Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff, Luigi Pirandello, Satire, Jonathan Swift, Sitwell family, William Walton, pamphlets, allegorical journeys
Communication | East Asian Languages and Societies | English Language and Literature | European Languages and Societies | French and Francophone Language and Literature | German Language and Literature | Italian Language and Literature | Latin American Languages and Societies | Linguistics | Sign Languages | Slavic Languages and Societies | Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature
Drawing on a little-known work by Scott-Moncrieff, this article investigates Luigi Pirandello’s intellectual and literary reach across genres and space, from theater to pamphlets, from Italy to the English-speaking world. A talented writer and translator, Charles K. Scott-Moncrieff published “The Strange & Striking Adventures of Four Authors in Search of a Character” by P. G. Lear & L. O in 1926. The title of the pamphlet, and the acronym of the fictional author are references to Pirandello and to his Six Characters in Search of an Author. Scott-Moncrieff had all the documents in order to write about, or in reference to, Pirandello. He was the translator of I vecchi e i giovani and Lazzaro; in 1926, he had also published his translation of Pirandello’s Si gira... [Shoot. The Notebook of Serafino Gubbio Cinematographer Operator. Pirandello considered Scott-Moncrieff the best translator of his works and a “true friend” (Pirandello, Lettere a Marta Abba).
While the pamphlet’s title is a clear reference to Pirandello, its content is not as explicit. Scott-Moncrieff narrates the allegorical journey on a barge of the four “authors.” Three of the satirized authors are identifiable with Sitwell siblings, British artists who spent considerable time in Italy. The fourth is William Walton, composer, and their friend. During their journey the travelers touch several ports whose imaginary names allude to locations between London and Italy.
This article untangles the elusive references to the Sitwell’s lives, and elucidates Scott-Moncrieff’s references to Pirandello’s works that extend beyond translations of novels and plays, to critically engage Pirandello’s ideas of humor and satire. Scott-Moncrieff’s work allows to reconsider and extend the presence of Jonathan Swift in Pirandello’s works, from his essay on umorismo to his major plays.
Giannini, Stefano. “Pirandello and Satire. The Imaginary Journey of Four Authors in Search of a Character According to Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff (1889-1930).” PSA The Journal of the Pirandello Society of America, vol. 30, 2017, pp. 11-26.
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