“On 28 June 1867 ‘in a grove of Saracen olive trees bordering a blue clay plateau overlooking the African sea’ – the countryside around Agrigento – Luigi Pirandello began his ‘involuntary sojourn on Earth’.” The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, quoted the words of the great Sicilian writer and 1934 Nobel Prize winner for Literature to commemorate the 150th anniversary of his birth.
“At the Farnesina, we are organising a programme of commemoration initiatives, also at international level, to pay homage to the figure and the works of the great playwright. The initiative will involve the diplomatic network, the Italian Cultural Institutes and the relevant players engaged in the promotion of the Italian language and literature in the world.”
The Project, conceived according to a logic of integrated promotion, will embrace different fields and sectors of activity: literature, theatre, cinema, the dissemination of the Italian language, and cultural tourism. Mr Alfano explained: “Among the more than 100 events already scheduled, the contest recently launched by the MIUR ‘Uno, nessuno e centomila’ (‘One, No One, and One Hundred Thousand’), to write an original play based on one of the author’s short stories, will be extended to Italian schools abroad. In addition, we will organise a series of lectures by eminent figures from the Italian world of culture, readings of excerpts from Pirandello by professional actors, screenings of films drawn from Pirandello’s work, and a corollary of other activities in October, during the Week of the Italian Language in the World, which this year is dedicated to the relationship between language and the cinema.”
The commemoration will offer the opportunity, in partnership with the local Celebrations Organising Committee chaired by writer Andrea Camilleri, to promote international cultural tourism to the area around Agrigento.
Minister Alfano added: “It is important to commemorate a great artist who spanned across the last century, and well beyond his death, giving a name to the apprehensions and the spirit of his time, and bringing Sicily – and Italy as a whole – at the centre of literature and drama in Europe and in the world.”