The very best play of Italo Svevo (1861-1928) is “Il ladro in casa” (The thief inside the home, written in 1886, printed in 1932).
Svevo usually underlined, as in “The thief inside the home”, “the shortage of any consistency or coherence within the particular person. There isn’t any must destroy your self as Ignazio does…when he falls from the roof nearly as if to compensate for the difficulty he has induced his household by his repeated irresponsibility” (Puppa, 2006 p 317).
“The thief inside the home”
Time: 1880s. Place: Italy.
Textual content at ?
Ignazio is about to marry Carla, whose dowry is to be paid by Carlo, her adopted father. Nonetheless, Carlo’s monetary troubles drive him to ask Ignazio for a delay within the marriage date. In change, he provides beneficiant month-to-month funds in curiosity. Ignazio refuses. Carlo is so incensed that he suggests to Carla to overlook him, however she declines and marries Ignazio. At some point, Carla needs to fireplace a feminine servant. Ignazio suspiciously opposes it. However when she confronts him a second time, he yields, having larger troubles on his thoughts: imminent chapter until he obtains a mortgage. Ignazio asks his Uncle Marco for one, however he refuses. He subsequent asks Carlo, although mendacity concerning the purpose for it, a jewel sale liable to earn a living for each of them. Carla is stunned at her husband’s mislead her father, however retains silent. The result’s that Carlo by no means will get his a refund. Extra monetary troubles drive Ignazio to plan escaping his collectors by leaving the town with out taking alongside his spouse and her pal, Elena. Carlo learns that different individuals have borrowed from Ignazio, specifically Elena’s husband in addition to Marco, primarily based on his falsified signature. Furthermore, Marco informs Carlo that Ignazio and Carla have moved away nobody is aware of the place. Marco threatens to tell the police concerning the forgery regardless of Carlo’s disapproval. Carla will not be along with her husband, for he’s on his personal the higher to cover. She admits to Carlo’s spouse she has stored silent about her husband’s shady dealings, to Carlo’s detriment, however regardless of these dealings she would obtain him again “with pleasure”. In determined straits, Ignazio surreptiously enters Carlo’s home within the hope of hiding there. Marco tells Carlo he has not adopted by along with his risk, however worries about not realizing the place he’s, and Elena all of the extra so. She tells Carla that Ignazio borrowed costly jewels from her and doesn’t know the place he’s. Carla finally discovers her husband inside the home. He proposes that they need to depart the town along with some cash he has managed to acquire. They’re interrupted by Elena’s return, frantic about her jewels. Carla understands the character of their relation and leaves silently. Ignazio offers again her jewels. When Carlo enters, Carla can now not restrain her resentment in the direction of her husband, admitting her guilt in protecting silent all this time. Ignazio provides Carlo half his cash as compensation for what he owes him. Carlo hesitates, however Carla takes the cash for his sake. They subsequent be taught that Marco has gone by along with his risk in any case, as cops enter the home. Ignazio escapes from the officers by climbing to the roof, however, to the grief of all, slips off and falls to his demise.
The lyrical abilities of Gabriele D’Annunzio (1863-1938) are in proof in “La città morta” (The lifeless metropolis, 1899).
In ‘The lifeless metropolis”, “D’Annunzio’s plot reveals obliquely the tragic historical past of the Mycenean dynasty. To that legendary and classical lore, he fashionably connected Europe’s then present fascination with the brand new and barely credible archaeological discoveries. He additionally inserted the theme of the intrusion of the inquisitive current into the solemn and untouchable previous, with the baleful penalties that such desecration introduced in its prepare” (Woodhouse, 2006 p 328). “Anna is blind; she is the spouse of Alessandro, a poet and scholar. Alessandro is morally blind, for he loves the youthful Bianca, the sister of his pal Leonardo. Leonardo, the profitable explorer and rifler of Homeric tombs, loves his personal sister,- that historical poison working in his veins,- and with this uncanny mixture D’Annunzio performs his sinister tunes, evokes his unusual harmonies” (Huneker, 1905 p 341). “The lifeless metropolis ‘is D’Annunzio’s first lengthy play and in some respects his greatest. He was impassioned for Greek tragedy. In ‘The lifeless metropolis’ he proposed to revive the mode of the Greek drama, and to restate in trendy idiom its message. One in all its message is the fatality inherent in family-related tragedies…The individuals will not be convincing as characters; they’re relatively mannequins through which the hand of the manipulator is continually obvious, or higher, every is an embodiment of some facet or emotion of their creator, Gabriele D’Annunzio; all of them tremble on the verge of insanity, just like the individuals in some Maeterlinckian puppet present…As drama, ‘The lifeless metropolis’ has this unforgivable fault, a scarcity of motion. The emotional impact will not be inherent within the play, however is derived from every individual’s description of his emotions, from the externals, from D’Annunzio’s description, his figures of speech, his pictures. Maria, Leonardo and Alessandro will not be important and residing beings; what strikes us will not be their wrestle and suffering- however D’Annunzio’s description of it. And it’s unalterably true that no superweight of which means, no deep-buried treasure of symbolism can justify lack of motion or unreality of characterization in a bit that professes to be a drama” (MacClintock, 1920 pp 104-107).
