|June 28, 1867
Caos (Xaos), Girgenti (Agrigento, Sicily)
|December 10, 1936
via Bosio, Rome, Italy
Luigi Pirandello (June 28, 1867 – December 10, 1936) was an Italian dramatist, novelist, and short story writer awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1934. Pirandello was one of the leading figures of modernity. He is best known for a series of novels and the modernist play, Six Characters in Search of an Author. This play demonstrates the impact of relativism in modern thought. Pirandello also explored the nature of the subconscious mind.
Pirandello was born into an upper-class family in a village with the curious name of Caos (Chaos), a poor suburb of Girgenti (Agrigento, a town in southern Sicily). His father, Stefano, belonged to a wealthy family involved in the sulfur industry and his mother, Caterina Ricci Gramitto, was also of a well-to-do background, descending from a family of the bourgeoisie professional class of Agrigento. Both families, the Pirandellos and the Ricci Gramittos, were ferociously anti-Bourbonic and actively participated in the struggle for unification and democracy ("Il Risorgimento"). Stefano participated in the famous adventure of the Thousand, later following Garibaldi all the way to the battle of Aspromonte. Caterina, who had hardly reached the age of thirteen, was forced to accompany her father to Malta, where he had been sent into exile by the Bourbon monarchy. But the open participation in the Garibaldian cause and the strong sense of idealism of those early years were quickly transformed, above all in Caterina, into an angry and bitter disappointment with the new reality created by the unification. Pirandello would eventually assimilate this sense of betrayal and resentment and express it in several of his poems and in his novel, The Old and the Young. It is also probable that this climate of disillusion inculcated in the young Luigi the sense of disproportion between ideals and reality which is recognizable in his essay on humorism (L'Umorismo).
Pirandello received his elementary education at home, but he was much more fascinated by the fables and legends, somewhere between popular and magic, that his elderly servant Maria Stella used to recount to him than by anything scholastic or academic. At the precocious age of twelve, he had already written his first tragedy. At the insistence of his father, he was registered at a technical school but eventually switched to the study of the humanities at the ginnasio, something which had always attracted him.
In 1880, the Pirandello family moved to Palermo. It was here, in the capital of Sicily, that Luigi completed his high school education, began reading passionately (focusing, above all, on nineteenth century Italian poets such as Giosuè Carducci and Graf), started writing his first poems, and fell in love with his cousin, Lina. During this period, the first signs of serious contrast between Luigi and his father also began to develop; Luigi had discovered some notes revealing the existence of extra-marital relations on the part of Stefano. As a reaction to the ever increasing distrust and disharmony that Luigi was developing toward his father, a man of a robust physique and crude manners, his attachment to his mother would continue growing to the point of a profound veneration, which later expressed itself, after her death, in the moving pages of the novella, Colloqui con i personaggi, in 1915. His love for his cousin, initially looked on with disfavor, was suddenly taken very seriously by the family of Lina, which demanded that Luigi abandon his studies and dedicate himself to the sulfur business so that he could immediately marry her. In 1886, during a vacation from school, Luigi went to visit the sulfur mines of Porto Empedocle and started working with his father. This experience was absolutely essential to him and would provide the basis for such stories as Il Fumo, Ciàula scopre la Luna, as well as some of the descriptions and background in the novel, The Old and the Young. The marriage, which seemed imminent, was postponed and Pirandello registered at the University of Palermo in both the departments of Law and of Letters. The campus at Palermo, and above all the department of law, was the center in those years of the vast movement which would eventually evolve into the Fasci Siciliani. Although Pirandello was not an active member of this movement, he had close ties of friendship with the leading ideologists of it: Enrico La Loggia, Giusseppe De Felice Giuffrida, and Francesco De Luca.
