Novelle per un anno

The Novelle per un anno is a collection of short stories written by Luigi Pirandello between 1884 and 1936. In 1922 Pirandello decided to design a single short story cycle that collected these short stories in 24 books of 15 short stories each. With the unifying title of Novellas for a Year , Pirandello proposed to write one short story a day inspired by The Decameron and Thousand and One Nights. (excerpted and translated from the Italian Wikipedia)

Luigi Pirandello (Agrigento 28 June 1867 – Rome 10 December 1936) was an Italian dramatist, novelist, poet, and short story writer whose greatest contributions were his plays. 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 which are written in Sicilian. Pirandello’s tragic farces are often seen as forerunners of the Theatre of the Absurd. (from Goodreads)

More about this collection:

The lifelong interest Pirandello had in writing short stories was eventually channeled toward a massive, unfinished project … a larger structure that would collect together all of his short stories and arrange them into a multi-volume whole. The collection would be called Stories for a Year (Novelle per un anno). He began gathering together this multi-volume collection in 1922, but at the time of his death Pirandello had completed only 244 stories, falling short of his title’s aspiration by some hundred and twenty days/novelle … (excerpt from Pirandellointranslation.org)

More reading

Novelle per un anno – by Luigi Pirandello – Goodreads entry (in Italian)

Wikipedia entry on Luigi Pirandello

Stories for the Years an English translation with a minor selection of stories

Pirandellointranslation.org – a collaborative project to translate all of Pirandello’s stories. An index of all stories with links to those that have been translated can be found here.

“Entre projet macrotextuel et réalisation inachevée – a deeper analysis of the tensions in Pirandello’s attempt to create his huge short story cycle (in French)

Pirandelloweb.com – a site with more information about the author and his works. It is in Italian but translations to English and other languages are available.

Notable note: “Pirandello identified in the concise nature of the short story an opportunity to isolate different aspects of reality and represent them as if they were refracted through the many “fragments of a broken mirror,” as he explained in the 1922 “Note.” Each piece frames the human experience in modern terms by representing the character’s mental and emotional struggles with a contradictory and unstable reality. The readers get to know the events from the character’s point of view and are capable of processing them as if they were the expressions of their own disjointed emotions. The objective representation the short story allows, for Pirandello, is the depiction of a mental state, the impact reality has on the character’s thoughts, feelings, and reactions. The narrative structure looks like a prism radiating the self’s many personas in their struggle to conform to societal rules. In other words, it is a narrative structure that paraphrases the dilemmas of modernity.” (excerpt from Pirandellointranslation.org)




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