Chandler (1914) was morally offended by Leonardo’s ultimate deed: “the sense of responsibility that impels Leonardo to this act is unusually perverted. Had he slain himself, we’d have permitted the deed as one which had rid the world of a neurotic and erotic degenerate. Leonardo, nonetheless, entertains no notion of self-effacement. Actually, he regards what he does as his sister’s solely salvation. He boasts that there is no such thing as a love upon earth equal to his personal…The pal to whom Leonardo provides this wonderful defence, though a married man, has himself been in love with the lady now lifeless. He accepts Leonardo’s clarification and approves the deed…To the Anglo-Saxon thoughts Leonardo’s ethical logic seems sadly fallacious. Having banished the temptation to commit one crime by truly committing one other, he glories within the deed as an act that can make for his nearer friendship with one who had cherished the sufferer of that crime. His motives are thus supremely egocentric, but he lays this flattering unction to his soul that now ultimately he’s purified” (pp 66-67).
“When Leonardo has killed his sister so that the hideous drama from the world of the lifeless will not be enacted as soon as extra within the lives of the residing, the play closes with Anna’s cry. She is aware of with out touching that she is stooping over the physique of Bianca. Her cry, ‘Eventually I see!’ expresses her sudden comprehension of what in her blindness her divining thoughts had lengthy been reaching out to understand- the character of the unusual bother which has been creeping upon them. The parallel between Cassandra and Anna will not be labored out by the dramatist; he hints at it- makes use of it as a romantic intensification. Anna comes out of Maeterlinck; certainly the environment is derived from Maeterlinck, with the addition to it of the creator’s personal careering, quivering sensuality. The very best poetry seldom springs from mirrored sensibility, and it was in such passages as that describing the delight of consuming with face buried in a stream or within the exalted rhetoric of the love scene between Bianca and Alessandro that energy was most to be felt” (MacCarthy, 1940 p 144).
“The lifeless metropolis”
Time: 1890s. Place: Argus, Greece.
Textual content at http://www.archive.org/particulars/deadcity00dan
Anna, a blind girl, takes pleasure in touching Bianca Maria’s hair, letting it fall throughout her. “It’s a torrent.” she says. “It covers you throughout. It falls to the very floor. It covers me too. What floods! What floods! It has a fragrance, it has a thousand perfumes. A torrent filled with flowers! Ah, you might be altogether lovely, you have got each present. How may you resign one who cherished you? How may you stay within the shadow, you who’re made to offer pleasure? Some a part of you slept in darkness which has woke up now. You realize your self now; is it not true? I’ve listened to your step, generally. You moved as should you adopted in your self a melody you knew. Ah, if I may inform you the phrase of happiness, Bianca Maria!” Bianca Maria weeps at this. Anna pretends to her husband, Alessandro, that it’s as a result of she had been studying Sophocles’ “Antigone”. Bianca Maria’s brother, Leonardo, arrives with joyful information on the success of his excavations: “The gold, the gold…the our bodies… nice heaps of gold…our bodies all coated with gold,” he enthuses. Leonardo loves her, so does Alessandro. “Once I take a look at you, after I hear the rhythm of your respiratory, I really feel that there are different lovely issues to unveil, different good issues to beat, and that there are maybe on this planet issues to be finished, as pleasant as essentially the most lovely desires of poetry,” he says. However when he takes her arms, she turns away from him. Anna arrives and asks to be kissed. Bianca Maria kisses her on the mouth. Alone with Alessandro, Leonardo reveals his excavations appeared to have poisoned him. Furthermore, he’s troubled about Bianca Maria. “She has been the fragrance of my life, the repose and the freshness, the counsel and the consolation, and the dream, and the poetry, and all,” he declares. “her little bare toes held out to the warmth”, he’s overcome with repugnance by a “muddy thought”. At this revelation, Alessandro staggers out, then comes again and touches his head. Alone with Leonardo, Anna grows disconsolate. “I now not belong to the attractive and merciless life, I’m an impediment in the way in which, a dull impediment in opposition to which a lot hope and drive break and shatter,” she says. How can her husband assist loving Bianca Maria? Alone with Bianca Maria, Leonardo acknowledges that his sister loves Alessando. “I vowed myself yours after we had been left alone on this planet; I’ll dwell sooner or later just for you. Inform me what we will do. I’m prepared,” she solutions. They exit hurriedly, unheeding Anna’s name. When Alessandro asks his spouse what she is aware of of Leonardo’s horrible secret, she solutions: “Solely silence is worthy of us.” In despair of their future, Leonardo drowns his sister in a public fountain “to avoid wasting her soul from the horror about to grab on it”, after which he feels significantly better. “I’ve develop into pure, fairly pure,” he affirms. As he and Alessandro carry the corpse, Anna calls out for her. They stand inflexible with terror. She stoops over the corpse, touches it, and utters a piercing shriek as her sight is restored.
