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May 17, 1925 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1925-05-17

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PAGE TWELVE

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

SUNDAY, MAY 17, 1925

THE

'THEATRE

I".N

FERMENT.

...ITALY

In Which Prof. Michele De Filipp
On The Italian Moves In l

T i T

By Prof. Michele De Filippis
(Editor's Note: Tfiis is the fifth of
a series of six articles by members of
the faculty on the adaptations and re-
actions of the various continental
countries to the present progressive'
tendencies in the theatre.)
Any treatment of the Contemporary
Italian Drama, however brief it may
be, must begin with Giovanni Verga.
And yet Verga, the recognized leader
of the Veristic School in Italy, is not,
strictly speaking, the founder of the
contemporary Italian drama, because
Verga was primarily a writer of real-
istic novels and short stories, and not'
a dramatist. But he wrote plays
too-six of them--and one of his
plays, La Cavalleria Rusticana, (1884)
is so important that it cannot be
omitted even from this very brief.
sketch of the contemporary Italian
drama.
The plot of this play is known to
everybody: Santuzza, an impulsive
Sicilian girl, has given herself to Tur-
iddu; but the young man, who during
his military service has learned the
art of deceiving women, abandons her
as soon as he has won the heart of a'
married woman, Lola by name. Thel
people of the town who are aware of1
all this, instead ofexpressing their
sympathy for Santuzza, begin to
whisper unpleasant things about her.
The poor victim angered by the talk
of the people and humiliated by Tur-
iddu even in the presence of her rival
Lola, loses her patience and reveals
Lola's infidelity to the husband Alfio
who, in his turn, challenges the lover
Turiddu to a rustic duel. On the next
morning the young man bids his
mother good bye and the next thing
she hears about her son is the tragic
cry: "Turiddu has been killed", with
which the play ends.
Apparently there is nothing more,
humble, nothing more banal than this
tragic but simple event not uncommon
in a Sicilian town where the violation
of domestic honor seldom passes with
impunity. And yet in this little play
a whole world is revealed to us with
a tragic reality. Turiddu, Alfio, Lola,
Nunzia, Santuzza, five real true, defi-
nite characters struggle, suffer, bleed
within the clutches of fatality in
which they believe with a primitive
credulity which is sublime! Building
his little drama upon three or four
sentiments such as religious faith
with the terror of divine sanction, thei
idea of the inviolability of familyl
honor, jealousy, furor of scorned love
and the bitter desire for vengeance,
followed by an untimely repentance,
Verga has produced a terrible trag-
edy, one of the best to be found
among modern tragedies in Italy.
To the name of Verga must be add-
ed those of Luigi Capuana, and Fred-

Luigi Pirandello
the famous Italian psychologist, whose
startling plays are discussed by Pro
fessor De Filippis in the adjoining art
icle on the Italian stage.
erico De Roberto, the former with his
Giacinta which, like Vrga's Cavil
lera Rusticana, is a powerful play
drawn from, a novel, and the latter
with The Rosary wieh is also a
masterpiece.
Another outstanding draniatst uwho
is considered by many Italians as the
real leader of the contemporary
drama in Italy is Giuseppe Giacosa
Like many other Italian dramatists
Giacosa passed from romanticism to
realism, from realism to verism, fron
verism to idealistic realism, and his
changes reflect with precision the
evolution of public taste and the flue
tuations in the world of dramatic ar
during the period extendling fron
1880 to 1905.
Giuseppe Giacosa was a follower,a
successfuil imitator, but, nvera
pioneer rich in gninme ureivene s
His very first play. A Ganae of Chess
whose plot was taken bodily from Ihe
old French romance of 11uoi de or-
deaux gives evidence of (atosaa's lad
of originality. This play deals witl
the old duke Rene and[ his(aughte
lolande, who live together in a very
j old castle. They are vi: iter done da
by Fernando, a young handsome pag
whose youthful boast hilnces so en
ages the old duke that he offers him
a tet. e is asked to play chess:° with
Iolande who is considered invincibl
l at the game. If he wins he is t
marry the girl; if he loses the gam
he is to lose his head also. The young
couple while playing fall in love with

