letters of 1926 from Rome 5
260805 Family "Tempest." Danger of Bankruptcy 7
260817 Work on L'amica delle mogli as Salvation 8
260820 Influence of Marta's Letters on Pirandello 10
260821 Contents and Style of Marta's Letters 12
Letters of 1928 from Rome and Nettuno 14
280705 The Pine Grove of Villa Borghese in Nettuno 16
280708 Life in Italy Has Become Stifling A
280712 Pirandello's Great Love for Marta 19
280713 Self-proclaimed "Physician" for Marta's Scruples 21
280922 Mussolini's Tactics to Undermine Rival Power 23
280925 Pirandello a Senator? Away from Italy's Dunghill! 24
Letters of 1929 and 1930 from Berlin, Rome, and Milan 27
290314 Desperate Tears for Marta's Departure 30
290315 Gaffe at the Embassy: The "Secret" Revealed 32
290316 The Evening Hours Remain Unbearable 34
290320 Marta as Meaning, Worth, and Purpose of Life 37
290322 Mussolini Names Pirandello to Accademia d'Italia 38
290323 Marta Stresses Distance, Signing: Marta Abba 41
290325 Marta No Longer Has the Feeling She Had Before 42
290326 Congratulations and Invitations from Everywhere 45
290328 Marta's Cry for Help, Will Start a New Company 47
290329 Marta's Training as an Artist 49
290330 Marta's Mentor: Analysis of Marta's Character 52
290331 A Lonely Easter Day Mourning a "Lost Feeling" 54
290401 Embarrassing Easter Meal at a Friend's Home 56
290402 Easter without Resurrection: I Live without Life 58
290405 The Nature of Pirandello's Love for Marta 60
290406 The Problem of Languages in the Talking Film 62
290408 Work on 0 di uno o di nessuno. Birth of Giganti 64
290411 Sentence of Life or Death? Faith in Mussolini 65
290416 From London: The Talking Film-What a Horror! 68
290421 From Berlin: New Contracts Signed in London 70
290422 Euphoria in the Creative Process 71
290425 Will Talking Film Abolish Theater? 73
290428 Truly There Is No Man Unhappier than Myself 74
290430 With Otto Kahn: A Film for Paramount? 76
290505 Marta Ignores Pirandello's Tragic Fantasies 78
290508 Bucolic Wishes for Peace and Recovery 80
290627 Thoughts about the Joy of Dreams and Madness 82
290628 Flowers and Telegrams for Pirandello's Birthday 84
290629 Expectation of a Hit Season in Berlin 85
290716 Return to Berlin: Feist and Meinhardt 87
290720 A Pirandello Revival in Italy 89
290721 Death of Max Reinhardt's Brother go
290722 Come tu mi vuoi, in the Midst of Despair 91
290913 Again in Berlin, Pirandello Sues Feist 92
290927 Creative Process: Independently Alive Characters 93
291011 Villino in Rome Finally Sold for 900,000 Lire 95
291212 Pirandello's Theater Is Dead without Marta 97
300227 From Berlin: Questa sera Triumphs in Konigsberg 99
300228 Turmoil-Such as to Go Insane or Even Die 101
300301 At the Brink of Suicide-I Am Your True Father 103
300303 Mortal Crisis Because Marta No Longer Gives Life 104
300304 Mussolini Interfered with the Nobel Prize 106
300310 A Pirandello Revival in Germany 107
300312 Also in Paris a Favorable Atmosphere 108
300316 Worried about Marta's Exhaustion Ho
300324 I Don't Have a Moment of Peace: Suicide? 110
300325 My Marta, How Much I Love You! L'Ennemie 112
300402 Marta's Reproaches for Being Disrespectful 114
300405 Very Weak but Happy about Festivities in Naples 116
300406 First Idea about Quando si e qualcuno in German 117
300409 Life at a Great Distance as if in the Past 119
300412 Contract for Questa sera in Berlin. Fiamma 119
300415 Foresees a Miraculous Success for Questa sera 122
300417 Triumphs of Questa sera and Come tu mi vuoi 124
300418 No Actress in the World Is Comparable to Marta! 125
300420 Liturgical Easter Play in Sicily 126
300425 Creative Process of Giganti della montagna 128
300429 Glory Will Come from Abroad or after Death 130
300430 In the Euphoria of Creation He Feels like a God 131
300504 Triumph of Questa Sera in Milan 133