In 1887, having definitively chosen the department of letters, he moved to Rome in order to continue his studies. But the encounter with the city, center of the struggle for unification to which the families of his parents had participated with generous enthusiasm, was disappointing and nothing close to what he had expected: "When I arrived in Rome it was raining hard, it was night time and I felt like my heart was being crushed, but then I laughed like a man in the throes of desperation." Pirandello, who was an extremely sensible moralist, finally had a chance to see for himself the irreducible decadence of the so-called heroes of Il Risorgimento in the person of his uncle Rocco, now a graying and exhausted functionary of the prefecture, who provided him with temporary lodgings in Rome. The "desperate laugh," the only manifestation of revenge for the disappointment undergone, inspired the bitter verses of his first collection of poems, Mal Giocondo (1889). But not all was negative: This first visit to Rome provided him with the opportunity to assiduously visit the many theaters of the capital: Il Nazionale, Il Valle, il Manzoni. "Oh the dramatic theatre! I will conquer it. I cannot enter into one without experiencing a strange sensation, an excitement of the blood through all my veins…"
Because of a conflict with a Latin professor, he was forced to leave the University of Rome and went to Bonn with a letter of presentation from one of his professors. The stay in Bonn, which lasted two years, was fervid with cultural life. He read the German romantics, Jean Paul, Tieck, Chamisso, Heinrich Heine, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He began translating the Roman Elegies of Goethe, composed the Elegie Boreali in imitation of the style of the Roman Elegies, and began to meditate on the topic of humorism by way of the works of Cecco Angiolieri.
In March 1891, he received his doctorate, under the guidance of Professor Foerster, in glottology with a dissertation on the dialect of Agrigento entitled, Sounds and Developments of Sounds in the Speech of Girgenti. The stay in Bonn was of great importance for the writer; it was there that he forged the bonds with German culture that would remain constant and profound for the rest of his life.
After a brief sojourn in Sicily, during which the planned marriage with his cousin was finally called off, he returned to Rome, where he would become friends with a group of writers-journalists including Ugo Fleres, Tomaso Gnoli, Giustino Ferri, and Luigi Capuana. It was Capuana who encouraged Pirandello to dedicate himself to narrative writing. In 1893, he wrote his first important work, Marta Ajala, which was published in 1901, with the title l'Esclusa. In 1894, he published his first collection of short stories Amori senza Amore. In 1894, he was also married for the first time. Following his father's suggestion, he married a shy, withdrawn girl of a good family of Agrigentine origin educated by the nuns of San Vincenzo—Antonietta Portulano. The first years of matrimony created in him a fervor for his studies and writings. His encounters with his friends and the discussions on art continued, more vivacious and stimulating than ever, while his family life, despite the complete incomprehension of his wife about his art, proceeded relatively tranquilly with the birth of two sons (Sefano and Fausto) and a daughter (Lietta). In the meantime, Pirandello intensified his collaborations with newspaper editors and other journalists in magazines such as La Critica and La Tavola Rotonda, in which he would publish, in 1895, the first part of the Dialogi tra Il Gran Me e Il Piccolo Me. In 1897, he accepted an offer to teach the Italian language at the Istituto Superiore di Magistero di Roma, and in the magazine, Marzocco, he published several more pages of the Dialoghi. In 1898, with Italo Falbo and Ugo Fleres, he founded the weekly Ariel, in which he published the one-act play L'Epilogo (later changed to La Morsa) and some novellas (La Scelta, Se…). The end of the nineteenth century and the beginnings of the twentieth were a period of extreme productivity for Pirandello. In 1900, he published in Marzocco some of the most celebrated of his novellas (Lumie di Sicilia, La Paura del Sonno…) and, in 1901, the collection of poems, Zampogna. In 1902, the first series of Beffe della Morte e della Vita came out. The same year saw the publication of his second novel, Il Turno.