nS W rites plays in general are a faithful repro- baseness of man and the moral levity feated and discredited, he consents to! complete sympathy with the Italian
I duction of the society of his time, a of woman. In the Virgins and in the the marriage and to assisting in the woman whose rights to social inde-
society of dubious morality, arid and Ideal Wife, more than in any of his inglorious task of caring with his pendence he openly proclaims. Other
A ern Stag Crat cold, just as itwas immediately after! long list of plays, the author uttered wife for their wretched offspring. more or less prominent authors of
J the national unation of Italy, and his message and made his distinctive The End of an Ideal (1898) dealsthis school are Washington Borg,
each other, and the girl, wishing to nothing more. contribution to the Italian drama. with the feministic movement and Tomaso Monicelli, Lorenzo Rugg,
become her opponent's wife, plays the Though primarily a realist, Rovetta The realistic drama in Italy does women's rights. It was written in Gugielmo Zorzi, Oreste Poggo, etc.
game for him. At a critical momnent also tried his hand at the historical not come to an end with Praga. The imitation of Ibsen's The Lady from L The Poetie )rama.
she~~~~~~M takseis an i hes ndniaesplymnda.
he takes his hand in hers and makes play, and the one drama which won Traversi brothers, Giuseppe Baffico, I the Sea, but lacks the profound psy- A form of drama which has enjoyed
for him the move that check-mates Itforhim the greatest success, Roman- Alfredo Oriani, Gerolamo Nanni and chologic intensity of its model. In
her, winning for him the game and ticism, belongs to this class. This even Enrico Annibale Butti, who the next three plays-The Atheists- an extraordinary favor during the
her hand. This dainty trifle, unusual play is a representation of an early claimed to have received his inspira- Butti produced a trilogy comprising, first twenty years of this century is
as it may seem, is still quite popular incident of the Italian war of libera- tion and learned his technique from The Race for Pleasure (1900), Lucifer the poetic drama created by Gabriele
in Italy although it was written over tion. To be more precise, it depicts the Scandinavian master Ibsen, wrote1, (1900), and The Tempest (1901). In D'Annunzio. In this new form are
fifty years ago. the restless social and political condi- realistic plays. Practically all of these trilogy which is by far superior included those plays written pre-
From this he passed on to writing tion that prevailed in Lombardy in authors sought and found their, to most of his other plays, the a utho ferably in verse, of mythical or his-
historical plays, a type of drama de- 1854. The characters, though fic- models in France; models which they has attempted to show how impossible torical subject, prevailigly symbolic
who wrote Ad- titious, correspond in some measure have transferred adding to them the it is for a materialistic and atheistic in meaning, heroic, patriotic, and
chi, and the Count of Carmagnola, to actual figures. So, too, the action, flavor of Italian life, and the imprintconception of life to endure in the sensual. Gabriele D'Annunzio has
and cOntmnued by Niccolini, Cossa, though fictitious, is devised by a free of their own personality. The realis- mind of man once his eyes are open- written the most vital plays of this
Cavallotti,MVarenco anld a score of combination of several threads of con- tic drama in Italy, although seldomed to the absurdity of such conception. type and three master ces: The
One of these plays, the Lady piracy in the period from 1848 to original was very sucicessful. But I Flames in the Dark (1904), is mt- Dead, City (1898), in which the author
of Challant, was originally written by1859. One finds in the play a variety its success must be attributed to the ti's masterpiece But even here proposed to revive the mode of the
Giacosa in French for Sarah Bern- of characters from the nobleman Italian nature which is eminently where we find him at his best, the Greek rama, and to restate its mes-
hardt who brought It to this country Lamberti to the lowly Demostene who practical and realistic, and not so author fails to reach the heights of sage in modern idio ; Francesca da
in 1895. This is a powerful and well conspire together and who are com- much to the writers themselves who his master. A keen observer of life, Imini (1p902), in which he utihzed
constructed play and comes near be- rades in the resolution to win free- were seldom real geniuses. a creator of evident if not profound the famous episode from the fifth
ing a convincing bit of real art. The om and Italy. Written in ascaracters, a man of strong faith wiDante's Inferno,and the ac-