300505 Contract with Lasky/Paramount. Gilbert Miller 134
300507 Announcement of Pirandello's Voyage to America 136
300514 Italy's Ingratitude toward Her Best Children 137
300517 Fritz Lang Wants to Film Six Characters 138
300518 The German System of Exhausting Rehearsals 140
300522 The American System of Preparing Film Scripts 141
300524 Life-a Journey without Arrivals and without Rest 142
300525 A Foreigner in Italy, He Needs a New Country 144
300527 The Talking Film as a New Expression of Art 145
300601 Tumultuous Opening of Questa sera in Berlin 146
300602 Attempts to Separate Him from Marta 148
300603 Reasons for the Violent Attacks of the Berlin Press 150
300605 Thomas Mann Condemns Anti-Pirandello Wave 152
300606 Decision to Abandon Germany for Good 154
Letters of 1930 from Paris, Berlin, London, and Rome 156
300727 A Pirandello Season Planned for New York 157
301215 Pirandello's High Expenses Criticized by Marta 158
301217 I Am Really Ready for Death 159
301226 As You Desire Me Is a Hit in Philadelphia 159
301231 Jealous of Those Who Are Close to Marta 16o
Letters of 1931 from Paris, Milan, and Portugal 162
310101 Telepathy with Marta on New Year's Eve? 163
310103 As You Desire Me Is a Hit in Chicago 164
310108 Max Reinhardt Revives Six Characters in Vienna 165
310109 I'll Go Soon, but My Plays Will Remain 166
310112 Pray for Me, My Marta, and Have Mercy 167
310125 Desolation of Wearing the Sad Mask of Old Age 168
310127 I Have a Penetrating Look and Two Devilish Eyes 16q
310208 Marta Is the Greatest Actress in the World 171
310210 My Art Has Never Before Been So Full, So Varied 172
310216 Giganti della montagna: I Am Touching the Peak! 174
310220 IT Be a Millionaire by the End of This Year 176
310222 My Dream: A Theater of Your Own 177
310225 A Horrible Night-I Felt I Was Going to Die 179
310317 Fears of Family Influence on Marta while in Rome 18o
310330 Glory of a Poet and Glory of an Actress 182
310401 Shubert Wants to Organize Marta's Tour in the U.S. 184
310422 Marta Is "Solar," "Mediterranean," "A Southerner" 185
310427 I Feel Abandoned by You, I'm Going Insane 186
310501 Implores Forgiveness: His Mind Was Perturbed 188
310503 The Lilies of the Valley for Marta's Portrait 18q
310512 My Fantasy Has Never Been So Lively 191
310515 Italy Cannot Do without Pirandello 192
310520 Catastrophic Situation of Show Business in the U.S. 193
310531 Alone in the World with Art as Only Companion 194
310611 You Are the Holiest among All Women 195
310718 Describes His New Apartment in Paris 196
310722 A Happy Marta Flying from London to Paris 197
310726 Nobody Will Ever Love You More than I Do 199
310803 How Beautiful You Must Be, a Joy in the Sun 200
310806 Failure of Bourgeois Order and Technology 201
310819 Rushes to Genoa to a Sick and Depressed Marta 203
311009 Marta Is Invited to Perform in Paris 204
Letters Of 1932 from Paris, Rome, and Castiglioncello 207
320118 Marta Leaves Paris after Performing in French 209
320122 Isn't It Better to Extinguish My Life Forever? 210
320126 I Have the Blackest and Most Frightening Despair 212
320206 Mussolini Says Pirandello Has a Bad Character Z13
320211 A Discussion on the Theme of Trovarsi 215
320214 Mussolini's Coarse Reality and His Necessary Myth 216
320216 Pirandello Describes His Serious Heart Attack 217
320222 The Disease Is Life Itself. Only Medicine Is Death 218
320310 The Duce Doesn't Like the Fact that I Live Abroad 219
320314 Enthusiastic about the Audience with Mussolini 220
320318 I Work Directly with the Duce 221
320402 I Want to Give Energy, Work, Ideas for Everybody 223
320427 Triumph of Pensaci, Giacomino! at the Congress 225
320504 I Am the Only One Who Is Truly Alive Everywhere 226
320804 As You Desire Me Not Ready for Venice Festival 228