The year 1903 was fundamental to the life of Pirandello. The flooding of the sulfur mines of Aragona, in which his father Stefano had invested not only an enormous amount of his own capital but also Antonietta's dowry, provoked the collapse of the family. Antonietta, after opening and reading the letter announcing the catastrophe, entered into a state of semi-paralysis and underwent such a psychological shock that her mental balance remained profoundly and irremediably shaken. Pirandello, who had initially harbored thoughts of suicide, attempted to remedy the situation as best he could by increasing the number of his lessons in both Italian and German and asking for compensation from the magazines to which he had freely given away his writings and collaborations. In the magazine, New Anthology, directed by G. Cena, meanwhile, the novel which Pirandello had been writing in this horrible situation (watching over his mentally ill wife at night after an entire day spent at work) began appearing in episodes. The title was Il Fu Mattia Pascal (The Late Mattia Pascal). This novel contains many elements of the autobiographic situation of the author fantastically elaborated. It was an immediate and great success. Translated into German in 1905, this novel paved the way to the notoriety and fame which allowed Pirandello to publish for the more important editors such as Treves, with whom he published in 1906, another collection of novellas Erma Bifronte. In 1908, he published a volume of essays entitled Arte e Scienza and the important essay L'Umorismo, in which he initiated the legendary debate with Benedetto Croce which would continue, getting increasingly bitter and venomous on both sides, for many years. In 1909, the first part of I Vecchi e I Giovanni was published in episodes. This novel retraces the history of the failure and repression of the Fasci Siciliani in the period from 1893-94. When the novel came out in volume in 1913, Pirandello sent a copy of it to his parents for the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage, along with a dedication which said that "their names, Stefano and Caterina, live heroically." However, while the mother is transfigured in the novel into the otherworldly figure of Caterina Laurentano, the father, represented by the husband of Caterina, Stefano Auriti, appears only in memories and flashbacks, since, as was acutely observed by Leonardo Sciascia, "he died censured in a Freudian sense by his son who, in the bottom of his soul, is his enemy." Also in 1909, Pirandello began his collaboration with the prestigious journal Corriere della Sera, in which he published the novellas Mondo di Carta (World of Paper), La Giara, and, in 1910, Non è una cosa seria and Pensaci, Giacomino (Think it Over, Giacomino). At this point, Pirandello's fame as a writer was continually increasing, but his private life was poisoned by the suspicion and obsessive jealousy of Antonietta, who began to turn physically violent.
In 1911, while the publication of novellas and short stories continued, Pirandello finished his fourth novel, Suo Marito, republished posthumously (1941), and completely revised in the first four chapters, with the title Giustino Roncella nato Boggiòlo. During his life, the author never republished this novel for reasons of discretion: In the novel, there are implicit references to the writer Grazia Deledda. But the work which absorbed most of his energies at this time were the stories: La Vendetta del Cane, Quando s'è capito il giuoco, Il treno ha fischiato, Filo d'aria, and Berecche e la guerra were all published from 1913-1914 and are all, now, considered classics of Italian literature.
As Italy entered into World War I, Pirandello's son, Stefano, volunteered for the services and was taken prisoner by the Austrians. In 1916, the actor Angelo Musco successfully recited the three-act comedy that the writer had extracted from the novella Pensaci, Giacomino! and the pastoral comedy, Liolà.
In 1917, the collection of novellas E domani Lunedì (And Tomorrow, Monday…) was published, but the year was mostly marked by important theatrical representations: Così è (se vi pare) (Right you are (if you think so)), A birrita cu' i ciancianeddi and Il Piacere dell'onestà (The Pleasure Of Honesty). A year later, Non è una cosa seria (But It's Nothing Serious) and Il Gioco delle parti (The Game of Roles) were all represented on stage. Meanwhile, with the end of the war, Pirandello's son Stefano returned home.
In 1919, Pirandello was left with no alternative but to have his wife placed in an asylum. The separation from his wife, toward whom, despite the morbid jealousies and hallucinations, he continued to feel a very strong attraction, caused great suffering for Pirandello who, still in 1924, deceived himself into believing that he could take care of her at home. Antonietta, however, would never leave the asylum which was both her prison and her protection against the resurgence of the phantasms of her overwhelmed mind which made her out to be the passionate enemy of a husband whose world was profoundly foreign to, and irremediably distant from, her.
1920 was the year of comedies such as Tutto per bene, Come prima meglio di prima, and La Signora Morli. In 1921, the Compagnia di Dario Niccomedi staged, at the Valle di Roma, the play Sei Personaggi in Cerca d'Autore. It was a clamorous failure. The public split up into supporters and adversaries, the latter of whom shouted: "Asylum, asylum!" The author, who was present at the representation with his daughter Lietta, was forced to almost literally run out of the theater through a side exit in order to avoid the crowd of enemies. The same drama, however, was a great success when presented at Milan. In 1922, and again at Milan, Enrico IV was represented for the first time and was acclaimed universally as a success. Pirandello's fame, at this point, had passed the confines of Italy: The Sei Personaggi was represented in English in London and in New York.
In 1925, Pirandello, with the help of Benito Mussolini, assumed the artistic direction and ownership of the Teatro d'Arte di Roma, founded by the Gruppo degli Undici. His relationship with Mussolini is often debated in scholarly circles. Whether it was just a calculated career move, giving his theater publicity and subsidies, or whether he was really a supporter, as he publicly stated, is still a matter of debate. His play, The Giants of the Mountain, has been interpreted as evidence of his realization that the fascists were hostile to culture, yet, during a later appearance in New York, Pirandello distributed a statement announcing his support of Italy's annexation of Abyssinia. He even later gave his Nobel Prize medal to the Fascist government to be melted down for the Abyssinia Campaign. One way or the other, Mussolini's support brought the him international fame and a worldwide tour, introducing his work to London, Paris, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Germany, Argentina, and Brazil.