Giuseppe Giacosa (1847-1906) wrote “Come le foglie” (Just like the leaves, 1900) to guage the consequences of a scarcity of cash on a household, “that refined evaluation of the ethical enervation consequent upon the irresponsible possession of unearned wealth” (Henderson, 1914 p 264).
In “Just like the leaves”, “Giacosa has given us a advantageous instance of contemporary social comedy, coping with a reversal of household fortunes” (Burrill, 1920 p 56). “Giacosa appears to be the fashionable reflection of Ibsen…In Just like the Leaves, a piece admired past measure in Italy and Paris, he has drawn in easy strains of dialogue the place extra is supposed than meets the ear“ (Moderwell, 1972 p 172).
MacClintock (1920) praised the character drawing of “Just like the leaves”: “Giovanni too wrapped-out in money-making to note his family, Giulia spoiled by luxurious, Tommy lazy and shiftless, Nennele used to luxurious however prepared to hold a burden. In distinction to Giovanni, Massimo, made wealthy by his personal effort, acquires a big diploma of humanity” (pp 56-57). McLeod (1912) additionally praised its characters, together with “the frivolous and simply led Giulia…The little speech through which her husband tells Massimo that she had introduced an avocado to him with a cut-and-dried scheme for dishonest his collectors is probably extra suggestive of her character than something that we truly see her do. Giovanni is, as he says, a working ox; full of excellent intentions, however having this vice- for in a father it’s a vice- that he doesn’t rule in his personal home. All of the minor characters- the aunt, Helmer Strille, the would-be wolf of Giulia’s honour wrapped within the sheep’s clothes of artwork, even the previous painter, Giulia’s second string, who is available in, flustered, after her umbrella- all have simply sufficient character to be part of the image. Tommy, hopelessly weak, immodest, and totally egocentric, has an actual shrewdness by all his folly and an actual affection for his sister, by all his misuse of her. Massimo, sound, trustworthy, and useful, has simply that peculiarly Italian failing- the need to offer causes for every little thing. And Nennele, even she, with all her goodness and her frequent sense, has simply two blots on her maidenly perfection, her disappointment and her satisfaction: a disappointment that clouds her personal view of life, a satisfaction that hurts nobody however herself. The one displaying herself stretched lifeless on the mattress within the room she is quitting, and bidding her write on the window ‘a curse on whosoever shall occupy this room after me’, the opposite letting Massimo go away disconsolate in the meanwhile of his and her utmost want, and scarcely discovering breath to whisper when he’s gone that accusing however self-accusing ‘he does not perceive’” (McLeod, 1920 pp 77-78).
“Just like the leaves”
Time: 1890s. Place: Milan, Italy, and Geneva, Switzerland.
Textual content at http://archive.org/stream/strongerlikefal00giacgoog
Within the wake of monetary break in Milan, Giovanni accepts a poor-paying supply of employment in Geneva from his nephew, Massimo. He’ll carry his spouse, Giulia, and his two kids from a earlier marriage, Tommaso and Nennele, together with him, however worries about his spouse’s mind-set within the disaster. “She introduced a lawyer into the home to steer me to defraud my collectors,” Giovanni informs Massimo. She has additionally bought objects illegally. On the final minute, she tried to go off with out paying her dressmaker, however was caught in time. In Geneva, a listless Tommaso feedback sarcastically about his step-mother’s essential occupation: portray landscapes, or “maligning nature along with her misguided paint-brush”. To make ends meet, Nennele offers personal English classes in French. Massimo tries to encourage her, however not Tommaso, who stop a job provided by Massimo “as foreman of a bunch of laborers boring holes in an ice-covered mountain”. Having misplaced all his cash at playing, Tommaso asks Giulia for some. She yields him a part of his request with the next specification: “In case you win, you will need to give me half.” When provided a submit as secretary to a sawmill proprietor, Tommaso at first refuses, however then accepts in view of his father’s depressive spirits. Later, Giulia asks for the important thing to a drawer containing the family cash, however Nennele, as a prudent family supervisor, refuses. Pissed off, Giulia appeals to her husband, who informs his daughter that his spouse is the family supervisor. Giulia has managed to promote two footage, however this was achieved on the expense of her artist-friend, Helmer, who suspiciously invitations her to his home. Nennele discovers that her step-mother has stolen her silver body, however Tommaso declines to cooperate along with her story, Giulia striding off vindicated. Pissed off concerning the poor method through which the household has tailored to dreary circumstances, Nennele asks Massimo whether or not he feels rebellious. “Do you insurgent in opposition to leaves scattered within the wind?” Massimo retorts satirically. Although seemingly at work for weeks, Tommaso stayed for less than a single day, Massimo discovers. “I give myself as much as the present,” Tommaso admits. He owes an excessive amount of cash to a girl and pays her again by marrying her. Seeing Nennele disheartened at these occasions, Massimo asks her to marry him, however she refuses, satisfied the supply originates from charity, not love. That evening, Giovanni discovers Nennele about to exit and guesses she means to commit suicide. As they discuss, Giovanni appears to note a person lurking within the shade of the hedge. Nennele sees him, too. “He stayed,” affirms Nennele, overjoyed. “He stayed for me. He understood.”