320822 Perhaps You Would Prefer Never to See Me Again 229
320904 Discusses His Play Trovarsi and Buys a Car 231
320908 Marta Is Upset by Family Misunderstandings 232
320909 A Laborious Creative Process for Trovarsi 234
320912 Finds the Solution for the Finale of Trovarsi 236
321108 Triumph of Come tu mi vuoi Directed by Baty 238
321125 I'd Be Able to Have a Home Only with You 239
321206 Frightening Audience with Mussolini 241
Letters of 1933 from Rome, Paris, and Castiglioncello 243
330209 A National Dramatic Theater at the Argentina? 246
330304 Marta Abba Is Today Our Greatest Actress 247
330316 Limited Obedience to Fascism 248
330517 Mussolini Maneuvers against the Monopoly 250
330713 I Am Working with the Sea in Front of Me 252
Letters of 1934 from Rome, Milan, London, and Paris 255
340224 Pirandello Experiences Financial Difficulties 256
340324 Animosity against the Favola del figlio cambiato 257
340329 Mussolini Forbids Performances of the Favola 259
340405 Giordani's Arrogance in the Film World 260
340429 What a Trap Is the Civil Law! 262
340604 I Don't See Any Reason for Anything 263
340726 Creative Process for Non si sa come 264
340805 A Teatro Stabile in Milan-a Lifelong Dream 266
340821 Trying Hard to Complete Non si sa come 268
341115 Besieged Because of Announcement of Nobel Prize 269
341129 Festivities in Paris Because of the Nobel Prize 271
341206 The Company of Myself Is Unbearable to Me 273
341212 Celebrations in Stockholm for the Nobel Prize 275
Letters of 1935 from Paris, Rome, Milan, and New York 277
350203 Negotiations in London for Pirandello Company 280
350214 Is the Fall of Paolino Giordani Imminent? 281
350217 Overview of Pirandello's Income in Ten Years 283
350219 Audience with Mussolini about National Theater 284
350301 The State Theater: A Firm Intention of Mussolini 286
350318 Day of judgment for the Gang of Enemies 288
350408 I Never Felt So Much Tenderness for You 289
350425 Pirandello Honored at Palazzo Ruspoli with Ciano 290
350721 In New York: Defends the Conquest of Ethiopia 291
350813 Endless Negotiations but No Contracts in the U.S. 293
350830 Pirandello's Art "Above" the Taste of the Masses 296
350907 International Tension Hampers Negotiations 297
351014 Heart Attack at the Pier on Arriving in Naples 299
351027 Living Means for Me to Work, to Create 300
351030 Mussolini Invites Pirandello to His Box 302
351209 I Fervently Hope that I Have Little Time to Live 303
351218 Marta Undecided about Publishing Her Notes 305
Letters of 1936 from Rome 308
360114 Id Love to Spend All My Time Writing to You 310
360116 I Feel as if I Were Dying amid Petty Routines 311
360117 Dangers of the Newly Planned State Theater 312
360306 Does Not Want to Wear Glasses Because of Vanity 313
360311 Marta Is Depressed Because of Fatigue 314
360313 I Cannot Keep a Grudge against Anybody 315
360406 Negotiations for Tovarich with Gilbert Miller 316
360413 When I Know You Victorious, I Can Die 318
360427 I Am Waiting for Your Triumph in America 319
360430 A Vision of Marta's Glory in America 320
360516 I Do Not Know What to Hold On To 321
360530 I've Fallen into a Bottomless Abyss of Sadness 323
360629 I Am in the Age Bracket in Which People Die 324
360712 I'll Always Have Your Affection, as Long as I Live 325
360721 I Don't Know Where to Flee, I Cannot Take It! 327
360801 The Truth Is that I Should Die 328
360919 Pirandello Lives with His Thoughts in New York 329
361007 In Berlin Goebbels Orders a Pirandello Revival 330
361025 Overjoyed at Marta's Triumph on Broadway 332
361121 Dream of Visiting Marta in New York, Alone! 334
361204 If I Think about the Distance, I at Once Feel I Am Sliding into an Abyss of Despair 337
BIBLIOGRAPHY 339
SUBJECT INDEX 343
NAME INDEX 352

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