Pirandello's conception of the theater underwent a significant change at this point. The conception of the actor as an inevitable betrayer of the text, as in the Sei Personaggi, gave way to the identification of the actor with the character that she plays. The company took their act throughout the major cities of Europe and the Pirandellian repertoire became increasingly known. Between 1925 and 26, Pirandello's last, and perhaps greatest, novel Uno, Nessuno e Centomilla (One, No one and One Hundred Thousand) was published in episodes in the magazine Fiera Letteraria.
Pirandello was nominated Academic of Italy in 1929 and in 1934, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. He died alone in his home at via Bosio, Rome on December 10, 1936.
Pirandello's art arises out of a climate of profound historical and cultural disappointment. The wound caused by the betrayal of Il Risorgimento was never definitively healed in the soul of the writer. He added to a sense of diffuse disillusionment in Italy at the end of the nineteenth century a southern disdain for the politics of the newly united Italy with regard to the problems of the south. Pirandello adapted the title of a discourse by F. Brunetière La Banqueroute de science to describe this attitude which he felt toward the Risorgimento: La bancarotta del patriottismo ("the bankruptcy of patriotism"). This is the phrase he used in his novel ,I Vecchi e i Giovani (The Old and the Young) (1909-1913), a "populous and extremely bitter" novel which seems to signal a brusque halt in the authors search into the individual conscience which he had begun in Il Fu Mattia Pascal (The Late Mattia Pascal). In I Vecchi e I Giovani, Pirandello traces a vast historical fresco, which fits into an entire southern Italian tradition of writing, beginning with the Vicerè of De Roberto. The novel, set in Sicily during the period of the Fasci Siciliani, delineates the "failure… of three myths" (of the Risorgimento, of unity, of socialism), replacing them with a "hopeless emptiness… with no possibility of redemption." But despite the well documented and obvious connections to a precise panorama of crisis, there is a clear impression that Pirandello's discordance with reality was pre-existent.
Animated by a furious need to clear away all false certitudes, Pirandello pitilessly dismantles every fictitious point of reference. Already in Pirandello's first novel, L'Esclusa, it seems clear that nothing is predictable; on the contrary, anything and everything can happen. There are no secure anchors or objective facts which can be correlated with judgments and behavior. For Pirandello a fact is an empty shell that can be refilled with a mutable meaning according to the moment and the prevailing sentiment, as happens to Marta Ajala, the protagonist of l'Esclusa, who, surprised by her husband in the awful act of reading a letter from a man, is thrown out of the house even though she has done nothing wrong. But she will be accepted and taken in again, and here lies the humoristic genius, only after she has actually committed the act which she was unjustly charged with committing in the first place.
The obscure will which dominates heavily in the first novel comes out into the open in Il Turno (1902), Pirandello's second novel. Here it manifests itself as the irrational accident, careless and spiteful, which diverts itself by subverting all human plans or programs for the future. The expectations of Marcantonio Ravì are that his attractive daughter Stellina will sacrifice herself for a short time by marrying the old but wealthy Don Diego who, according to all common sense predictions, will die very soon. Stellina will then be filthy rich and can marry her true love, Pepè Alletto. But Don Diego, notwithstanding a bout of pneumonia, finds the strength to survive.
The novel Suo Marito (1911) signals an important moment in the narrative approach of Pirandello. The protagonist, Silvia Roncella, is a writer. With her, Pirandello intended to investigate the processes of artistic creation and the relations between art and life. The artist for Pirandello, whose philosophy is very close to Schopenhauer, alienates himself completely from the normal relations between things and from the impulses of his individual personality (principium individuationis) in order to grasp the essence beyond existence. Silvia is a true artist. In her, the creative activity is dictated exclusively by a natural "necessity." Counterpoised to her stands her husband Giustino, who tries thousands of different avenues in order to ensure that his wife's art receives concrete recognition. He spends his time chatting with the actors, establishing relations with critics and journalists while they stage his wife's dramas. Without him perhaps no one would know of his wife and her artistic qualities. This small man is described by Pirandello with great vivacity in a mist of pity and disdain. Giustino is just made that way. He needs to bend everything, even the highest things, to the dimension of utility. Silvia is the absolute contrary; she is the voice of supremely disinterested artistic creation and experiences moments of pure contemplation, when she becomes, forgetting herself, "the limpid eye of the world."