plot, however, is not original since 1901, Romanticism was staged for the ureconized the substantial cV count given by Boccaccio in his om-
it was taken almost bodily from the first time with great success in 1902 In Italy, as everywhere (else in regied the t il goodness mentary on the Divine Comedy; The
XVII century story-teler Matteo and has retained its popularity. Europe, the realistic drama with all h ociety,Butti ge to the Italian ughterof Iorino (1904), in whi
I XVIndentry soo-elr.at O f l iIelsi ms ' its various shades: veistic, natural-1 theatre a large number of fairly goodI D'Annunzio glorifies his native Abruz-
Bandeilo. Of all his rrilistic plays, Dorina s sti , etc., was succeeded by the plays. zi.His characteristics as a tragic
Iaddition to historical plays Gia-l Trilogy (1887) is probably his bestu te ,tres of ideas" of Scandinavian 1 Roberto Bracco is perhaps the best poet are: prediection for barbaric
cosa also wrote verse tragedies and It deals with the career of ayoung(origin, and was introduced for the representative of Ibsen in Italy. Born milieux, be they historic or ideal;
prose plays of contemporary life girl of humble origin, first as a gov- first time into Italy by Butti. Enrico in Naples in 1862, he has the unusual characters animated by primitive in-
- some of which are real masterpieces. erness in a noble family, then i tme Annibale Butti, after an inevitable distinction of having written almost istincts, lewd, lustful men, violent
- One of these, Luisa (1883) is a mod- process of surrendering her honor' plunge into the realistic drama, ac- .exclusively for the stage, and has to dominators of women, and that mon-
ern problem play in verse which has ad aytt cepted the tenets of Ibsen, and in 1894 his credit ten large volumes of good ster of the thousand heads, exellent-
the merit of having laid Giacosa's cruel, cold, and scheming adventuress. wrote Utopia in which he applied in plays. Bracco is at his best in the ly impulsive, which is the crowd. To
reputation as a social critic, and A disagreeable play. orinans Ti-I full Ibsen's theories. The play deals presentation of the feminine soul, and this must be added the element of
ushers in a long series of successful with an idealistic young doctor who, in representing the social contrast tragedy and fatalism springing' from
dramas of the same type. an intense Zalaesqne reality, wishing to improve the human race, between the two sexes in Italy. The the unrestrained operation of the in-
Surrender at Discretion (1895) is a Marco Praga, whose Closed Door sets out to preach the emancipation . acute and exasperating antithesis stincts, excessive admiration for the
comedy of manners in which the (1913), the late Eleonora Duse was of women from the servitude of mar- which in modern Italy exists be- goddess of Beauty and the pagan god
author attacks the uselessness of cor- generous enough to include in her riage, the casting off of binding fam- tween man and woman is the greatest of Joy, expressed in language over-
ruption of Italian society, presenting repertory (hrIng her last tour of the ily ties, freedom of love and, in the of Bracco's preoccupations. He sees flowng with cynicism. In these three
a group of selfish and idle society United States a year ago, must be Put name of eugenics, the elimination of that woman in Italy is condemned tragedies, the faults which are too
women, and some unspeakably vacu-beside Rovetta. The few Ann Arbor crippled and diseased children. Con- by tradition and conventions to oc- evident in his other fifteen plays dis-
ous men of leisure passing their lives Ipeople who saw this play in Detroit vinced of the soundness and practica- cupy a place in life which is not very appear almost entirely before the ir-
. s cicisbei (professional lovers of ;last year were disappointed not only bility of his theories he proceeds to flattering to her. This existing (is- resistible beauty of his language and
married women), officially recognized in the play but in Signora Duse as put them into practice. In the pro- parity which makes of man the au-ipoetry. Gabriele D'Annunzio, regard-
iby society in Italy during her general well. The reason for it is that Closed cess of converting people to his ideas thorative and despotic master, armed less of what his many bilious critics
n decadence under foreign domination, Door was written when Praga's dra- he meets a young girl who gives her- with all the rights with which the la may say, will remain a great poet, a
s and not entirely missing even now in matic talent and the fountain of his self to him and who, while he is away empowers him, and which makes of great romancer and a great dramatist.
