One, No One and One Hundred Thousand by Luigi PirandelloThe great Pirandellos (1867-1936) 1926 novel, previously published here in 1933 in another translation, synthesizes the themes and personalities that illuminate such dramas as Six Characters in Search of an Author.
Vitangelo Moscarda ``loses his reality when his wife cavalierly informs him that his nose tilts to the right; suddenly he realizes that ``for others I was not what till now, privately, I had imagined myself to be, and that, consequently, his identity is evanescent, based purely on the shifting perceptions of those around him. Thus he is simultaneously without a self--``no one--and the theater for myriad selves--``one hundred thousand. In a crazed search for an identity independent of others preconceptions, Moscarda careens from one disaster to the next and finds his freedom even as he is declared insane.
It is Pirandellos genius that a discussion of the fundamental human inability to communicate, of our essential solitariness, and of the inescapable restriction of our free will elicits such thoroughly sustained and earthy laughter.
GDR Live - The Strange — One, No One and One Hundred Thousand - Parte 3
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One, No One, and One Hundred Thousand
It hurts me a little, when I take hold of it. I was twenty-eight years old; and up to now, I had always looked upon my nose as being, if not altogether handsome, at least a very respectable sort of nose, as might have been said of all the other parts of my person. So far as that was concerned, I had been ready to admit and maintain a point that is customarily admitted and maintained by all those who have not had the misfortune to bring a deformed body into the world, namely, that it is silly to indulge in any vanity over one's personal lineaments. And yet, the unforeseen, unexpected discovery of this particular defect angered me like an undeserved punishment. It may be that my wife saw through this anger of mine; for she quickly added that, if I was under the firm and comforting impression of being wholly without blemishes, it was one of which I might rid myself; since, just as my nose sagged to the right—. Yes, there was something else!