Self and Self-Compromise in the Narratives of Pirandello and Moravia

Self and Self-Compromise in the Narratives of Pirandello and Moravia

by M. John Stella


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This study presents a distinctly new interpretation of key works by Luigi Pirandello and Alberto Moravia that dramatizes the identity crisis of the individual, a theme that figures so prominently in twentieth-century literature. Previous criticism considered these narratives solely within a European context and assumed that the protagonists failed to resolve their dilemmas. As the present study reveals, however, an alternative approach is warranted by evidence that Pirandello and Moravia were familiar with fundamental tenets of Buddhism, the first philosophy to advocate the deconstruction of personal identity. Combining a lucid explanation of Buddhist doctrine with Western sources, Dr. Stella demonstrates that by «losing their identity,» characters such as Mattia Pascal end not in defeat, as is commonly supposed, but in victory over existential suffering and discontent.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780820444543
Publisher: Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers
Publication date: 03/15/2000
Series: Studies in Italian Culture Series: Literature in History , #27
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.06(h) x (d)

About the Author

The Author: M. John Stella received his M.A. in English language and literature from Oxford University and his Ph.D. from the University of Western Australia. In addition to numerous articles in professional journals, he wrote the final chapter of Reflections of the Dharma, edited by Dr. Sunthorn Plamitr. Currently, he is Research Associate of the School of European Languages, University of Western Australia.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1Mattia pascal and the Tragedy of Being13
Chapter 2Action!--Drama as Kamma in I quaderni di Serafino Gubbio, operatore52
Chapter 3E il vostro naso?91
Chapter 4Boredom as a Positive Reality in La noia133
Chapter 5Indifference as a Positive Reality in Una cosa e una cosa177
AppendixThe Doctrine of Anatta in Buddhist Philosophy231
Glossary of Key Pali Terms247

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