anhits great period of healthyregenra- airtistic inspiration had run dry, and on a tour of propaganda, gives birth woman an oppressed and unprotected Next to 'Annunzio the most dlis-
SlEleonora Duse, near the grave herself, to a terribly deformed child. The inferior being is strongly denounced tinguished member of this school is
The success of Sad( was unable to give life to a lifeless doctor's unmoral principles are nat- in many of Bracco's most successful Sem Benelli. His Supper of Jokes.
ws very significant since itserved1 play. urally received with the scorn which pla'ys. The greatest of these are: or Jests, as it is often called in Am-
to establish the complete triumph of Praga's first half dozen plays met they justly deserve, and the utopistic Tragedies of the Soul (1899), Mater- erica, staged for the first time in
tohesntalis thedaaarays with complete failure. Then, all of a propagandist discouraged and de- nity (1903), The Little Fountain Rome in 1909 had a success compar-
i the naturaistic drama, already usher- sudden, he found himself and pro- pressed returns home where he is con- (1905)-love tragedies springing fromm able only with that of Rostand's
.e iwb prt auaceswyth a duced two great plays, The Virgins fronted by a disillusioned wife and a the necessity which women find to Cyrano he Bergerac. Benelli's plays
e oeoand Capuana. With the ontusbay Athi
.(1889), aid the Ideal Wife (1891). monstruous baby. At this point all accept or to rebel against marital op- are imaginative, poetic, spectachlarly
publication of As the (eaves (1900) The Virgins, which brought fame and his utopian theories break down. His pression. Lost in the Darkness (1901) ffective, while his verses are swift
ande tronger (1905) cosa material success to the author, is a Spartan courage fails him when it is a tragedy of dishonor arising from terse, musical. His idea is to reform
ended a long and successful career asmisnome for three young women of comes to destroy te life of his own the same cause; ; The Little Saint dramatic poetry so as to make it clear
i-a realistic dramatist. marriageable age whose status is am- child. His wife too, demands that he (1909)) is a tragedy of the spirit. and expressive, endowed with mean-
r Ome more realistic author of con- biguous aid whose virtue is equivocal give up his dream and marry her. He Taken together they are the expres- ing as well as with harmony. H
y siderablemerit who has to his credit due to the moral baseness of an un- hesitates at first, but a steaming bowl sion of an artistic personality, sub- writes verse which is not given over
y several successful plays is Gerolamo scrupulous mother. In the Ideal Wife, of soup reminds him of the material stantially sad, a personality bent upon to resoundig lines, as is often the
ikt (1853-110). ButRovettawith that impossibility which was the advantages of home life and so, de- the contemplation of sorrow, and in case with the poet D'Annunzio, but
- like iacosa, was not an innovator. Itfirst canon of his creed, holding no
i One looks in vain inrhis plays for the brief for or against society, creating -
lii igns of a great creative power: it as he believed a play for its own sake,
e isn't there. His comedies and his Praga has put in ironic contrast the
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Opportunities for College
People in Detroit
During the past year the Placement Bureau of thr, Detroit
Business University has received numerous calls for college
trained people to fill SECRETARIAL positions. In most instances
we were unable to fill these places, and we wish to take tis
opportunity to draw the attention of those with college
training to the opportunity in this direction. Positions of a cec-
retarial nature are open for those with the above qualifications
in the SOCIAL SERVICE DIVISIONS in some of Detroit's largest
enterprises. Opportunities for advancement are practically un-
limited in such positions.
Those interested should communicate with this school im-
mediately. Address attention of Vocational Director.
Detroit Business University
Corner Grand River West and Park Place
DETROIT, MICH.

440 South State Phone 4481
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«+ow qb"

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The

llue

Lantern"

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Commencement!
Treat the Folks to
one of our
steak dinners
RI? ITM R R'S

A touch of a button
and chilly rooms
become cozily warm
An electric heater can be attached
to any ordinary socket. $6.50-$10.50

Ii

(Island Lake]

jean Qoldkette's

t

Breeze

Bloivers"

444

Saturday, May

23

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