The novel Quaderni di Serafino Gubbio operatore (1925) brings the audience into the world of the cinema, a world with which Pirandello had a contradictory and problematic relationship. Although he was fascinated by it, he condemned it as a mechanical degeneration of the creative activity of the artist. With the character Serafino Gubbio, film operator, Pirandello reflects on the ever more invasive role of science and technology. The insecurity of modern humans, the multiplication of perspectives, the lack of a unique point of reference are due, in his view, to the failure of positivistic culture to respond to the ultimate needs and questions of humanity. Science has corrupted the ingenuous margins of religion and fractured the anthropocentric perspective, the source of security for man in the past.
In this strange geography of shipwrecks, only one character, the extremely lucid Vitangelo Moscarda, protagonist of Pirandello's last novel, Uno, Nessuno e Centomila, comes close to a suffered authenticity. Pirandello designs the comic drama of the improbable knowledge of a self which, like Prometheus, continually changes and eludes all attempts to be grasped. The alienation from oneself experienced by Italo Svevo through the various "accidents" of existence in the ironic Coscienza di Zeno becomes here a vertiginous immersion in the search for the profound self. In this novel, Pirandello echoes David Hume's view of the self as a bundle of transient sensations. The interior monologue of Vitangelo accompanies the phases of his search and his discovery with an interior commentary, extremely modern in style. Vitangelo, after having brought the crisis of the self, without hesitation, to its extreme consequences, in the final pages approaches liberation. He abandons every tie with reality. The path to authenticity must go through the itinerary of renunciation and of solitude. Finally liberated, Vitangelo feels in every way outside of himself. It is an experience which mystics know well. As Meister Eckhart expressed it: "As long as I am this or that, I am not all and I do not have all. Disconnect yourself, so that you no longer are, nor have, this or that and you will be everywhere… when you are neither this nor that, you are everything." Vitangelo, not "accidentally," but with a resurgent act of will, reduces the self to the sensation of feeling his own existence in the things around him. The self that remains is the profound self in perpetual transformation where there are no more barriers between interior and exterior: "This tree, I breathe shaking off the new leaves. I am this tree. Tree, cloud; tomorrow book or wind; the book that I read, the wind that I drink. All outside, wayward."
One, No one and One Hundred Thousand (in orig. Italian Uno, Nessuno e Centomila) was Pirandello's last, and perhaps greatest, novel. Pirandello began writing it in 1909. In an autobiographical letter, published in 1924, the author refers to this works as the "…bitterest of all, profoundly humoristic, about the decomposition of life: Moscarda one, no one and one hundred thousand." The pages of the unfinished novel remained on Pirandello's desk for years and he would occasionally take out extracts and insert them into other works only to return, later, to the novel in a sort of uninterrupted compositional circle. Finally finished, Uno, Nessuno e Centomila came out in episodes between December of 1925 and June of 1926, in the magazine Fiera Letteraria. The search for authenticity, a predominant theme of Pirandellian narrative writing, culminates precisely in the adventures of Vitangelo Moscarda, the protagonist of this novel.
Vitangelo discovers, by way of a completely irrelevant question that his wife poses to him, that everyone he knows, everyone he has ever met, has constructed a Vitangelo persona in their own imagination and that none of these personas corresponds to the image of Vitangelo that he himself has constructed and believes himself to be. The reader is immediately immersed in a cruel game of falsifiying projections, mirroring the reality of social existence itself, which imperiously dictate their rules. As a result, the first, ironic "awareness" of Vitangelo consists in the knowledge of that which he definitely is not; the prelimary operation must therefore consist in the spiteful destruction of all of these fictitious masks. Only after this radical step toward madness and folly in the eyes of the world can Vitangelo finally begin to follow the path toward his true self. He discovers, though, that if his body can be one, his spirit certainly is not. And this Faustian duplicity gradually develops into a disconcerting and extremely complex multiplicity. How can one come to know the true foundation, the substate of the self? Vitangelo seeks to catch it by surprise as its shows itself in a brief flash on the surface of consciousness. But this attempt at revealing the secret self, chasing after it as if it were an enemy that must be forced to surrender, does not give the desired results. Just as soon as it appears, the unknown self evaporates and recomposes itself into the familiar attitudes of the superficial self. In this extremely modern Secretum where there is no Saint Augustine to indicate, with the profound voice of conscience, the absolute truth to desire, where desperation is entrusted to a bitter humorism, corrosive and salvific at the same time, the unity of the self disintegrates into diverse stratifications. Vitangelo is one of those "…particularly intelligent souls …who break through the illusion of the unity of the self and feel themselves to be multiform, a league of many Is…" as Hermann Hesse notes in the Dissertation chapter of Steppenwolf.
The total detachment of Vitangelo from false certainties is fully realized during a period of convalescence from illness. Sickness, in Pirandello as in many other great writers, is experienced as a situation in which all automatic behavior is suspended and the perceptive faculties, outside of the normal rules, seem to expand and see "with other eyes." In this moment the ineptitude that Vitangelo shares with Mattia Pascal and other literary characters of the beginning of the twentieth century demonstrates its positive potential and becomes a conscious rejection of any role, of any function, of any perspective based on a utilitarian vision.
Once cured of his illness, Vitangelo has a completely new perspective, completely "foreign." He no longer desires anything and seeks to follow moment by moment the evolution of life in him and the thing that surround him. He no longer has any history or past, he is no longer in himself but in everything around and outside of him.
In 1900, Pirandello had already read the short essay by Alfred Binet, Le altérations de la personnalité (1892) on the alterations of the personality. He cited several excerpts in his article Scienza e Critica Estetica. The experimental observations of Binet had apparently scientifically demonstrated the extreme liability of the personality: A set of psychic elements in temporary coordination which can easily collapse, giving way to many different personalities equally furnished with will and intelligence cohabiting within the same individual. In Binet's "proofs," Pirandello found scientific support for the surprising intuitions of much German romanticism on which he had probably meditated during his years spent in Germany. Steffens, Shubert and others who had concerned themselves with dreams were the first to discovery the existence of the what Sigmund Freud would later call the unconscious. Steffens already spoke of a "consciousness which sinks into the night" and, in Jean Paul, there are already present the terror of disintegration. Pirandello shares the view that the self is not unitary. That which seemed like an irreducible and monolithic nucleus multiplies as in a prism; the exterior self does not have the same face as the secret self: It is only a mask that one unconsciously assumes in order to adapt himself to the social context in which he finds himself, each one in a different manner, in a game of mobile perspectives.
Compelled only by an interior sense of necessity, furnished with different instruments and aiming at other prospects, Pirandello ventures on his own initiative into territory which will later on end up in Freudian psychoanalysis and the analytic psychology of Carl Jung. The intuition for Jung's, "The Self and the Unconscious" in 1928, can already be found in Pirandello. Within the genre of novels, it was with Mattia Pascal that Pirandello inaugurated the series of personages to whom he would assign the arduous task of searching for their own authenticity in this Heideggerian sense. But upon the emptiness left by his presumed death, in fact, Mattia quickly reconstructs another persona which, only apparently different from the first, in reality represents its grotesque double.
Pirandello's unconscious does not have two aspects, a positive and a negative, one which can destroy and one which can save: The elixir of the devil can never become the nectar of the gods. This is why the carefully scrutinized interior monologues of so many characters (Mattia Pascal, Vitangelo Moscarda, Enrico IV, to name but a few) never becomes pure stream of consciousness as in Joyce's Ulysses. The pointed and painful writing assumes in this way the responsibility to represent the unique common thread of a precarious and compromised self.
e novellieri d'Italia nel Secolo XX. Vol. 1. Rome. Stanze del Libro. 1936.
Luigi Pirandello was also a poet. He published a total of five poetry books.
All links retrieved August 3, 2018.
1926: Grazia Deledda | 1927: Henri Bergson | 1928: Sigrid Undset | 1929: Thomas Mann | 1930: Sinclair Lewis | 1931: Erik Axel Karlfeldt | 1932: John Galsworthy | 1933: Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin | 1934: Luigi Pirandello | 1936: Eugene O'Neill | 1937: Roger Martin du Gard | 1938: Pearl S. Buck | 1939: Frans Eemil Sillanpää | 1944: Johannes Vilhelm Jensen | 1945: Gabriela Mistral | 1946: Hermann Hesse | 1947: André Gide | 1948: T. S. Eliot | 1949: William Faulkner | 1950: Bertrand Russell
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